by Will Medd
I caught myself out this last week and wanted to share briefly - it's about pausing - the need to take small pauses through your working day.
We recently moved house and there is a huge amount of DIY to do. I quite enjoy it, yet there is lots and it's easy to get tired. I've worked out you can move it on in small chunks, and I've also noticed my tendency to then be constantly doing 'small chunks'. Because, of course, I will feel so much better when it's done so I tell myself. Which soon becomes, I won't feel better until it's done. Becomes I won't feel good for a long time because there is so much, it's never ending.
So, I caught myself. The first bit is true, small chunks make a difference, they progress things, they are manageable. And the next bit isn't! I can feel good now. I can feel good even though there is a lot more to do. And, when I feel good, I enjoy it more. I get more done in the chunks and I rest more. Yes, there is still more to do. And there still will be even when I've squeezed out another moment to 'finish' something instead of pause, relax and tap into that something else that feeds us.
This all relates to a quote by Thomas Merton in 1966 - on the violence of our times - I read is as about the significance of tapping into pausing in order to be more aligned, more attuned within ourselves, to others, to the bigger picture, and that place being a much better place to act than from here.
“There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence to which the idealist most easily succumbs: activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.” Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander
Since 'Who we are is how we supervise?' is it possible to say how we live is how we supervise? Could it be that how we organise ourselves, work, rest and play is informing our supervision in ways that might need some reflection?
I don't think I'm alone in sometimes feeling some disconnect between the space I want to hold as a supervisor and the 'busy' space I sometimes find myself in around that. Indeed, I notice that I'm at my best as a supervisor when I'm also holding awareness of how I'm living my life and with that awareness I tend to be more spacious. And strangely often get much more done! If being busy is a habit, moving from one thing to the next, If we are in the habit of being busy, getting lots done, does that make it more challenging when we supervise to hold a spacious place? And what else becomes part of that habit - what assumptions, believes, patterns move with us and into the space of supervision. So I'm all for pausing, with purpose! Indeed, that for me is what supervision is about - a place to pause with purpose.
I host a series of 'Pause with purpose: bringing meditation into the midst of life' days
A unique experience of bringing meditation right into the heart of what you do, into the midst of your normal everyday life.
The next pause day ... Tuesday 26th July - full details available here