"Learning to pause in the midst of your life brings you back to what is actually happening...In that space, you can see more clearly what you are thinking and feeling and what is going on around you." Jack Cornfield - Mindfulness Daily
Have you ever been called to do a hard thing? Or faced a challenging situation, and it's time to "go!" And you think to yourself, WAIT, I need a minute - A PAUSE!
A pause brings up all kinds of images to my mind:
My daughter getting her ears pierced for the first time, and right before they are going to push the earing gun, she says, "wait!"
Being at the top of a difficult ski run and simultaneously feeling excitement and fear (mostly fear). I have to take a moment before I can get my skis to move.
Walking into my first class at Auburn University as a 48-year-old student, my heart beating in my chest and pausing briefly with a big inhale before I opened the door.
I had a different post written for October, but it's a tough topic to share. I needed a second to pause.
Pause. When you read that word, how does it make you feel? Take a minute and repeat it. Pause. What sensations do you notice in your body? For me, the word pause can produce both relief and anxiety, depending on the situation. I either breathe a sigh of relief, or I intentionally have to take a deep breath. But in both instances, there is a pause. I recently listened to a meditation that pointed out the slight pause that occurs between the inhale and exhale. It makes me believe that pausing must be a valuable act if there is a pause in every breath we take!
I will admit, pausing in daily life is hard for me because I tend to be a bit impulsive. When I get excited, I can forget to pause. I get swept up in the moment and neglect to take it in fully. When I am afraid, I can also fail to pause, and I often let the fear entrap me.
As I mentioned earlier, I wrote out a post for October, something I feel called to share, but it difficult and scary and requires me to be extremely vulnerable. Instead of being my impulsive self, I decided to pause and let my post sit for another month. In this moment of postponing, something interesting began to happen. I started to notice when I do and don't pause. Then I tried it out. I experimented with how it would feel to pause. I got in touch with how pausing felt in my body. I recognized that pausing is okay, and I wasn't going to miss anything, and nothing terrible was going to happen. Actually, it was beneficial. Pausing seemed to bring my stress level down and made me more mindful.
The quote above is from a course called Mindfulness Daily - an introduction to mindfulness by Tara Brach and Jack Cornfield. The course consists of 40 - 15 minutes lessons. The first day is Pausing in Presence! If you are interested in learning about mindfulness and meditation, this free course is excellent!
*I intentionally left the picture above empty because I envision a pause as a blank open space filled with silence, inviting us to be present, if only for an ever so slight second.
Blessing for a beautiful day full of PAUSES!