Have we lost the ability to pause, or have we just forgotten how vital it is? The Creator of the universe thought so. He imprinted it throughout nature. Autumn leaves don’t forget to fall or winter to arrive when bumblebees, bears and hedgehogs take their rest and when trees replenish for the explosion of spring. A caterpillar takes a long pause before becoming a butterfly and bulbs burst into life and blossom after nine long months in the dark earth.
Why do we imagine that we can flourish or our relationships blossom without regular pauses … time to replenish and refocus? Time to let stillness seep into the ‘marrow’ of our soul.
Maybe pausing is the antidote to all those fears. Maybe it's the most healing and grounding experience we can give ourselves.
Do you remember the last time you wandered barefoot along a beach, sat on a rock and drank in the smell of the sea or explored the wonder of a rock pool? When did you last curl up in a comfy chair and listen to music for no other reason but to be transported by its beauty?
We all know that science has discovered a plethora of benefits to pausing life, but for most of us it remains cerebral.
When life hands us commas and semicolons ... the doctor’s waiting room, a train trip or a wait to board the plane ... we scroll through Facebook or Instagram, check our emails or send texts.
We distract ourselves from the very thing that would rest our brain and our emotions, refresh our weary bodies and give us space to connect with our inner selves.
For most of my life taking a break came loaded with guilt, convinced that taking time out for myself was lazy and self indulgent, that there was always more I could or should be doing.
Now I see it as a gift. Its in the stillness that I find the release of stress and the return of inspiration and creativity, which has been knocking at the door all along, unable to be heard beneath the constant clatter of busyness. It gives me the ability to stand back and view things from a much more realistic perspective.
Slow me down, Lord,
to learn from nature all around me
that we were made to pause.
As night gives pause to day
teach me to relinquish the busyness
that keeps me centred on me rather than you.
And there's a bush park where I love to hang out, walking or just sitting on a rock drinking in the beauty and tranquility of the surroundings. It gives me space to engage all my senses and get in touch with the deepest parts of me. I've share some of the beauty in the images in this post, beauty that never fails to inspire me.
In the past I’ve sacrificed so much of the joy of life on the treadmill of incessant activity. Thankfully, I’ve discovered the power of pausing or as CS Lewis so eloquently put it, “into the void of silence, into the empty space of nothing, the joy of life is unfurled”.