When you are job seeking, or running a business, or possibly both, you might put a lot of pressure on yourself to keep working; take the next action step; schedule your life better; stop procrastinating; or some combination of all these things. Achieving results does require action, and there are 24 hours in a day last I checked, so it is valuable to get things done reliably and frequently. But continuously? No matter how much we might like to think we can keep going and keep doing, sometimes we just need a break.

The Release Valve

Where I often go for down time is Viroqua, Wisconsin, a town in the country about 100 miles from my home in the city of Madison. A little artistic oasis surrounded by farm country, Viroqua boasts a food coop and holistic healing center. I go there because, for just a couple of days, I achieve a sense of timelessness.

One activity guaranteed to produce that timeless space is picking berries. I get up early and walk to the raspberry patch and there is nothing but me and the colors of ripe and ripening fruit. One berry at a time, one prickle at a time, I zone out until my collection container is full. While picking, I don’t know whether minutes or hours go by. I am present. I am happy.

Achieving Timelessness

It’s not always berries that get me to that state. This trip I reached a similar state by spending time with a three-year-old. But picking fruits and veggies reliably transports me into timelessness. Sometimes I engage with the aliveness of apples, snap peas, or clover flowers. I am fortunate to know several families in the area, all of whom grow edibles and have wild berries on their land. I also have a small garden myself, complete with one lone blueberry bush, several fully grown broccoli heads and a burgeoning zucchini plant—but it’s not quite the same as a garden in the country.

This latest trip to Viroqua was the start of my “birthday week” and it was as perfect as it gets. Topping it off, as mentioned above, was the opportunity to read stories to my friends’ 3-year-old girl (she will be reading to me pretty soon!). I also relaxed and unwound with a few sessions of bodywork from some amazing healers, David and Susan Breitbach (see to learn more).

And the work gets done…

The miraculous thing about these trips is that although I spend what seems like hours picking berries and snap peas, and hours driving, and more hours with body workers David and Susan, I always get my work done. It just doesn’t feel stressful to do it. Then I return home, fortified to take more action steps and get results that bring in more monetary income than a bowl full of berries.

Do you take care of yourself? Do you give yourself a break (at least once/year on your birthday)? What gives you that prized sense of timelessness that fuels you for your action items to come? And if you don’t give yourself this gift, what are you waiting for?

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