September 6, 2011 by Beth Hess
If you listen closely enough, there is an inherent pause in the nature around us. Just a moment of total silence between the crashes of ocean waves. A second at the end of your exhale before the lungs fill again. A winter hibernation before the spring thaw. Even a hurricane is dead calm right at the eye.
Nature seems to know instinctively — there is power in a pause.
So why do we as humans so often race right past it?
This month, in my continued study of Brene’ Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection, the focus is on cultivating Calm/Stillness, one of the 10 guideposts for living a Wholehearted/Authentic life. As Brown says, calm is about “Letting go of anxiety as a way of life.”
This is about more than sleep… though we often get too little of that as well. It’s about pause, stillness, calm, breathing. Only in still waters can we see a real reflection of ourselves. In the waves, even in a ripple, the image is distorted at best; invisible at worst. And only through times of reflection, of quiet, of peace do we REALLY see, hear, taste, touch, and smell. Only here do we REALLY LIVE! And, it is here we give ourselves the energy we need to tackle the rest of our lives as well. Not without anxiety or stress, but in spite of the anxiety and stress.
A pause can be useful to gather your thoughts, send up a prayer, reassess a situation, notice something new, hear God’s still small voice, find a moment’s peace, or just give yourself a well-deserved break.
So I’m going to seek more pauses in September. Breath deeply 3x before I make a phone call. Recite a favorite verse or quote at a red light. Close my eyes for 30 seconds after I park and before I head into the office in the morning and my house each evening. Seek at least one item of beauty that crosses my path every day. Be willing to call a time-out and hit the reset button when I need to.
Thanks for taking a pause to read this blog. Will you join me taking more time-outs this month?