On January 14th, my mother unexpectedly died. One month before, I sat with a good friend of mine as she passed away from cancer.
Since January through June is my busy time of year…teacher trainings, workshops, retreats, my classes full of re-committed yoga students, I kept on going with my normal schedule. No time to pause and reflect on the affect these major life events were having on me and my life.
“I will take a break when all of my obligations were complete.” I kept saying to myself while I inwardly knew I needed some time to process.
How well planned and responsible of me. Complete your schedule as usual and then take a break.
Fortunately; things do not always work out like we planned.
On March 27th, my body not my mind took the steering wheel of my life and turned my well organized plans completely around. I woke up with a horrible fever and could not get out of bed. And that is where I stayed for the 2 weeks.
That was my call to surrender to what was really happening, I needed to take a pause from my very scheduled and fully booked life. I knew I needed time to just be with all that had happened.
I guess I could say that finally my body had the courage to show my mind what was necessary.
“A pause is a suspension of activity, a time of temporary disengagement when we are no longer moving towards any goal. This pause can occur in the midst of almost any activity and can last for an instant, for hours or for seasons of our life.”
– Tara Brach
Learning to create an open space within our lives and not fill it up with anything including all the “have to’s or shoulds” takes courage. Learning to become strong enough to hold what may come up when we take this sacred pause, can feel like an act of inner bravery.
That is what it felt like to me.
Usually the time when we most need to take this pause is exactly when it feels impossible for us to do so. This is where the courage comes in. Stepping back in that moment becomes quite powerful because we realize that the things in our lives that we have placed so much importance on……can actually wait ….and…everything will be fine.
The beautiful thing that happened in my experience is that after I took this sacred pause* and returned to my activities, I returned with an increased presence and an ability to make some different choices.
I felt an inner sense of being more whole again.
A sacred pause* can be any length of time. A day, a month or months, or years. It can even be an hour. It just needs to be a long enough suspension of your normal activities for you to tune into what is actually existing inside of you…as it is….without the need to wish it was different. And then to just be with what you find with loving acceptance and kindness…and great patience.
Patience to wait until you hear what you should do next.
“Do not try and save the whole world or do anything grandiose; instead create a clearing in the dense forest of your life and wait there patiently…..”
– Martha Postelwaite