Why create a pause? A pause attunes, softens, inspires, engages, opens, enlightens and balances. Inspired by the energy of the current New Moon (a time of new beginnings/renewal), I have found myself reflecting deeply on the power and nourishment within a pause. The pause at the top of an inhale. The pause at the bottom of an exhale. The pause of stepping outside for a walk to accept the embrace of mother nature. The pause of observing the rhythms within the natural world. The pause within pure listening to a friend in need. The pause created within meditation.
A pause offers breathing space—a moment in time where we connect to the peace within and the divinity that surrounds. Finding the time to pause can be challenging because life is full with commitments, demands, duties and responsibilities. However, I can say that when I do not find the time to take a pause, there is not a flow in my life. I feel stuck and constricted. That is why being intentional about creating a pause has become part of my day to day living. It refills, reboots and recharges.
Amid our ever increasing cultural focus on multi-tasking and overachieving, along with the current tenuous political environment, the necessity of a pause is even more relevant. If you find yourself stressed, hurried, anxious, depressed or unsettled, my offering to you is to pause….to pause and to breathe. Be present for yourself by connecting curiously and intimately with your breath. The following is a breath practice that I connect with daily. It helps me to come home to my breath and be more present to myself, my family and my community. The underlying current of this
practice is compassionate, curious simplicity. Take time with this practice and enjoy softening into it.
Come to sitting in a comfortable seat for yourself or lying down on the earth. Begin with a curious inhale in through the nose, filling the body to its periphery with your breath. Exhale slowly and softly with an open mouth (as if you are fogging up a mirror). Do this 3-7 times. Now begin to inhale and exhale through the nose, letting all of your attention be on the rhythm of your breath as it flows in and out of the body. Introduce the intention of bringing kindness to your whole mind/body. Notice what happens when you, on purpose, regard your inner life with a gentleness and care. Spend 5-10 minutes with yourself simply breathing and noticing the movement and energy of your breath. As you breathe in through both nostrils, where does the breath travel? Let yourself explore. As you gently breathe out through the nostrils, what sensations do you feel in the body? Be curious. Let the time and space that you give to yourself here be a reminder of the power within a pause, the power of breathing space. Breath is life. It is a reminder of what keeps us alive and vital. Connect to it daily and notice what happens. What do you do to pause?
Written By Susan Muir