Summer Pause and Reset.

Summer Pause and Reset.

This year I’ve spent some time walking in the Yorkshire Dales and it strikes me that so much of life is like going on a hike.

You have a destination in mind; you plan the route and tuck the map and instructions safely in a pocket.

Then you set off. You want to stick to the route so you regularly stop to consult the map and instructions. You know that this paper is telling you exactly what you must do and if you veer from it, you’ll get lost.

The path is uneven and you don’t want to stumble so you keep your head down as you put one foot in front of the other. You stop from time to time, for a drink or lunch; then carry on again, head down and determined.

After a while you notice that time has passed, so you stop.

In a moment of clarity you realise that you’ve been walking blindly, following instructions written by others towards a destination that someone else decided was right for you.

And you question whether the destination you thought you wanted to reach is, in fact where you want to go now.

You can see there are many different paths you could take and it’s all overwhelming.

pause and reset 2So there’s nothing else for it but to sit down, pause for a few moments, consider your options and reset your course.

As you raise your eyes, you notice how far up the hill you’ve climbed so you take a few moments to celebrate your achievements and admire the view.

 

Welcome to my world.

Over the summer I’ve been pausing, noticing how far I’ve climbed and considering which path I want to take next. I’ve been reflecting on both my personal life and my business.

I set up this website just over three years ago and for the first time in my life I’m doing what I love and is authentically me. And it’s wonderful.

At times the trail has been rocky and I’ve had to climb a few stiles. And I feel like I’ve been walking with my head down towards a destination I felt I ‘should’ be aiming for. So it was time for me to pause and reset my course. The view is pretty good though; I’m proud with what I’ve achieved and to be helping many women.

In those three years my life has changed a lot too. As an only child, losing my second parent has been hard and I’ve been working through this over these past few months .

I’m also different now; I’ve learned a number of new skills by attending training courses, and reading. I’m calmer, stronger, and more compassionate too. As a colleague remarked; having your own business is a good excuse (or reason 🙂 ) to continue your own growth.

On a personal level, there are many advantages to being childless, for myself and my husband they boil down to freedom and flexibility, and want to do more to fully take advantage of these and make the most of our lives. So we’ve been having a personal pause and reset too.

My tools for pausing.

When I work with clients we start with the wonderful Wheel of Life, so I started with it too. After I’d scored each segment I considered what a score of ten would be.

I also pondered some questions such as:

  • What do I want (both in my personal and professional life)?
  • What have my greatest challenges taught me?
  • If I had 5 years left I would….
  • What am I interested in/curious about?
  • What do I love doing so much success or failure don’t matter?
  • My gifts are…..
  • What did I used to love doing (and how can I do more)?
  • What and who make me happy?

What I discovered

pause and reset 3Taking the big picture view I recognised that the route I’d already travelled was pretty much as I wanted; and in common with most people, some segments of my Wheel of Life need only minor tweaks; and others could use a more radical overhaul.

However, in terms of my business I realised that the destination I had in mind wasn’t of my own choosing and, most importantly it doesn’t reflect who I’ve become. I’d been blindly following the path that others said was ‘right’; the path of ‘shoulds, musts and have tos’. This was okay when I first started, and now it’s time to forge my own way.

I’ve already made some changes; I’m meditating and writing regularly, and making specific time to read. Being more organised behind the scenes and having accountability enables me to spend less time at my desk.

I’ve re-discovered how much I love being out in the countryside; and particular the Yorkshire Dales, where I grew up. Having grass under my feet, sky above and limestone around me brings me back to myself more than just about anything else.

Having my own business means I can create it to fit with my life. So, there will be changes to what I do here, but I’m not yet sure what they’ll be as we’re still working through some of the bigger questions as a couple.

What next?

Taking the time to pause has helped me to realise how far I’ve come and how much I’ve achieved.

Having the answers to the above questions means that I can integrate everything I’ve learned and who I’ve become into where I travel next. The changes I’ve made are already yielding great results so I feel more peaceful and relaxed.

And I’ll be moving forward with a renewed spring in my step knowing that the path belongs to me and no one else. I know that there will be ups and downs, stiles to climb and muddy areas to traverse.

But I am prepared for the challenges ahead and, instead of walking blindly with my head down I’ll be paying more attention to my surroundings and will be pausing regularly to check and reset my course.

pause and reset 1 s

Now it’s your turn – what would happen if you took the time to pause and reset?

How about gifting yourself the time to complete the wheel of life and answer the questions above?

Please let us know what you realised and how different your course will be now.

I’d love also to hear whether any of this resonates with you, whether you’re following your own path or someone else’s, and what you plan to do about it.

Please add your comments below – you don’t have to use your own name.

And if all of this is a challenge to you, a great place to start is my Small Steps to Healing

11 thoughts on “Summer Pause and Reset.”

  1. This really resonates with me, Lesley.

    I spent the first 50 years following a path I believed others wanted me to take and trying always to meet their expectations.

    Sometimes it takes a major life event or an illness to wake us up to the reality that actually we have a choice and the power to choose.

    Looking forward to seeing where your path takes you next 🙂

    • Thank you Linda,
      As you say sometimes it takes a major event to ‘encourage’ us to pause.
      I like to think (or hope) that this is only true the first time. If we learn what we need to when we’re in the pause, then we’ll be more aware in the future.

      • I’m finding there may be layers to this, Lesley 🙂

        As you know, I had a major health challenge over a decade ago and sort of ‘woke up’ to the fact that this is my path and no-one else’s.

        And I’ve found myself having yet another forced review over the Spring/early Summer and realising I was doing a lot of ‘should’s and ‘ought to’s again.

        I love your questions for refocussing and adjusting course. Now I’m taking the time to pause between activities and ask myself ‘what do I want to do next, what would feel like fun for me?’.

        I’m not sure where that will lead me next, but it feels a whole lot easier and more enjoyable than shoulding myself all the time!
        Linda Anderson recently posted…[Video] Inner Critic driving you crazy?My Profile

        • Yes unfortunately Linda this is not straightforward.
          I also aim to catch myself when I use ‘should’ and ‘must,’ they are after all externally focused and now I’ll take this s step further and ask mmyself what I want to do or what is fun for me in this moment.
          Thank you <3

  2. I have to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this post Lesley. It was a perfectly timed reminder to me, at a time when I had begun to return to being steered by other people’s wants and opinions and this was starting to do me significant harm. Your post has inspired me today to take stock and give myself credit for how far I have come in the last 7 years since I had to find a new path (once my dreams of having children had to be set aside). And, for the first time ever I have felt able to make the beginnings of a plan for the next five years, as I am now able to identify some positive things I want to cultivate, and some unhealthy and negative patterns I need to eradicate. This feels like a huge step for me, as I had been stuck for a very long time, and now I feel that I am moving forward. As ever, your blog has provided me with a positivity check that I very much needed. Thank you

    • Thank you so much for your comment.
      As you say, sometimes we don’t give ourselves credit for how far we’ve come & it’s really helpful to acknowledge that from time to time.
      I’m doing a happy dance when you write that you’re going to cultivate more things that make you happy and eradicate things that don’t. These are huge steps AND really important. Doing these will make a big improvement to your life.
      I wish you luck.

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