“Tonight I’ve watched the moon and
then the Pleiades go down
The night is now
half gone; youth goes;
I am in bed alone”
— Sappho

icon of trampoline

In the relentless pursuit of success, I often find myself caught up in a whirlwind, neglecting myself for the sake of my to-do list. This became so constant last year that honestly, I felt on the verge of a complete breakdown.

To help myself and those loved ones around me, I knew I had to adjust my priorities, push those dreams and goals out a bit further instead of trying to do everything all at once. By embracing a slightly slower pace of life (I can’t stop it all unfortunately, this isn’t 19th century bucolic England after all) I reignited my SoulFire and reconnected with myself.

Finding Balance

First, slowing down didn’t mean fully giving up on goals or becoming complacent; instead, it’s about finding a balance between productivity and self-care. Slowing down provides an opportunity to pause, reflect, and gain clarity on our goals, aspirations, and the path ahead. By quieting the external noise, we can hear the whispers of our heart and find the guidance we need to move forward with purpose.

I began reevaluating my priorities and focusing on what truly mattered to me. I set more realistic expectations and became more intentional with my time. Slowing down allows us to craft a more meaningful and joy-filled life. It encourages us to prioritize what truly matters and discard distractions that prevent us from living authentically.

Reflecting and Planning

Taking the time to reflect became an essential part of my routine. I’ve begun to journal again (morning pages!), realize my accomplishments, and what I really want to shift. This reflection time helps me gain clarity on my goals, refine my strategies, and make more informed decisions. It’s in these moments of “pause” that I find the motivation within to move forward with purpose and creativity.

When we pause, we create space to reconnect with our authentic selves. We tap into our passions, values, and desires, hopefully gaining a better understanding of who we truly are. We renew our sense of purpose and bring more joy into our lives.

Embracing the Benefits

By allowing myself the space to breathe and recharge, I have become more focused and productive when I tackle tasks. I have discovered that quality beats quantity, and that taking breaks actually enhances my creativity and problem-solving abilities. Nobody dies when I take a 15-minute coffee break and go enjoy the sunshine outside.

When we allow ourselves time for rest and rejuvenation, our minds become clearer, ideas flow more freely, and problem-solving abilities sharpen. We can tap into a wellspring of inspiration achieving greater productivity in the long run.

To help me maintain this, I’ve scheduled into my calendar a quarterly “pause day” to take a step back and see if the pace of life has picked up or if I’m going at a speed I enjoy.

Slowing down has taught me to appreciate the journey rather than fixating solely on the destination. It has allowed me to savor the small moments, celebrate milestones along the way, and find joy in the process of growth and learning.

I have permission to say “no” without feeling guilty or obligated to please others.