During our time in Maine, I started to see the way in which pauses affect our lives. The power of the pause is that it can serve as a shift, a directional change, a point of stillness or simply a break from the norm. It can signify the time before an initiation or the time after a completion. It can bookmark where we left off or where we will begin. The pause can be the place between the old and the new, the past and the future. In essence, the pause is the recognition of the present moment.
There are so many ways to pause, and it is in the pause that the path becomes clear. The breath is the most well used pause I can think of. If ever you find yourself in a challenging situation, what is the quickest way to shift the energy? A few deep, conscious breaths. The breath triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps to immediately relax the body and the mind. The breath is the space between…the space that connects heart and mind, spirit and matter, being and doing, life and death. Breath is the space between words (often a savior when used wisely). The moment the breath comes in to help quiet the mind, the soul can be heard, and the voice becomes a verbal expression of the soul. Take a deep breath…notice the shift, the connection, the clarity….Pause.
How about the space between the thoughts? In its simplest form, this is meditation. The difficulty is in knowing whether you are actually thinking or not. Are you in the gap…the pause? When we first start meditating, we are often surprised with how many thoughts are happening at any given moment, because most of the time we are thinking, we are not even aware that we are thinking. And although we may “think” we are not thinking, we are often still engaged in the more subtle layers of thought. It is important to be quiet enough to hear the thoughts or the lack of thoughts…the stillness. With practice, the space between thoughts becomes longer, and that protracted inner stillness is what we call meditation. This is the most precious pause I know…no thought…no mind…Pause.
How can we take more pauses or at least notice those pauses that already exist for us, and cherish them? Notice all the possibilities for a pause in your life. For example, I am in a pause right now as I write. I am taking a pause…a cool breath in the mountains of Zirahuen, Mexico while assimilating the last couple of months and preparing for what is next to come on this magnificent journey of life. I am using the new scenery, silence and plant life here to reconnect with nature in a different way than I do on the beach. Coming to the mountains has become one of my ways of pausing, integrating and preparing. I am truly enjoying and consciously aware of this very moment. Pause…..
Sign up for the Kula Newsletter