Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Pause That Refreshes: Thursday's Reflection

Every morning as I climb the stairs to my garret for my meditation time, I pause and look out the windows towards the back yard. My first pause of the day. Thanks to the Head Gardener at our house, the view is one of evolving beauty and joy, and in this brief pause I offer thanks for the gift of another day and for the privilege I have of sharing my life with someone who shares his gifts so abundantly. 

I sit in my comfortable chair and read a chapter in my current devotional book, pausing periodically to reread words that resonate or words that puzzle me or words that just bear repeating. "Generating joy, we enter and offer joy. Generating peace, we enter and offer peace. Generating stillness, we enter and offer equanimity." The Grace in Aging, Awaken As You Grow Older, Kathleen Dowling Singh

I meditate, intentional pausing, taking deep breaths, finding my own rhythm. I note where my thoughts land, and I attempt to ease them from the space at least for the moment. I sit quietly a few minutes longer, lifting names or concerns or gratitudes in prayer. I open my eyes and take a deep breath, feeling a bit more prepared for the day. 

I move to my desk to check my email, and today Isee the name of a dear friend from another time of my life. We don't communicate often, but there is a heart connection. I pause and hold loving thoughts of her. Soon I will create a pause in the day in which to write to her. 

It is tempting to stay at my desk and begin the day's writing, but instead, I head outside for my morning walk. I know the main purpose of my walk is exercise, but it seems I find many reasons to pause --sometimes in praise of someone's gardening talents or just to appreciate an interesting looking home. Sometimes I pause to send a blessing, if a home looks neglected or if I hear sounds of children in their early morning exuberance. 

One house I pass frequently seems to my judging eyes in need of care, but I often hear through the open windows the sound of someone playing a guitar and singing softly. I pause to check my need to fill in the blanks, to understand and make sense of why this house looks so shabby and uncared for and yet, there is music being made there. All that is asked of me in this present moment is to whisper, "May all be well." 

I continue through my day, writing the next post for this blog, working on a chapter for my book, answering emails, giving feedback to the members of my small group in the online writing class I am taking, perhaps doing some laundry, making a trip to the grocery store, checking in with my Dad, having casual conversations with Bruce as he goes through his own agenda for the day, fixing dinner, and so it goes. I respond to what the day brings, and if I am mindful, I pause now and then. 

In those brief, barely noticeable moments of pause, I become more present. I clear the space. I open my heart. Singh refers to "sublime abiding." I love that term. In the pause I hold everything a bit lighter. 

Last evening after dinner I took a book and went to our sanctuary side garden we call Cotswold. I had thought about returning to my desk in the garret to write, for I had not completed my self-assigned writing assignment, but instead I had paused at the bottom of the stairs. I listened, just listened, and I think I heard the hydrangeas growing at the base of our front steps. I think I heard the sweet statue of the little girl adjust her position just a bit. I heard the moment call to me, "Come sit and be." 

And that's what I did. 

An Invitation
When do you pause? What happens when you do? I would love to know.  


  1. I thank you for this issue so much, Nancy. You bring to awareness things that are in each of our daily lives that we so easily take for granted and somehow miss. I am going to work on pausing more. You and your writings are such a gift.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I am back from my morning walk and found many reasons to "pause." May you be refreshed in your pausing.


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