XR’s Wintry Pause to Welcome 2020

You’ve probably heard this is the time of year to pause. If you’re anything like me you might find this difficult. You might even not be pausing, just swapping one kind of busy-ness and pressure for another.

This year has been hard. Next year will be hard. This is an opportunity for two weeks of soft.

Where our society rewards productivity, this time of the season rewards being and slowing.

This slow-down is hard when we identify so strongly with our purpose, our work, our doing, our output, our productivity – when we are driven to offer so much in service to what matters to us. How to do this when pausing in the darkness can feel so scary?

The light reveals many things, the darkness reveals others.

Here’s a way to support transitioning into the pause:

  • Turn it all off – such as setting group-chats to broad-cast only (or exit them) and telling Facecrack you’ll be back in a fortnight
  • Allow yourself to feel and flow through the anxiety that turning it all off generates, rather than relieving the anxiety by turning it back on
  • Thank yourself every day for giving this gift to yourself and everyone around you
  • Take plenty of walks in the outdoors. Pace new routes – find one aspect of the natural world to feel awe for. 

We need to recuperate. To present our rested selves to the rising energy of Spring. If we don’t, we risk bringing  our exhaustion and frayed edges to the world; to the movement. We need to sleep and dream, to marvel at the wonder of existence. To allow ourselves to let the old out and imagine the new.  If we don’t, we risk bringing our same old same old to the world; to the movement. 

Winter is with us and the longest night drops it’s loving shroud around our tired shoulders. It’s time for our movement to pause – for you to pause.

This isn’t a command. No one is telling you what to do. That’s not our new (yet very old) way.

This is an invitation. It’s inviting you to give yourself permission to pause. To breathe. To take a break from the frantic banter. To let go of the group-chats, and take yourself away from the screens.

It’s time to become quiet. To surrender. It’s time to look deep into the earth. And that doesn’t just mean resting. It means connecting to community, coming together with people, both human and more than human, feeling your body and being close to others bodies (with their consent!).

Now turn it off. Marvel at the world around you. And pause.

Marvel at myriad of stars in the night sky viewed through wintry, leafless trees

This article emerges from those in the Guardianship & Visioning team in XRUK, and is co-authored by Paul D, April G and Stu B.

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