Appreciating Pauses

For me, there are things in life that feel like second nature to me, but are so dang SLOW.

Like this - writing always feels second nature, but it takes time. I don't want things to take time! Other things I love: journaling, cooking, meditating, drawing, reading... these are all wonderfully healthy things that I love to do, but they are slower in nature. And honestly, because I know they take time, I often ditch that time for something quicker, and not as fulfilling.

Slowing down seems out-of-step with who we are. With who I am. Or maybe it's because it's not how we (I) typically do things.

When I slow down, I feel connected and in touch with myself, my surroundings, and those around me. I become more orderly, mindful, and purpose-full.

But why does it also seem that if I slow down, things will become out of sorts? Many of us are afraid of the slowness. The quiet. The space. I can understand this; things are magnified and brought to light when we pause.

There's a lie hiding in there somewhere.

A lie that quietly says, "we stay together the faster we move".

"If you move fast enough, you won't have time to fall apart."

"If you move fast enough, you won't have to feel."

"If you move fast enough, you'll keep everything inside."

"If we move fast enough, we don’t have to actually connect with those around us."

...Right?

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Or what if it's actually more like: the slower we move, the more cohesive we become? If you feel more, you give yourself space and room. If you fall apart, you have the strength to hold the pieces. If everything comes out, you have the foresight to know it's not the end.

Enlightenment tends to come in the pauses.

The more methodical, the more purpose-full, the more thought-full, the more centered you can be... the stronger you can become. When I have taken time to thoughtfully slow down and restructure myself, I tend to be more productive, feel true to myself, and honestly, be an all-around nicer person. While we might not be the best at slowing down, we can take tiny baby steps to do so:

  • Centered/grounded breathing.
  • Meditating for 5 minutes.
  • Free-writing.
  • Listening to: nature, a podcast, a friend, the silence.
  • Contemplation.
  • Walking and observing.
  • Reading for pleasure.

You might not be ready to slow down. Not your pace of life, but pausing to look inward. To reflect on why you might be moving so quickly. To reflect on what your inner needs might actually be saying to you. To notice how others around you are doing.

Also, for some, I know this can be scary, but it's best to do this with a trusted individual. This could be a friend, therapist, church leader, parent... someone you know who appreciates the pauses and understands the need to do so. But take some time to think about your life pace, and take note where you could benefit from some reflective pausing in life.

Doing so allows us to realize what is actually important in life, and helps us be our best selves in the world around us. Cheers to slowing down!