Are We There Yet?...Pursuing the Pause
Val Rathjen, Community Learning Network
Is it just me, or do we all have times when we wonder if we’re ever going to “get it”? Where we ask ourselves, “How many times will I have to return to a concept, idea, or goal before I achieve it?”
I feel like shouting to the horizon, “Are we there yet?”, and if I’m honest, my weary heart wonders if I’ll ever arrive.
So, what is this elusive prize I am speaking of? The pause.
If you’ve read past blogs of mine, you’ll know that I have been sitting with this for a while now. In fact, I’ve come to realize that not only have I been called to pause, but also to wait and to rest. None of these things come naturally to me. I’m a "hurry up and get there" kinda gal. I like to dive in, work hard, and see results. And let’s be honest, this kind of attitude is rewarded and even encouraged in our society that values productivity, expects action, and wants things NOW. It’s easy to fall into the pit of “never enough time” and “so much to do," so we defer the pause to later when things slow down. The thing is, they never do.
“Big opportunities were floating by, practically waving at me, but I was too engrossed in my self-imposed chaos to notice them. This pedal-to-the-metal mentality prevented me from making the best decisions.” Ozan Varel
We all face pressures, deadlines, and demands, but my compass is calling me to a course correction. I’m being challenged, again, to practice the pause; and I want to share with you some of the reasons I think this is a path worth pursuing.
The following are some of the benefits that keep me pursuing the pause:
P - Perspective
When I slow down and take a moment to just be quiet, to rest my body and my thoughts, the chaos around me begins to fall away and I can see more clearly. It becomes easier for me to see what needs my attention and what to prioritize, instead of reacting and jumping from one crisis to another. My point of view shifts and it’s amazing how much that affects the outcome!
A - Authenticity
Pausing allows space for me to show up as my true self. I’m kinder, gentler, and more creative...which benefits everyone. We can’t access the best parts of us when we are running full out. It’s like those qualities are waving at us as we blaze past, just wishing we’d slow down and invite them along.
U - Unseen Things
There recently was a Holding Safer Spaces Open Circle on the topic of Awe and Wonder, those things that take your breath away or stop you in your tracks. It was a great reminder of the importance of purposefully looking for, and opening yourself up to, the awe-filled moments that surround you.
These are some of the unseen things that I’m talking about. We need the pause to readjust our vision, to allow our minds to receive new possibilities, to explore options and opportunities. Pause and rest your mind, you’ll be surprised by the things that appear to support and encourage you.
S - Surprise
This falls in line with the above concepts. We need to pause so there is room for surprise, for wonder, for renewal, for joy. Take a few deep breaths, set the “to do” list aside and pause. I can almost guarantee that surprise will meet you with new possibilities, a different path, or a meaningful connection that feeds your soul.
E - Embrace
This is my hope for us all – that we will embrace the fullness of the pause...that we will recognize that we are so much better when we practice this principle...that we are worth it, and so are the people that we support. Embrace the journey, the ups and downs, and hold yourself gently when you circle back to where you began.
I’d love to hear the ways you practice the pause and the difference it makes. Let’s keep encouraging each other. You’re worth it and I’m cheering you on!
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