The Pause

Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself. -Lucille Ball

 On Tuesday morning, I rolled out of bed with only one eye open. I tripped on several items strewn on the floor of my bedroom because I just hadn’t gotten motivated to pick them up over the weekend. I dressed for my TRX class at the gym and stumbled out to my car. As I backed out of the driveway, I noticed something unusual: my windshield, which faced east, was filled with the bright orange and pink tones that precede full sunrise, tinting the morning sky. In my rear window, dark night reigned – complete with a huge, brilliant white full moon. Straightening out my wheels and heading up the street, morning rode on my right hand, night on my left. I felt as if I were driving the dividing line between the two.

In some belief systems, this time of day, the “in-between”  or “liminal” time is when sacred or magical things can happen. It is when the “veil between the worlds” is thinnest, and folklore abounds with stories of humans who accidentally wandered into fairyland at dawn (or dusk, also an in-between time). In psychological terms, “liminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning ‘a threshold’) is a psychological, neurological, or metaphysically subjective state, conscious or unconscious, of being on the ‘threshold’ of or between two different existential planes” (thanks, Wikipedia).

This is how I have felt, these first weeks of 2012: as if I am on the threshold of something. I don’t know what it is, but all this forward momentum of the past few years has slowed way down. And, as often happens when on the threshold of something new, I am in a state of pause. Something will happen, of this I am sure. Perhaps it will be an internal change, perhaps a new external path will open up. But for just now, I need to breathe in The Pause.

The Pause can’t last forever, though. Stasis isn’t, ultimately, my goal. Which is why I chose the word “Move” as my one-word for 2012 after viewing this video last week. As I have been thinking about this word, I have realized that many advisors tell us not to move without a plan, to make your moves count. We plan our lives, we set goals, we live into the future. For me, that type of life-planning is paralyzing. If I am in that mode, I can’t choose which foot to put forward first, in fear of making the wrong choice. In that mode, I would look at morning on my right, and night on my left, and feel I had to choose one or the other. And that would be an impossible choice, so I would stay rooted to the spot I was already on.

Instead, I am looking at “Move” as an imperative to make joyful choices – to try new things, go new places, take new steps in my life. Not as part of a formal life plan, because that hasn’t worked for me. Instead, my informal plan is to Move. Just move. The next step may be a mis-step, but if the imperative is to move, then I can take another step. I want to welcome change within my life and in my heart – whether I move to the right or the left, I move into beauty. What a choice that is! Choose this or choose that – either way, BEAUTIFUL!

So, for a moment, I am pausing on the threshold. But liminal times don’t last forever – dawn always banishes night, night always overcomes day. That’s how it is supposed to work in the world, and in our lives as well. Pause, breathe, move!

One thought on “The Pause

  1. You made me think of a quote from the movie “Castaway” … reflecting on his time stranded on a island, the Tom Hanks character says the lesson he learned is (paraphrasing from memory here): “Sometimes, you just have to keep breathing. You never know what the next tide might bring.”

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