Remember the days of vinyl? Trips to the music store to purchase record after record to manually place and flip on a turntable in order to hear the full expression of an album? Call us nostalgic, but we still love that echoey, scratchy sound that underlays classic vinyl and the 2-3 seconds of pause that marks the space between songs. As kids, we often thought that pause was too long, eager for the next track to begin. But with time and maturity, that sound seems different now. These days, those quiet moments serve as a metaphor for a much needed respite-from-routine that our bodies so desperately crave.
Amidst the hectic schedules that we call our lives, finding moments of stillness are a rarity. Unless we go out of our way to consciously stop, many of us have the tendency to traverse our days in continuous movement, bouncing from task to task. For most of us, that is the reason why summer feels so special. Longer days, the end of school classes and planned vacations offer opportunities to reset and refresh – focusing a little less on work and more on the people and things we love the most. Whether we get to take a long holiday, a camping overnight or a weekend at the beach, travel affords us opportunities to gain perspective and insight. Akin to taking a step back, we’re granted a bird’s eye view on our lives, the choices we’ve made and how they’ve settled.
The act of breaking from routine has a magical way of helping us connect more deeply to our mental, physical and emotional patterns, and if we can observe ourselves without judgement, it can also enable us to evolve to the next level of growth and awareness. Pressing the pause button invites openness and reflection, offering ways to redefine anything from our sleep, diet and exercise regimens to our internal voices, perceptions and relationships. Instead of being beholden to clocks, we are able to lose track of time, unplug and reset our patterns, enabling us to slow down, take stock and breathe. But do we need vacations in order to achieve these focused, internal states? It’s true that unstructured time, away from work and the mundane, is probably the easiest way to break from routine, but what if we were to carve out a few open hours on a Sunday, or grant 10 minutes of respite each afternoon?
It’s no surprise that at Everviolet, we’re huge fans of mindfulness practices –periods in the day when we cease activity and tune inward. Whether a seated meditation, a walk in nature, or a simple breathing exercise between meetings, moments of stillness have the power to help our minds and bodies relax and recharge. So, as summer comes to a close, and opportunities for physical travel become more limited, consider taking mental vacations on a regular basis. Even on days when stopping seems impossible, join us in carving out a few minutes to take several inhales and exhales in the car or at our desk. For just as the spaces between songs provide a chance to switch gears from one tune to the next, so too can our breath more gently guide our mind into the next item on the agenda. And when we allow ease and calm to permeate our bodies, the healthier and more appreciative we become.
“The pause – that impressive silence, that eloquent silence, that geometrically progressive silence which often achieves a desired effect where no combination of words, howsoever felicitous, could accomplish it.” Mark Twain