PAUSE: Who are you stepping into 2010 as?

 In Feminine Super Powers, Self Exploration, Year Ends and New Years

Don’t be an OX in 2010! 

Just in case you didn’t get the memo last January, Chinese astrology told us that 2009 was going to be the year of the OX. I remember reading about the OX, about how it meant hard, hard work, and I thought to myself, well how hard could hard really be? I don’t know about you, but this year was FULL of hard work in every way, even for a recovering achievement junkie, professional do-er like me.

Mountain Climber.pngLike most achievers, each year is like a mountain for me. One that I set my sites on, imagine what the top will look like, and then go about doing whatever it takes to get to the top. And for the most part this serves me well. I accomplish a lot. I’ve reached some fantastic milestones. And most of you achievers I know can relate… most people are probably astounded by what you get done.  BUT, before we pat ourselves on the backs too long, I have to share with you a realization I had 6 years ago that brought me face to face with the importance of taking PAUSE. Before which I gave little value to being, and was quite addicted to doing.

So here is the AHA i had … if every year is a mountain, and I spend the year climbing and climbing it, eventually reaching the top, when do I ever get to enjoy all the hard work I just did to get to the top? If I am always onto the next mountain, when do I get to relax? And hey, don’t I deserve to set up camp for a while a take in the view… wouldn’t that be the wise thing to do? If the Dali Lama climbed a mountain do you think he would just keep going, or would he pause, meditate, contemplate and become even more enlightened? I am sure he wouldn’t do what I had been doing which was stopping for a moment, getting a quick breath in and then get moving again up the next mountain! What I learned when that AHA smacked me in the face was this…

  • The wise achiever stops to take in the view, to get the lessons learned from busting our butt to get up this mountain, traveling through the crevices, plunging over ravines, and moving through gnarly rocks.
  • The smart achiever notices what failures happened so she can avoid them the next year.
  • The happy achiever stops and celebrates all of their successes, and even does a little mountain top dance. Knowing that it is this JOY that will fuel her forward into 2010.

This wise, smart, happy achiever also looks in her backpack, knowing that she has a long journey ahead of her come 2010, and looks at what she wants to leave behind and what she wants to take with her onto her new mountain journey.

Think back over your In the past year, she — you and I — have become different, hopefully better people. We’ve learned to love ourselves more. We’ve become more patient, nurturing, confident, sovereign, focused, happy, open, insert your particular brand of growth… In the past year, you have become stronger as a person and a spirit, and that strength is something that you get to carry with you, or that actually now gets to carry you, for the rest of your life. Achievers are notorious for thinking they have to be the ones that carry all the weight… wise achievers let momentum carry them!

Too often, we don’t stop on the mountain top to recognize the parts of ourselves that have strengthened… the weaknesses that have diminished or transformed… the strengths that have become stronger. And so we don’t get to use the momentum we’ve created to help us fuel are new year. It’s way easier to measure our ‘success’ by $$, accolades or material things. And while these things are fantastic and to be celebrated they are things that get used up. And then you have to replenish them. But the inner parts of ourselves… when you build those, they are with you forever, and you can use them to propel yourself vs. having to be like an OX doing all the hard work!

This year take a PAUSE on your mountain top…  look back on 2009 and notice who you have become, acknowledge those parts of you that have grown and shifted, and make a conscious choice about bringing those parts into the new year with you.

Use this PAUSE exercise for a guide:

  1. Close your eyes and take yourself back to the beginning of this year. See the person that you were then. What were you doing, how were you feeling, what were your beliefs, who were the people surrounding you?
  2. Fast forward yourself month by month – Feb, March, April… all the way to today and notice what changes in you as you go through the challenges and triumphs of this past year. Notice your character, your connection, your strengths, your perspectives and understandings, your wisdom
  3. Write down the words, sentences, feelings of what you have amassed inside of you in 2009, qualities, strengths, wisdom, etc. that you want to take with you into 2010.
  4. Acknowledge yourself for your growth. Give yourself a HIGH FIVE! And feel these pieces of you strongly in place, with you now for all of your life.

For more information on the super power of PAUSE, visit

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Showing 2 comments
  • Vicki

    Wow! I wish I knew where my copy of the poem, “In the Valley’s I Grow” is. I used it in a sermon several years ago that was along the same lines as your article. It was about how you are ever reaching for the mountaintop, but it’s in the valleys you grow.

  • Christine Arylo

    Vicki – did a quick google search and you can find it there
    In the Valleys I Grow by Jane Eggleston
    Thanks for the inspiration – i liked this the most as it relates to self love and growth. I changed a few words around as I like to think of it more like Faith and my connection to spirit, but I think the idea is still the same. What i think is true is that while pain may not be avoidable, how much we struggle is. The valleys can actually be really wonderful places if we just relax into them!
    Sometimes life seems hard to bear,
    Full of sorrow, trouble, and woe.
    It’s then I have to remember
    That it’s in the valleys I grow.
    If I always stayed on the mountain top
    And never experienced the pain,
    I would never appreciate God’s love
    And would be living in vain.
    I have so much to learn
    And my growth is very slow,
    Sometimes I need the mountain tops,
    But it’s in the valleys I grow.
    I do not always understand
    Why things happen as they do.
    But I am very sure of one thing,
    My Faith will see me through.
    Thank you for valleys
    For this one thing I know
    The mountain tops are glorious
    But it’s in the valleys I grow.

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