I read a cool blog today from my friend Esyltt Graham (Vitality With Esyltt) where she spoke about the importance and power of the pause. Of stopping and sitting to just be.
I know I haven’t always been one to embrace the pause. My mind pings from one thing and pongs over to another in rapid and relentless layers. I can’t even say “in succession”, because some of the thoughts don’t even wait for the one before to be finished before they are off, racing to the next destination. Which means I can look like I’m in quiet repose, when really I’m busy with all manner of thoughts and internal conversations. I don’t think I’m alone in this, which made me think about how important the pause actually is. The lack of pause could even be the real pandemic. Or is it endemic: a condition that we know is there, but have decided we will just live along with? Do we live in some kind of symbiosis with it, perhaps even addicted to its presence- this lack of pause- until the day comes when it overtakes us and we are forced to take the time to succumb or rejuvenate?
I have created a whole slew of procedures in my world to stop the mental ping-pong. I have a five-step morning ritual that centres me, and gets me ready for the day. I have ‘day dreaming time’ in the diary, where I sit on the couch and let the pings pong at will. I set aside time every day to read. I meditate daily (sometimes for tiny snippets of respite, and others to take in the wild expanse of the unified field) and of course I love to write. Some of these things are more effective than others at creating opportunities to pause, and I guess they could sound like a lot of work, but they actually do the opposite for me. They are the things that bring me the most joy and the most delight. De light. They bring me to the light. You know that sense of fizzy fun that coaxes the edges of your mouth up into a crescent, no matter how deep that valley between your eyes is? (Fun fact: Liam once said to me on a particularly fraught day “Your valleys are deep today Mum.” Thanks kid, I’m aware.)
So yes, I can see the value of the pause. Of that ability to take a break from the busyness and the scrolling and the information overload, and to simply allow. To sip a cup of tea. To feel the warmth of the mug on your hands. To watch the dust motes dancing on the sunbeams. And perhaps to do even do a little more than a pause. To actually put in a full stop.
For it is in the stopping and the sitting and the space between the notes, that the true symphony of our life is played out. Perhaps it is in these pauses- these narrow crannies between one task and the next- that if we tune in our ears, and open our hearts we will see the thing we are looking for, find the light that we most yearn to bask in. It the stops we might have the mysteries of the universe revealed to us, or maybe we will just get clear on what to cook for dinner, but I have a feeling that there is something just there, just on the other side, that would love to show its shy little face, if we can just stop long enough to glimpse its presence.
Maybe the pauses are where the meaning lives.
What do you do to pause? Is there anything in your pauses?
…From The Ashers…