Allow For The Pause

I could feel anxiety building as I finished up the goat chores.
I was already mentally reshuffling my priority list as I walked to the goat cottage to let them outside, a snow day had thrown the schedules of every parent in the area off, I was not alone in that.
What I probably was alone in was the sight I was greeted with when I opened the cottage doors and saw that just days before the return to his home farm, Buckwheat had managed to free Daisy and Posy, the two younger goats we aren’t breeding this year.
And Posy appeared to be in heat and very excited to be around this older buck.
After I separated them, I got an earful from Posy about how she is in love, and old enough to make her own decisions and how I’m ruining her life by not letting her be with him.
I reminded her that while she is under my roof, I make the decisions and closed the door.
Pun deliberately intended- in taking accountability for this mess up, the buck stopped with me- I did the chores last night and had apparently failed to double latch the gate.
I started to reshuffle my to do list to account for the extra time the goat drama had taken up. And as I did so I felt the bubbling of overwhelm quicken and expand.
So I stopped moving. I turned around and breathed. I watched the snow falling in the woods, the magic transformation from muddy brown to a soft white blanket never ceasing to make me feel so lucky to live in a place where winter brings snow.
The leadership reflex that I teach allows for this pause- the space to reflect on what needs to happen next when faced with an obstacle.
I didn’t need to escape anxiety by conquering my to do list, I had the ability to discard of it at any time. I knew what I had control over and what I didn’t. Anxiety is brilliant and blurring that line and making us feel both helpless and desperate to quench the need for control.
I stopped shuffling my to do list. I let go of the items that weren’t possible to do today and took action on those I could.
By allowing for pauses in our day we avoid being frozen in inaction by anxiety and overwhelm.
I am lucky to not have to struggle much with anxiety or depression but I write about anxiety because I believe it is something we all deal with on various levels- it is not something to be ashamed of. We all have our own struggles. Normalizing our own allows others freedom to do the same.

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About Becky

Becky Schmooke (pronounced “Smoke”) is a Mindful Leadership Consultant and Speaker, focused on providing action based mindfulness and leadership training to organizations and businesses who are ready to do things differently.

Becky’s Mindful Kitchen, is located outside of Iowa City, and provides truly unique team building and leadership retreats,  strategic planning workshops, private parties and classes and weekly summer camps for kids. The commercial teaching kitchen, treehouse, archery range, bush craft skills, first aid training, wood fired pizza oven, chickens, baby goats and timber adventure playground provides endless opportunities for hands on activities.


As a mom to three girls, 60 chickens, 4 goats, 2 dogs and a fire fighter’s wife- life is never boring and provides Becky with endless stories which she uses to illustrate her approach to mindfulness in daily posts on social media.  

In all that she does, Becky has one goal, to build confidence in others to take action to live their best life, not just pass time.  

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