The Art of the Pause: The Importance of Time and Space

Insights and ideas that though powerful also have their limits. Practices are critical when it comes to meaningful change. In a culture and season when everything is busy, creating space and taking time are vitally important.

Unless powerful ideas (I.e. psychological biomimicry) become integrated and embodied, they don’t fully help us actualize the full potential impact.

This is why we need practices. It’s an important emphasis of all our curriculum and programming at EPI because practices help us to slow down. They help us to integrate and embody whatever it is that we want to be working on, and we begin to seamlessly and naturally incorporate it.

That’s when we can get the full benefits and the change that we’re wanting, whatever that might be.

Practices are going to be a big part of our upcoming training, and I want to offer one here today. We will continue to offer free practices that you can incorporate, whether you take our programs or not. So, we hope you’ll stay tuned. The one I want to talk about today is TIME and SPACE.

Our culture operates at a speed and a rapidity that’s often misaligned with the natural world. Many are interested in faster, more, busier, how much we can get done and producing. Whereas the natural world usually operates much more slowly, quietly and simply. As we move into the season of winter, which is where I am in the Northern hemisphere, our planet slows down.

Yet at this time of year, it’s the season of holidays and festivities, which is often quite incongruent with the natural pace of things to slow down. Many are trying to do more to plan, prepare, shop, coordinate travel, etc. There’s so much that goes into this time. It can be really beautiful, it also means though, that we’re usually going at a rapidity.

We must find ways to slow down – to find greater spaciousness and time – so that we may align with the rhythm and paces of our planet. Therefore, the practice I’m encouraging is the pause. It’s the space between an inhale and exhale and vice versa.

A pause can be what we do after we’ve completed one of the actions on our list before rushing to the next thing. It’s to take some time to enjoy the spaces between and process, not just the results.

Pauses can occur naturally like when the wind is blowing. It’s not just something that we create and proactively introduce to our life – it’s to notice where time, space and pauses are naturally. You can experience pause when you listen as the bird sings (as I hear crows overhead now). One aspect of this practice is to notice, invite and drop in when those pauses and space naturally are there. 

The practice is also about actively bringing pause into our lives.

An opportunity might be in our communications, in our relationships with other people. Before we say something,  we might take a breath and consider what the other is really trying to share and how to deeply listen to be attuned to them.

When we do drop into time and space – when we embrace the pauses – not only are we more present and focused, we’re better able to connect, and then we also find joy.

We find love. We are grateful and content. And while many traditions and holidays are celebrated this time of year, I believe so many of them are truly about being grateful and joyous, loving, and content. This is a way to celebrate this time of year more consciously, to attune to the natural rhythms of our planet, and honor the beauty and wonders that are all around.

Whether it’s wind, bird song, sunlight, or the visitation of my puppy nearby in this way we can enjoy the natural gifts that are already here all around us. They invite us to pay attention, to slow down enough, to pause and enjoy them. This is another example of “nature knows the way”. So wherever you are, may you find time and space. May you enjoy the gifts of practicing pause in your life.

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