In today’s culture, it’s all about “go, go, go” and “get it done.” We’re challenged to be superwomen and stay on top of everything that’s on our lists. Something gets in our way? We charge right through it!
When Catherine invited me to add my voice to a conversation about “The Pause,” my first thought was, “When was the last time I gave myself permission to allow a pause?”
My tendency is to just push through and keep going for the action that looks right and keeps me busy. Sometimes that’s good. Other times… we can push and push and push but we’re like Sisyphus rolling that boulder up the hill.
That’s what I’ve been doing. Instead of honoring the pause, I’ve busied myself with tasks that crossed things off my to do list, and created new things for my list, but didn’t get me anywhere or move me forward. And it made me cranky.
So here I am. Admitting I’m stuck in the pause, not moving forward because I’m resisting it. And attempting to write about how to get through.
That would be silly. So instead I’ll write what I know…
Pause makes me think of a movie.
We hit the pause button to freeze the action so we can get up and grab a snack or fresh coffee. But we’re talking about a different kind of pause. Not one that stops the action. One that allows a different type of action.
How can a Pause be action? Think of it as a time to change the channel. Pause the “get it done” channel and switch to the “create space to be” channel, or whatever channel it is that your spirit needs you to focus on.
Is your creativity gone because you’ve been so focused on others that you forgot to take care of yourself? Switch to the self-care channel and pause yourself there.
Is your inspiration gone because you’ve been trying to force it to go in the wrong direction? Open up the channel for guidance and spend quiet time allowing your path to become clear.
Is your motivation gone? Maybe it’s not gone, just waiting right under the surface, and it needs the right spark. So pause and let yourself discover it.
What’s causing you to pause? It could be fear to move forward or fear of what’s coming next. I get stuck on that one a lot. And in that pause, I need only the space to admit to myself why I’m stuck so that I can deal with it and find the support I need to move through it.
And now I need to go put myself on pause and wonder for a bit. So I’ll leave you with this thought to ponder and some closing thoughts:
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.” – Albert Einstein
The pause is necessary to be alive and live eyes wide open. For some of us, maybe it’s necessary because it’s such a challenge to just be quiet and still… to honor the need for that pause of reflection… space to wait… time to slow down… to let down that steely determination and be vulnerable… or maybe it’s a sign that we’re ready to play the game all out again, living life fully… and we need time to catch our breath and find our confidence before we do.
Just don’t pause too long. We need your voice, your unique gifts, and your difference in the world.
Contributed by: Michelle Shaeffer, who writes compulsively, often when she probably should be pausing, at www.michelleshaeffer.com