Our Rural Roots

The Power of Pause

(Progressive Farmer image by Jennifer Campbell)

Reading Facebook the other day, I came across a quote about the significance of a pause. I gave it a quick glance and kept scrolling. As my mind slowly processed what I had just skimmed, I went back and really read it with my whole attention.

I suddenly realized we aren't trained to pause. We aren't trained to take even a second -- let alone a half or whole minute. Those of us working in agriculture tend not to stop. Sometimes, we feel we aren't afforded even a few seconds to breathe.

When life is good, we are humble. When things are tough, we put our head down, forge forward and show no emotion.

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Some of that stoic behavior is taught or self-imposed to help us survive. But, as we become more aware of mental health, I am beginning to see the power of the pause. We need to learn it ourselves and teach our children. It's time to understand humans have emotions, and emotions make us human.

Pause.

Step back, close your eyes, pray, meditate, clear your head, take a deep breath -- just stop and pause.

Fifteen seconds to gain clarity is time well spent when it feels like everything around you is snowballing. When the job at hand is overwhelming, everything you touch seems to turn into another job on the list.

Take 15 seconds for safety.

Devote 15 seconds to take in the joy around you -- it is time well spent to cement that feeling in your mind.

Pause.

Start today, start right this minute. I know it is not the first thing that will occur to you in moments of stress or joy. But, beginning to create a habit when you least need it means it will be there when you most need it. Don't apologize for taking care of you.

Jennifer Campbell blogs, farms and lives agriculture from Indiana. Press the pause button and follow her on Twitter at @plowwife. Visit her website at www.farmwifefeeds.com and her podcast at girlstalkagpodcast.libsyn.com.

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