Throughout my life, I’ve had seasons where life “is life-ing me,” and I was overwhelmed to the core. In early 2022, there were a series of harrowing events, including the death of a significant loved one, a traumatic medical procedure, a medical diagnosis that stopped me in my tracks, and then a SURPRISE blessing that knocked the wind out of me. It was all TOO MUCH! I was overwhelmed beyond my ability to articulate, and as a person of many words, that says a lot!
I reached out to my therapist and scheduled weekly sessions to process all that was taking place and make sure space was held for me as I continued to hold space for my clients while fulfilling the life-giving roles of wife, mom, sister, and friend. I also journaled like it was a lifeline. I mean daily and sometimes throughout the day; the journal was like an appendage. Whenever I had questions or thoughts that needed sorting, I took a pink sharpie pen to journal pages and scribbled away. I found this preexisting resource a sacred practice when my prayers ranged from empty to overflowing.
In those nine weeks, I realized that to thrive in the midst of all that was happening, I needed to prioritize myself, my rest, and my wellness. While I know that is a good thing to do, it was also somewhat frightening, and I was unsure what that would look like in real-time. Well, I did it! I took what my favorite Black Woman Psychologist, Dr. Thema Bryant calls “Sacred Pause.” I took off an entire month from practicing as a therapist. I informed my existing clients of what was taking place in my personal life and shared that I needed to step away and be present for myself in order to be present for them. I was delighted to hear much of their feedback as some thanked me for modeling wellness, taking breaks, and prioritizing me. It was heartwarming to receive emails and the client portal messages of well wishes and prayers on my behalf.
In this process, I learned that taking a break, even stepping away from the work I love, affords me the time to rest and recover a more wellness-focused rhythm for my life. In slowing down, I learned that being busy constantly isn’t sustainable and that time off is essential, even when I don’t have plans. I hope that in my sharing, you are inspired to take the break that you need, that your body is longing for, or that you simply want to take. And I hope you find that during and after the break, you are better for it; for you and those, you love and are called to serve and support.