Paus: Swedish for playing hooky.

Paus (pronounced pows) is the Swedish word for “on a break”, “timeout”, or quite obviously “pause”. (It’s just way more fun to say in a Swedish accent though right?)

Today I played hooky.  Yup.  After a season of repeatedly over-booking myself, over-committing my time and stretching my balance to within an inch of it’s life I finally decided to press ‘paus’.  And while yes, yoga does teach one balance – it is a practice. Imagine that if we could all just do enough vrikshasana (tree pose), our life balance would just sort itself out?!  Balance is a choice and I choose balance.   The balance pendulum continues to swing back and forth back and forth like tree’s blowing in the wind. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way out of the ordinary in the hooky department.  As it turns out,  just over half of Canadians (52%) have called in sick to work when in fact they’re not actually ill.  Personally I can’t believe the stat is so low.  People carry on for most of their lives working 50 out of 52 weeks a year.  Just when two weeks of vacation per year was ever supportive to work/life balance is beyond me. 

With North Americans ringing in with some of the least vacation time and the worst work place productivity globally it’s baffling that the Leaders of the Free World haven’t clued in to simple work life balance protocol that has been around for centuries.  What ever happened to the simple siesta?  The long lunch?  No wonder more and more peeps are calling in and passing off their groggy morning voices as the flu.

Lucky for moi I work in a forward thinking industry.  Or shall we say backwards thinking?  Yoga philosophy dates back to the vedic ages and the concept of ahimsa so appropriately translates the sanskrit practice of ‘non-violence’ or ‘non-injury’.  This yama (sanskrit word for moral restraint) encompasses the practice of compassion and consideration for all living beings.  Overworking your body both physically or mentally is neglecting to take care and, as such, is a form of misuse. 

Interestingly, my boss renamed our ‘sick’ days to ‘health & wellness’ days earlier this year so that they better reflect a supportive and all encompassing personal health approach.  Sometimes we just need to take a day to nurture ourselves and press ‘paus’.  In a conventional work environment I would have been in a position to lie about my personal health in order to ‘chuck a sicky’.  Instead the space was created for me to be totally honest about feeling that I just needed to take an extra day for my personal well being.  (Which in turn fascilitates my practice of satya, the sanskrit word for truthfulness.) 

Preconditioned feelings of guilt and not-enough-ness bubbled up as I confessed I needed to take the day.  Magically these disappeared almost as quickly as they surfaced when my request was smothered with my boss’ blessings.  And so I went about my day.  Meditation.  Skype date with mom and sister.  Retail therapy.  Baking.  Blogging.  Nurturing.  Relaxing.  Not worrying.  Enjoying.  Reconnecting with Balance.  Refilling the tank.  Being Present.

Press ‘paus’ and visit


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