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There are times in all of our lives where we have to take stock, reflect and reevaluate before moving forward Sometimes this is forced on us through circumstances and sometimes it’s something we do proactively in recognition that something is not feeling right for us. If you’ve ever found yourself in this situation, I’m guessing this may not have been the easiest thing to do. Life doesn’t stop just because we need to. Sometimes all of our being screams out ‘you can’t stop now, people are relying on you’. But people need you to stop. They need you to be okay. They need you to look after yourself so you can be the light they need too. You can’t put yourself off. You can’t put your needs last. You can’t hide away in hope that this stuff will figure itself out on it’s own. It won’t. What it will take is just as they say in the aircraft safety drills. Put your air mask on first and then you can put others on too. You can’t pour from an empty cup. We all know this implicitly. As much as you might like to 'soldier on' and leave all this stuff for another day. It is calling you and asking you to decide what your next steps will be. So why is it so hard to do? Because we are taught to be ‘tough’ to ‘put on a smile’ to ‘get on with it’ and to keep moving even when it feels sometimes like we are peddling a 1000 miles an hour on the inside. We need to honour what’s happening for us personally and what we are feeling. Doing this helps us to be a support, a role model and a leader for others too. If we show a willingness to take care of ourselves and prioritise our own wellbeing, others will feel it’s okay too. Isn’t that we want for all our fellow human beings also? We don’t want people driving themselves into the ground, or feeling desperately lost, disconnected or unhappy. So where did these ideas come from about soldiering on? From what we’ve been told, what we’ve learned, the expectations we believe others have of us, or we have of ourselves too. But sometimes instead, we need to practice acceptance of what is happening, be more open and flexible in our thinking and listen to what our body, mind and spirit is telling us too. You don’t have to figure everything out all at once. You just need to give yourself time to get in touch what you are feeling and honour this part of yourself, knowing that doing so can only add to your presence, your clarity of mind and your ability to be present with others in your life too. Let go of all you’ve expected of yourself before, take your time and ask yourself exactly what you need right now. Then move forward unapologetically, knowing that whilst honouring yourself and treating yourself kindly, you are honouring and treating those around you kindly too. Em


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