This morning, turning onto the two lane winding country road I live on, there were no cars coming either way until within seconds, after the turn was made, I looked in my rear view mirror and a SUV was suddenly right at my back bumper. Where the heck did they come from? Would they stay urgently kissing the back of my car, or would they back off a little and give me some breathing room?
More importantly might they miss the gentle Fall morning light filtering through the leaves of the trees down onto the road we traveled, wrapping us in beams of a day just beginning. Or perhaps give some time to simply take a conscious inhale and releasing exhale of fresh cool morning air from an open window, releasing the grip on the steering wheel and the busy mind chatter about everything other than the preciousness of the moment happening now.
I remember those days of going from one thing to the next, hardly breathing, caught up in a mindless rush set in place by a culture and expectations from others that did not take time to pause. Most of us simply did not know how to stop, and if we did felt rather guilty that we weren’t doing anything productive. We were caught up in the challenges of other stages of life.
But in the captivity we may not have honored that we did have choice, even amidst the challenges of life. Our own physical demise was not even a thought for most of us, and pausing meant that we weren’t getting things done in a manner either self imposed or demanded from others.
No one taught me how to take meaningful and life giving pauses where possibility, well being and creativity reside. It is just in recent years I have learned the value and rewards from doing so.
More recently, the pandemic has forced most humans to take a pause. After letting go of resisting the restrictions and facing the anxieties, challenges and fears, many found they were pregnant with potential and had time to explore where their curiosity took them. The “pause” was filled with creativity and awareness and a “coming home” of sorts. New pathways opened up.
As elders we are innately teachers of the pause.
That is if we see the value in pausing and practice it, when ordinarily we might jump in and “raise our hands” or get diverted by old patterns of being. Relationships can thrive within the pause, conflicts resolve, innovation and artistry is birthed…..and nature breathes.
We simply have more wisdom to recognize when we need to get out of our own way…..pause…..and allow the unfolding spaciousness to provide more possibilities than we could ever see if rushing forward into actions, opportunities or even words that cut off or hinder something or someone else emerging.