Sacred Pause


Slowing down. Taking time out. Pausing. In a world of rushing around, constant busyness, and endless doing, it can be a radical act to just be. Your friends may wonder what’s wrong with you. Your mind may tell you to get off your ass. But at what expense are we doing without moments of being? In the course of a day, a year, or a season of your life, are you taking time to stop and notice where you are in this moment?

There are times in our lives, particularly during transitions, when purposefully slowing down is the most productive thing we can do. Most often our inclination is to rush into the next thing without truly finishing what was just done, or without time to allow a new awareness to emerge. We’re told through societal “norms” that to be of value, we must do. But mindlessly going through the motions can leave our lives devoid of meaning, and we can miss the very subtle ways the presence of the sacred is woven through everything we do.

A student commented to me after class the other day that during each session she discovers a new part of her body that she didn’t know existed. This is what the practice affords us, the space in which to notice, observe, and rediscover. When we slow down and bring our full attention to the present moment, we allow for the process of self-discovery to naturally unfold in such a way that the information that arrives literally reorients our frame of reference forward. Even the smallest insight can have an undeniable impact on how we view the past or proceed forward in our lives. When we rush without reflection, we can easily miss what might be right in front of us.

So much of our growth is spiral in nature and multi-layered. It can feel as if we are in the same place year after year when, in fact, we are never in the same place as we were before. Unless we can pause and observe, we will never see the trajectory of growth or take notice of what has changed or might be different. When we can take a step off the whirlwind of our lives, we can acknowledge where we’ve been and see more clearly where we’re going. And in so doing, notice the very sacred nature of this ride we call life.

I invite you to pause, to take time to be, to notice, to listen. Maybe it’s in the midst of a major life change or in the process of a move to a new city; it could be during yoga, meditation, or while walking your dog; or even in the transition from day to night. Whenever it’s needed, you can take a few moments, weeks, or years, as long as it takes, to slow down and allow for a clearing in the midst of your life to notice, acknowledge, celebrate, release, and integrate. And from the pause, sacredness may arise to inhabit your life in auspicious ways.

Mary Bolton