The power of a pause
Today’s post is about the necessity of the pause. The potential power of the pause. I was discussing this with my sister and she shared that in music a pause is called a ‘fermata’. It refers to holding a note of music for longer than it’s usual value. How long to hold the note is at the discretion of the performer. Yet how often do we pause? And if we do, are we determining the length of the pause? Or someone or something else?
On this note, I apologise for not writing for you for too long. This wasn’t an intentional pause. I dived into another Seth Godin workshop in March which has been a fabulous learning experience, while gobbling up creative time to write. And, I admit, learning for me is sometimes a permissible excuse for avoiding other demands.
Renee Fishman wrote a beautiful Haiku about busy. https://mymeadowreport.com/reneefishman/2021/opposite-of-busy/
“Busy is code for
Escape avoid or react
Instead choose to feel “
Do you ever occupy yourself with ‘doing’ as an escape? Many people use alcohol or mindless screen watching as a numbing way to escape the pressures around them. ‘Busy’ can be a socially acceptable alternative. Is it any healthier? Does it enhance vitality? We might wear ‘busy’ as a shiny badge of honour, however inside it can be robbing us of a clear mind, an open heart and hope for the future.
For me, the antidote is ‘pause’. Last weekend I looked at the bare grape vines in a vineyard with the ‘pause’ in mind. It appealed to me that this bare phase is essential to what follows, the vibrant green shoots that develop as lush growth, and ultimately sweet fruit for eating or making wine. This season of rest (or dormancy) allows the grape vine to survive the cold winter conditions and enables pruning, resulting in a more productive summer season.
Let’s apply this to our ourselves. Instead of viewing rests, or pauses, as unproductive. Can we view them as essential to being our best selves in days or months ahead?
With this in mind I’ve changed my word of the year from agility to pause. What would you focus on if you allowed an hour, a day, or even a month’s pause in your life? If the mere thought immediately, has you scrolling through your phone for a distraction, take a few deep breaths and focus on what pausing feels like.
I’m now looking forward to what I will discover in the pause. I suspect it’s something more beautiful, more valuable than I could have possibly imagined.