No. 12 – Beauty of Breaks

No. 12 – Beauty of Breaks

Dear One,

My intention remains to serve you by sharing ideas on possible ways to rise from and, even, because of challenges such that you may utilize these in your life.  

While taking action was merited for me at times to move through profound adversity, the ‘Beauty of Breaks’ occurred from taking some type of breather occasionally.

Perfectionistic tendencies sometimes pressed me; ‘keep going, don’t stop, you’ll fail if you ease up’.  The Beauty of a Break was that if I removed my foot from the gas pedal even just for a brief time, it was enough to allow for a possible shift – in focus, in energy, in thought – to allow Grace room to work.  This opened me to perspectives I didn’t or perhaps couldn’t see while in 6th gear.  

Honestly, the concept of taking a Breather in the middle of a challenge initially rankled me.

Yet, actively choosing to switch gears when perfectionism drove my bus – especially in hard situations – by getting up and going to the window to peek at nature or playing tag with a fellow Break-needer for a minute or two indoors (or whatever felt like a wee Break) reduced the pressured, perfectionizing feeling.  

Surprising for me and rather counterintuitive, more helpful solutions or thoughts cropped up from a Break than by going 90 mph pressuring myself (& others…  Ahem.)

Break research from 2016 by E. M. Hunter and C. Wu found them beneficial too.  People at work who took Breaks to do something enjoyable and preferable reported fewer health issues like eye strain, headaches, and lower back pain and reported higher job satisfaction and lower rates of burnout/emotional exhaustion.  I’ll take it.

Choosing a Break to detach by, for example, taking a walk is also described in Ryan Holiday’s ‘Stillness is the Key.’  This creates an “emptying [of] the mind, of noticing … the world around you.  [You] walk away from the thoughts that need to be walked away from [and] walk towards the ones that have now appeared.”

When I chose or choose a Break, unproductive anxiety driven by perfectionism diminished resulting in increased clarity with calm.  Ah, the Beauty of Breaks.

Recently, I hit a brick wall and felt irritably fatigued with nominal options.  Realizing perfectionism was running my show (again), I noticed the tense sensation in my chest and stomach, removed myself from the pressure cooker, poured myself a cup of tea, and Let. It. Be.

By coming up for air instead of pushing through, the fairy dust from Break-taking did its thing. Ideas which seemed nearly disallowed in my harsher perfectionistic moments arrived.  “Taking a break can lead to breakthroughs.”  Amen to that, Russell Eric Dobda.

This required – uh, still requires – practicing for me.

While pressing may create a divide instead of a bridge leading to an adverse business result or undesirable effect on a close relationship, the opposite holds true for me.  If I find myself caught in perfectionism’s grip and suspend – even if briefly – my search for an answer, sometimes I receive the answer I seek.  Catherine Pulsifer summed this splendidly; “sometimes when we take a Break, we may find that solutions then present themselves.”

More and more, I’m realizing that choosing to Break and breathe, walk, drink a bit of tea, step outside the room, or somehow take a moment away leads to more helpful or peaceful outcomes.

With that, I’m beaming you Xs & Os and off to take a Break to see what intriguing-ness and beauty floats,


Original Email Date July 5, 2020

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