Pause: n. an interval of inaction; a temporary stop.
a break in speaking or reading, a silence.
How often do you catch yourself rushing from one project, activity or book to the next one? With hardly a breath, or thought, in between and no time to catch your breath or even think about what you've just completed before scurrying off to the next?
Musicians recognize the importance of pauses in music. Someone once said it isn't the notes themselves that make the music beautiful, but what happens between the notes: that distance between the tones and the length of the pauses. That's where we feel the tension and anticipation, and then the eventual release. Where we all breath again.
Recently I read a post by K. Dawn Byrd entitled Stress Relief 101 for Writers. She shares some tips for writing; one in particular stood out for me: her habit is to schedule her writing of books in 30-day spurts. Every time she finish a 30-day stint, she stops to take a break and pauses for about two weeks. It gives her space between her last project and the next one. During this time she rests, 'chills out' and rejuvenates. I can only imagine, as she does not say it, that she returns to the next step of a project, she must tackle it with renewed energy and excitement.
What a beautiful idea! In truth, we can hardly imagine such a thing, but what if we actually did such a thing not only with our writing, but other areas of our lives too? What would be the result?
For instance, what about Pauses in our reading life? Instead of reaching for the next book before the cover of the one we just finished has cooled, what if we took a break, maybe a few days or a week or two -- I can hardly imagine that long between books, but let's just say -- what if we stopped to let what we just finished reading take hold in our minds. To ruminate and working through the ideas, writing our response to certain aspects, really letting the author's words speak, would our lives be richer for this pause? This time to focus and 'stew' on it a bit?
Pauses between bites of food. The other day I wolfed my lovely lunch down and hardly tasted the bites. I hardly noticed what I was eating. I was in a hurry. I had an idea the food tasted good, but I didn't savour or really enjoy the gift of that food. They keep telling us to chew our food more thoroughly to aid in better digestion and less upset stomachs.
Pauses between our tasks at work or at home. Moments to slowly breathe in and b-r-e-a-t-h-e out, to let our eyes focus on the sky outside our window or the art piece over our desk or the kitten playing with the ball of string. Pausing to swivel our thoughts heavenward for renewed strength and energy, not to mention creativity.
Pauses ... between blog posts. I've noticed that when I don't write every single day, during that time and space I feel the freedom to gather new thoughts, to take time to dream and research and prepare. And, a most interesting thing, there are more comments per post when there are 'pauses' between.
It would appear that making place for Pauses within our daily lives will go a long way to enriching and making our lives so much more beautiful. I like that!
And now I pause and wish you beautiful moments today,