What would happen if we just stopped for moment?
This is a story of a friend of mine told me, and it continues to make an impact on how I live my life.
She wished she had stopped…
She sat with her wife, looking through family photos from the year before. They had been through a lot over the past year. It had been a year filled with planning and ‘What's next?' It had been a year of taking on extra work, new opportunities and loss. Their beloved dog had died. And not too long after that, her wife's mother had a stroke which ultimately took her life. They'd been across the country, first for the funeral and then for the work of sorting through the belongings of a person's life.
It had been a non-stop year.
They looked at the Christmas photos from that year – and saw the family before the loss of their mother and grandmother. The pet dog who was now gone lounged on the floor in the images.
The people in the pictures were smiling in a room filled with love.
And she recalled that when those photos were taken, she had been thinking of the next thing to do, the next holiday stop they would make. She was surprised to look at the person in the photos who had been thinking hours and days ahead, stressed by upcoming details and realize that she had been happy in those photos too, but too far ahead of herself to realize it.
She had never stopped and allowed happiness to catch up with her.
Stop – Journal Prompts
The important moments in our life don't always happen in a predictable fashion – and we'll miss them if we don't stop and take notice. How will you tune in to the things you don't want to miss when we're never given “permission” to stop? Do you find yourself hoping events outside yourself will give you the limits you need?
We're the ones who have to give ourselves permission to stop. I'm hoping these journal prompts will help you find the places and times that you need to stop and be present in your life.
- List Making: Which tasks will not stop on their own? List the tasks that never have a natural stopping point unless you put a stop to them.
- What do you need to put a stop to in your life? What support do you need to seek out in order to stop?
- What have you unintentionally stopped doing? Do you need to start again, or let it go and move on?
- What actions do you need to take in order to give yourself permission to stop from time to time? What are you running from? What will happen if you stop?
I hope you'll take 10-30 minutes to respond to the word ‘stop' either with words or art journaling. We'd love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment.
You can find the entire Fill Your Cup Journal Series here.