Do you feel at times that there is no pause in your day? That your day is either “on” as soon as you start the day or “off” at the end of the day when you turn in for a night of rest; but there really is no pause-button as you go through your day?
This has become a part of our lives as schedules have gotten fuller and relaxation time has become akin to laziness. I remember once I was taking a nap on the living room couch in the afternoon. Later, when I was awake, a relative greeted me with, “Ah, I am glad you are doing okay now. I was concerned as I saw you sleeping earlier”. I was perfectly well; I was just taking a power nap. But the sight of someone taking a nap in the middle of the day is so unfamiliar to some that the immediate thought is either she is ill or simply being lazy!
But taking a power nap or a micro-nap has long been known to have their healing and rejuvenating effects. Brilliant minds and artists such as Albert Einstein, Salvador Dali and Aristotle have made a claim on the benefit of naps.
My aim, though, is not to convince you to take afternoon naps (although that can be a nice by-product of this post!) You see, my work revolves around helping women take simple daily actions to bring deeper experiences of happiness and inner-peace. I am always looking to share what can help us in our modern lifestyle, and cultivate that sense of peace and fulfillment. What I have realized is that the little, simple things that we do on a daily basis bring the most results; especially when done consistently.
So, I want to shed light on the fact that if we embrace the idea of a little simple pause in the middle of a working day, we can be more productive, more successful in our projects and, because of a rested mind and body, be kinder and compassionate in our interactions with our fellow human beings. And these are just some of the benefits!
For me, this pause takes the form of what I term, Sky-Time. Every day for about ten minutes or so right after my lunch, I sit in my hammock on the back porch and gaze at the sky. This is my sky-time.What I love about these few minutes is that I can just relax while observing the changes in the sky. The sky is so vast and expansive that it inspires me to let my creativity fly high and have a heart of compassion. Besides, the sky is so different every single day. This changing nature of the sky reminds me to cherish the present moment because that very scene I am watching is unique ⎯ never to be repeated in that exact way.
Sky-time also helps me to hit the pause-button in my day filled with activities. Instead of rushing off to my desk right after lunch, these few minutes help me connect with myself and be present. I arrive back at work feeling energized and rested, ready to begin again. It is also a sip of nature that is so soothing and nourishing. In our busy lives, questions and challenges emerge for us that need thoughtful reflection. But moving from one task to another at rapid speed from the moment we wake up until the moment we fall into bed, allows for very little opportunity for such thinking and reflection time. Even just a few minutes of sky-time can help us resolve a dilemma or come to a clearer decision that we have been wanting to make. The mind gets a chance to untangle itself with some dedicated time off where there is no agenda for it and no task for it to accomplish. It gets to simply rest and within this restful state, answers and solutions begin to show themselves.
The Benefits of a Mid-Day Pause
The benefits of Sky-Time are numerous, helping rejuvenate both the mind and the body.
helps the body rest
and as a result energizes the body
aids the body to activate its healing mechanisms
allows the body to unwind from any physical tensions
helps the mind rest
leads to increased creative flow
helps new ideas and solutions emerge
makes decisions become easier
helps the mind to become alert and refreshed
And when all of this happens for you, you benefit all of us around you because you are more rested, calmer and can be more of who you are. Don’t we all want that?
Making It Happen
Why do I suggest taking time to look at the sky? The sky is that part of nature which is the most accessible to us. You may not be close to a forest, a park or a lake or have easy access to some other natural setting. But no matter where you live, you can always step out for a few minutes and gaze at the sky.
But, it doesn’t have to be the sky.
The concept is malleable; it can be adjusted and morphed to suit you and your personal needs. It is a catch-all phrase that describes any bit of time given to an uplifting activity that helps you pause, to reset your day and to start again. It may look different for you. Sky-time could mean taking a few minutes to jot down your thoughts, or picking up a paintbrush, or spending a few minutes in the garden, or listening to your favorite piece of music. It could be sipping some tea with a quiet and calm mind, or reading a few pages of an uplifting book…or a million other incarnations of what brings that pause-feeling in the middle of the day for you.
So, this is my invitation to you. Create your own version of Sky-Time using the following steps:
Think of what you could do during your Sky-Time every day for about ten minutes that can bring a breath of fresh air, a much needed pause in the middle of your day.
Then pick a time of the day which you can set aside as your own Sky-Time.
Set an alarm or reminder for it.
Set alarm: ____________________
And when it is time for your sky-time, enjoy your few minutes of quiet peace.
Activity done: ______________________
Give it a try and see how this simple non-action can help you in a multitude of ways in your life. Share in the comments if you like, what would 10 minutes of sky-time mean for you?