Friday, September 02, 2011

Beauty in the Pause

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 when she starts her next  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,


  1. How very wise, Brenda. Give ourselves time to savour things rather than rushing them.

  2. good idea, I'm taking a self imposed pause to recuperate from my Iceland trip...exhaustion is the name of my stage...

  3. I know I definitely need more 'selahs' in my day. Thank you for the reminder.

  4. I find that sometimes I just need to slow down and get away -so heavenly. Pam x

  5. A simple but revolutionary idea... actually take a break????

  6. Oh. What lovely thoughts. I especially like the music analogy, and the idea of taking a breath at work between tasks!


  7. What a beautiful and thought-provoking post. In this Energizer Bunny world we live in, we've been taught that we must be constantly busy, that to rest means we're lazy, so we're always running on the the next thing. I'm very much for slowing down and taking those pauses.

    Have a wonderful weekend,


  8. Pausing, what a great reminder. One never knows what beautiful moments we can experience or inspiring thoughts might come our way when we stop to pause.

  9. I'm one that rushes too much. I like this idea of pausing...taking time to actually enjoy each step or moment of each day. This is something I'm really trying to do. I tend to think about the next thing and not actually concentrate or enjoy what I'm doing now.

    Thanks for the reminder. Great post!


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo