The Pause

Photograph © 2012 Peggy Kornegger
Photograph © 2012 Peggy Kornegger
Life can occasionally hand you a time-out whether you asked for it or not. It could take the form of a health challenge, a job loss, a missed connection, or a misunderstanding. You are zooming along nonstop when suddenly an impenetrable wall appears right in front of you. Bam! Stopped in your tracks. Sidelined. No way over, around, or through. You have to come to a halt, take a deep breath, and wait. The pause.

In our speedy multi-tasking world, we aren’t encouraged to see the importance of allowing for that pause. The usual message, from childhood on, is “pursue your goals, full speed ahead, and don’t let anything deter you.” Until we are forced to slow down and reevaluate, we don’t understand the key role of timing in our lives. However, if we look around at the natural world we are part of, timing is the basis of everything. Winter waits patiently for spring and the reappearance of green leaves and flowers. Animals and birds, as well as humans, wait weeks or months for the birth of their babies. Patience and timing are at the very core of life on Earth. To push against that is to cause ourselves unnecessary suffering.

As I faced an uncertain medical diagnosis recently, I repeatedly found myself in the position of waiting—for test results, for the next appointment, for a clearer diagnosis, etc. After the most recent doctor’s visit, I am still in that position. In fact, that seems to be part of the diagnosis: to wait and see if it stays the same, gets better, or gets worse. Status quo means all is well, for the moment. Such is life, really. It’s all a guide for living with awareness. The wisest approach is to live in the “wellness” of the moment. No one can predict what will occur next. So we “wait and see.”

What if we could realize that waiting is not stuckness but beingness? Each moment holds everything within it. If we rush past it, we lose all those precious seconds of everything. To be stopped by circumstance is a gift, a blessing. It allows us to look around and really see the world around us and within us. For our own mental, emotional, and spiritual health, we need time and space to just breathe and be. Out of that flexible state of presence, our next best version of ourselves emerges without effort or pushing. And it will only emerge in its own divine timing. Soul time. Not human clock time.

As I look at the waiting of the past couple of months, I see with more clarity how much was going on within that waiting. A greater wisdom, surrender, and dissolving of effort was arising in me. An integration of experience and emotions. We have to allow ourselves the pause that engenders awareness about what we are encountering in our lives. So let yourself be stopped, let yourself pause. Each day, everything is unfolding just perfectly, with impeccable timing….

“A delay isn’t a denial; it’s an opportunity to evolve.”—Panache Desai


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