I’m one of those freaks of nature who thrive on a long, challenging to-do list, big dreams and metrics of success.
I’m Type A learning how to be A-B. Which means it’s harder for me to live in the Pause.
What’s the Pause?
The wait. The stillness. The time between the big things happening. The “boring” everyday stuff we take for granted and seem to “mull through” until the exciting stuff gets here. In my 30s, I heard the expression, “joy in the mundane.” That’s what I remind myself when I begin to feel the clench of not doing enough or what I think is enough.
Am I better at this at 41 than I was in my 20s? You bet. I’m come to terms with my ego and have been letting my authentic self lead my life for some years now, which means it’s a blend of my drive and my intuitive nature. But I had to do a lot of pausing, listening and living in the here and now to get to that point. It’s easy for my Shallow Self to want the spotlight all the time and even tougher when most of my books are in my name. I get sick of myself, which could be one reason I started bringing other authors into my fold. It does feel less shameless. I’m a product of my own marketing engine and it’s a vicious cycle. But that’s why it’s important to separate your work and your Self, even if you feel at your core that it’s “who you are”. You are still more than that and you are most certainly more than your brand.
It also means accepting our natural personality and not judging ourselves. I may be on my Type A to Zen journey and that’s okay to honor those things that drive you. I’m not going to suddenly become someone else but I do need to learn how to be okay with that space in between.
In recent weeks I’ve not only been in transition with school starting, but in between some big projects. That slowness, that white space that let me look up and around and see that I had time to do the things like catch up on laundry or other domestic things didn’t sit well with me. It felt unnatural, as if I should be accomplishing something bigger. I hate that feeling. I want to be okay with just cooking dinner or running errands for the kids. I’m so lucky to be able to do those things.
But during the pause I don’t sleep as well at night and the worry bunnies multiply. I recognize my obsessive thought patterns and can normally re-route them, but then I get mad that they come at all. Yes, I can write and you know I love nothing more than getting lost in that world I’m creating in my imagination, but I need to be able to get through the Pause without escape, too.
When the Pause comes, I focus on awareness and the present moment and gratitude. I remind myself to relish the ordinary because it is very much extraordinary to have what we have – a home, healthy children, transportation and food to eat, even if I don’t like to cook it.
If you also have difficulty in the Pause, remember that this too shall pass and give yourself a break. Inevitably when things get crazy busy again, I may wish for those slower days. The swirl is already beginning again and I’ll be swamped for a few weeks. That’s okay. I’ll come back to this post and remember that the Pause will come again and I’ll remind myself to treasure it.
I’ll close with this post by Eckhart Tolle that just came in my inbox in his Present Moment Reminder:
‘Forget about your life situation and pay attention to your life. Your life situation exists in time. Your life is now. Your life situation is mind-stuff. Your life is real.’