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Today I Paused

This post was written coming home from a retreat in November 2022. Visit amykemp.com/pause for more information.

Today I paused. 

I pressed pause on my regular routine. 

I joined a group of 8 women for three days of intentional rest. These women came from all across the county, from five states, to a mansion in the cornfields outside of Chicago to pause. 

Intentional rest. Sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? Intentional implies extreme effort, and rest implies none. But it isn’t a contradiction, especially for women, caretakers, overachievers, servants, and anyone else who tends to put others before themselves. 

Pausing, or resting, takes intention. For the mom of 3, it requires extreme effort to coordinate school drop off, packed lunches, shuttle to practice, dinner prep and clean-up, homework help, and bedtime routine in her absence. For the business owner, it requires extreme effort to schedule employees, on-call assistance, set up auto-reply, hold deliveries, and orchestrate a myriad of other duties, perhaps even closing the doors early. Even without these responsibilities, there’s still flights to book, cars to rent, and money to pay which all require extreme effort to accomplish.

So why did we do it? Why put all the energy into resting? Couldn’t we have just stayed home, slept in, rested on our couches, in our own spaces? 

We could have, but would we have? 

No. We would have filled our time with errands, cooking for our families, answering our emails, and anything else that was loud enough to move us to action. But because we made a choice for ourselves, to leave the busyness of our regular routine, we experienced intentional rest in a powerful way. We were quiet. We paused, and in pausing we came alive.

We ate great food, we did restorative yoga, we played games, we read books, we had meaningful discussion, we walked, we had good coffee and good wine, and some of us even drove a Tesla! We didn’t serve anyone but ourselves. We did it for our own sake. We paused, and in pausing we were restored. 

Our time together drew all of us to new realizations. We asked and answered hard questions. We contemplated our life choices – the big stuff like marriage, careers, and health. It was a safe space to be vulnerable. This vulnerability revealed our value. Understanding our value is the greatest realization we could ever know. We paused, and in pausing we internalized our worth.

Today I paused. 

Because I am worthy of intentional rest. 

Thanks for making this a part of your day!
Feel free to share it with others!

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