Oct 13, 2020
When we think of fundraising challenges, they are often about pushing ourselves to limits or doing something unpleasant. Whether it’s climbing a mountain, running a marathon, or giving up chocolate for a month, the word ‘challenge’ is about stretching ourselves and stepping out of the comfort zone.
I’m doing the ‘Pause’ strand of our fundraising challenge this year. This element of STOP. PAUSE. WALK. RUN. is perhaps a puzzling one – not immediately obvious. Is it really a challenge to commit to taking reflective time each day? Some of our team wondered whether they could ask for sponsorship to do something seemingly so simple, or so lacking in effort. But making space for reflection, prayer or meditation is a radical act amidst our busy lives. Our cultural conditioning is to keep busy, to do, to act. To push, to strive, to hustle. In fact, many of us feel uncomfortable with the idea of slowing down, or making space, so insidious is the narrative of constant occupation.
Covid times have shown us that mental health is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. We all need to think of ways that we can give ourselves some breathing space in our day-to-to-day lives – whatever they look like in this current landscape. So, to press ‘Pause’ is something of great value. A commitment to a different way. To see what emerges in the spaces in between. To listen to the still small voice. To take care.
For my ‘Pause’ challenge, I’ll be taking time to write something in my journal every day, no matter how small. Some gratitude’s perhaps. Or a note about what I see on my daily walk. Even clumsy attempts to write poetry, for my eyes only. I see this ‘Pause’ challenge as a commitment not only to my own spiritual and mental health, but to underscore how important I think mental health is generally. And particularly right now.
At Beyond the Streets we support women to find their way to self-care and self-love, so it feels like an apt practice to commit to for a month. It is a challenge, and one that I hope bears beautiful fruit.
Sarah, Beyond the Streets team
Join our fundraising campaign STOP. PAUSE. WALK. RUN. this NOvember