I’m continuing the conversation about The Pause – that time when motivation and inspiration go dormant, or into hibernation. During The Pause any action towards your project seems like the wrong thing, or feels like you would need to muster the energy required to push a boulder up a mountain.
So, you don’t act. Or, you force yourself into action and it doesn’t come out right, it takes 100 times longer than it normally would, or it’s just a big flop.
In a comment on the previous post, Carol Hess points out that we are human beings, not human doings. Wise words, but so often our simple ‘beingness’ is judged to be lazy and non productive, both bad in many peoples’ minds.
Nature is pretty good at managing pauses. As Nancy Marmolejo pointed out in her comment:
“This makes me think about the growth cycle of bamboo… for months and years it just sits there underground. Is it in pause? Is it ramping up? From the ground level, it just looks like dirt. Then suddenly it emerges from the ground and next thing you know you’re dealing with 90 feet of bamboo that seems to have popped up ‘overnight’”
For nature The Pause is a critical element of the growth cycle. There is tremendous action ‘under the dirt’, though it is completely unobservable.
But The Pause can be tricky. As Carol Hess also notes in her comment:
“Nine times out of ten it (The Pause) is a very necessary part of my creative process and that tenth time it is usually a part of my psychological process that needs to be addressed with curiosity, kindness, and gentleness.”
How do we know when The Pause is signaling our natural incubation mode or our pesky fear and avoidance?
I think that part of our difficulty in making this distinction is that we have been trained to believe that observable action has greater value than quiet percolation. That we must always be ticking off tasks on our to-do lists, which are long, long, long. That taking an unscheduled break from the production schedule is wrong and bad, and you better get back to action lady!
When this is the message we receive, then it may be hard to honor the smaller, quieter voice of The Pause.
How do you make this distinction? How do you know when the bamboo is busy doing its thing underground, or it’s time to get busy with fertilizer or a new plant?
Have the action-oriented messages of our busy world impacted your ability to Pause?
Leave a comment with your thoughts to these questions so we can keep this conversation going.