I pressed PAUSE and you should too!
When the song is good, the movie gets to the climax , or just when they're about to reveal what the Law & Order plot twist is, the last thing you want to happen is to have to press pause. It's like when Funk Flex plays a record you like, chances are he's gonna drop bombs all through it. Not a good pause. Pressing pause may not be all that bad when you know that good will resume. It's another thing to be put on pause in the midst of uncertainty.
But what if you could influence your future?
End of 2020, I was excited as usual about a new chance to "do my year right". I started planning and vision casting in November, but it wasn't as easy as it usually was. I couldn't get my map just right. What I did have was my word for the year, "Discipline", because I need it now more than ever for what's coming next.
Jan 2021, I prepared myself to do 21 days of prayer + fasting. I'd only done 3 day fasts prior, so this was going to be different-different. Hey Discipline, is that you playa?
I tried again to plan at the very least, my first quarter a few days leading up to the fast but it still wasn't coming together. So I said forget it, why am I fighting this, let me just stop and be still.
I don't know why it wasn't my first choice (ok maybe I do know, this wasn't my normal course of action so it seemed new and foreign. I'm used to worrying and rushing). But get this, I didn't make any plans or moves concerning my business or other things I desired until after the fast was over. I was never sure of how it would work out but I knew it would. It wasn't all that easy because even though 2020 treated us horribly, I still felt I should've already had my stuff together. (What does together even mean?)
I spent time as wisely as I could - pouring into me. Without worrying about tomorrow, I spent my days praying, reading, exercising, practicing gratefulness and mindfulness. I said no to people, left some folks on read, and I declined clients and appointments. It wasn't about the lack of food. It was the focus for me. The intentionality behind committing to something I felt whole heartedly that I'd benefit from. One of my top 3 goals for the year is to strengthen my spiritual walk, specially my relationship. So…..21 days of rest and getting to know God better…easier said than practiced. Hey Discipline, look, here's a key, just make yourself at home.
One of my biggest and most meaningful takeaways from pressing pause is this:
Don't apologize or feel bad about taking care of you.
I paused because maneuvering on my own wasn't working. I wasn't sure of what I should do with my business: close up shop, get back to it or start something new. I required direction for some relationships and I needed peace over things that I was trying to steer while knowing good and well they were out of my control.
I needed to connect with and hear from God about my next steps. Pressing pause did that for me. Before the 21 days was up I had a notebook full of ideas for GWTLI, got clarity about my plan of action for Seventh + Lane, and even received wisdom for some of the other things that had been on my heart.
"Interludes of beauty and rest cut into our vulnerable prayers, like a Selah cuts into the middle of a psalm: into our lament, into our circumstances and even our brokenness, so that our focus shifts and our eyes meet Christ alone." - Kristen Kill (Christianitytoday.com)
What are you gaining by trying to be all things to all people? What are you losing by not taking time to reconnect? What thing do you need that only pressing pause can provide? It's worth the try. Unplug to get some of your power back.