Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart.
He who looks outside, dreams. He who looks inside, awakens. Carl Jung

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Time Out


Stress is basically a disconnection from the earth, a forgetting of the breath.  Stress is an ignorant state.  It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important.  Just lie down.  Natalie Goldberg

This Natalie Goldberg quote is one of my favorites and one I’ve forgotten recently.  I knew the signs and ignored them ~ tightness in my muscles, inability to focus, racing thoughts, shallow breath.  Instead, I plunged ahead @ work & ran an errand at lunch.  And I became convinced during this errand that I lost an expensive ring my mom had given me.  I re-traced my steps, becoming more panicked as the ring remained elusive.  I called work to say I would be late for a meeting so I could search my car & the words choked out of me ~ full sobbing breakdown ensued.  Finally, I accepted that my ring had disappeared, lost to me forever.  Normally, yes I would be sad & perhaps even a bit sick to lose something valuable to me.  Ultimately though it’s a material thing & I can move on.  The intensity of my reaction was a flashing neon sign to SLOW DOWN.  This has been coming for awhile as I have struggled to balance family, creative outlets, writing projects, business-building, grad school, work etc.  No longer does “I am woman hear me roar” call to me.  I am human and cannot do it all.

What are your warning signs and how do you nurture yourself through the process?

(note to self: remember to put on ALL jewelry in the morning to avoid meltdowns over not-lost jewelry)


  1. Dawn, so sorry to hear of your experience. Been there, done that. Recently I have been reading a book called Easy World by Julia Rogers Hamrick. She uses a technique where you BREATHE, RELAX, ALLOW and ENJOY. It's a way to stay in the present moment...when I get overwhelmed I've been using this technique.

    Love and blessings!

  2. Oh you poor thing. Glad your ring wasn't lost though and you can laugh about it now :)

  3. GREAT blog!! Wow! I am so sorry about your ring, but you know, you are a grounded person, and that goes a long will get another ring.
    My warning signs are my blood pressure goes through the roof, but I want to become more sensitive to stress signals before my body freaks-out!

    Please keep these great posts coming!


  4. I have to confess a compulsive behavior: when I can't find something, not necessarily valuable or needed, but just something I remember having (a bluse, a sweater in the middle of summer, a picture...) - I start looking for the one thing I am obsessing about (usually right before leaving the house while my husband waiting for me), and once found, is just to put it back to it's place... my sign that I have to slow down? when I start doing this more often. Great post! I am glad you found your ring!

  5. I love Natalie Goldberg. What a great quote.

    I didn't realize you are in grad school. How do you do it? When I went through grad school I remember the unbearable pain I would feel in my neck, and the headaches. It was all a meldown for me. So I think you're entitled to yours.

    I hope you can slow down, do less, love more (especially yourself) and take time, even a minute to let the world go by. Let it go.

  6. Oh Dawn, I know that state of mind so well. Great post. I'm reminded of a friend of mine who was living a similar lifestyle a few years back, and of course expecting herself to do it all with complete finesse. One morning in the midst of getting the kids off to school, herself off to work etc she said aloud "God give me a break", within 10 minutes she fell on the ice and broke her leg. I kid you not.
    So, unlike they say in the theater, "don't break a leg!"

  7. This is a great post. I've been thinking of this very thing lately. Recently I began homeschooling my daughter and this week I have felt so much peace over that decision. I'm slowing down and trying to simplify my life. I don't need all the pressure & the stress. It's no good for my health.

    I'm glad you didn't lose your ring after all!

  8. Love seeing you all stop by!
    @ Kathy ~ sounds like a great book, I'll definitely look into it
    @ Wickedly Devine ~ me too! I would much rather find the humor in things...sometimes I just need a gentle reminder:)
    @ Lisa ~ thank you! Catching those triggers beforehand is the challenge! I'm also studying holistic mental health so if I come across anything I'll let you know!
    @ OJ ~ my mom does that too, I know she gets really frustrated with it & I can always tell when she needs a breather because it becomes more pronounced
    @ Myrna ~ thanks for the kind words; no, I can't do it all...something will have to give soon or it will be me:)
    @ Jenny ~ great story! One of those "be careful what you ask for"...
    @ Jenn ~ I'm so we go through the back to school meltdowns I wish for the millionth time to find a way to do that for my daughter...still trying to convince others that my job can be done via telecommuting:)

  9. Wow, this really speaks to me right now. I've been finding myself in those moments of tight muscles, shallow breath and racing thoughts. I sometimes realize it and think back, realizing I've been in that state for days. Just lie down is good advice, sometimes just stopping my body, laying down and remembering to be gentle to myself is enough to slow me and put things into perspective. Sometimes I need to kvetch with friends to see if there are answers. Sometimes I just really want to be held. It's those moments when I realize that I'm just human and cannot do it all that I know I need to reach out.

  10. wishing you moments of stillness & hugs:) glad you came by!


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