The Art of a Carefully Placed Pause.
This morning, I was getting ready for work, when I realized I didn’t feel well. My body has been greatly fatigued since my surgery, and perhaps coming back to work was a bit premature. Over the past few days, I’ve been feeling emotionally and physically drained.
As I looked into the mirror, I could see the ‘distance’ in my eyes. My face felt flushed as I steadied my hands against the countertop edge. I realized that I had been doing too much. In my eagerness to move forward, I actually set myself back.
As humans, we are wired to compete; to set and exceed expectations, in spite of the costs and/or considerations. We want to be the ‘best’ – though, against which scale?
As we embark on this spiritual journey, we may presume to know the way. We practice as the teachings say; we breathe, we meditate and eventually let go.
But do we remember to stop and take rest? Do we remember the balance between want and need?
This morning, my body forced me to take notice. Instead of rushing off, I took a few extra moments. I sat with the puppies, watching the path of the morning sun. I immersed myself in the changing colors of the sky. As the twilight faded, I realized that the stars were still there. Just like the rest I so desperately needed.
In his book, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching, Thich Nhat Hanh encourages our pause. “We have to learn the art of stopping,” he writes. “Stopping our thinking, our habit energies, our forgetfulness, the strong emotions that rule us.”
Only in this way, can we become more mindful of our interactions and far more grounded in this present moment.
“Around us, life bursts with miracles,” he writes. “a glass of water, a ray of sunshine, a leaf, a caterpillar…if you live in this awareness, you’ll see miracles everywhere. When we are tired and feel discouraged by life’s daily struggles, we may not notice these miracles, but they are always there.”
When the mind submits to rest, my friends – only then can we finally begin to see.