I consider myself to be a veteran of The Pause and have much gratitude for my age and the life circumstances that have resulted in my personal growth. I’ve experienced many a Pause in my life and have come to know them as a sacred time. Sometimes The Pause is voluntary, by my choice, a decision I’ve made. At other times I find myself deeply steeped in The Pause without conscious choice or willingness to be in it. No matter if it is by choice or enforced due to life’s ups and downs, the Sacred Pause has always resulted in a better me when it is completed.
I’ve become curious about the Sacred Pause and have explored and studied what happens during these periods. Here’s what I’ve found to be true of the Sacred Pause.
Shape shifting Time
Time seems to do strange things when in the Sacred Pause, getting a bit sideways. You may find time to speed way up or slow way down. When in the pause we shift from chronos, the time bound world, to kairos, the timeless world, where our true nature resides. Moving between chronos and kairos time is at the heart of the transformational journey.
The Journey of a Rite of Passage
The Sacred Pause is often deeply embedded as part of the 3 stages of a Rite of Passage.
In the first stage you are forced to leave the known world and all that’s been loved. It seems nothing is the same as it was a moment ago. You’ve now been thrown into the mystery of the transformational process.
In the second stage you enter a transitional state, the liminal phase, at the threshold of something new but hasn’t arrived or transformed yet, often chaotic in nature. Time and space are torn apart, allowing unexpected events to occur, often out of left field. This is a very challenging time because it is not how your ego loves to act, by pushing forward through personal will. The danger of this space is getting stressed out, anxious and depressed. The opportunity of this space is to learn about your Self.
In the third stage you return from the initiation, but not as the same person who left, having a new-found strength that wasn’t present before, with a passion and purpose.
The Key to the Sacred Pause: BE-ing vs. DO-ing
It’s not uncommon to feel like absolutely nothing is getting done when sitting in the Sacred Pause. You are so used to do, do, DO-ing, that when you are still it feels awkward and unsettling. But don’t let this fool you – there’s plenty going on under the surface – you just can’t see it.
The key to the Sacred Pause is BE-ing: allow yourself to steep in the unknown without fighting it, pushing through it, striving or forcing yourself to perform. It’s like a seed that’s been planted and needs to be watered, nurtured, and allowed time to germinate so it can pop up through the soil and raise up to the sunlight.
I guarantee you that if you allow yourself the time to sit and be still, that something good will come of it, something that is more aligned with your soul’s purpose, as opposed to forcing yourself from willpower to produce and perform out of fear of not being in action.
Take Action Challenge
The next time you find yourself in the Sacred Pause allow yourself the time to experience it. Step outside of your do-ing mode and just sit and be. See what beautiful flower peeks its stalk out of the dirt to become a beautiful flower.
I’d love to hear about your experiences of being in the Sacred Pause. Please leave your comments below.
Contributed by Linda Mickle, who works with women struggling with chronic illness, often teaching them about the importance of the Sacred Pause, Mindfulness Meditation and general well-being. She can be found at at www.thehealthybusinesswoman.com.