Last week in the midst of some reflection the message that came through clearly was – Stop, and smell the roses …
My first reaction was yah, yah, I know that, it’s one of those things we all know is a good thing that we should do. But my friend with whom I was doing this exploration paused … so I did too.
And in the pausing, I recognized the deeper truth of that invitation. The moment of the pause itself creates a space where there can be layers of noticing.
Whether this is a momentary pause in the midst of the busyness of life, or a larger chunk of time we carve out to be in nature (as we were doing in this beautiful photo Bruce took when we were at Old Man’s Cave earlier this year), or, an intentional time of reflection as I was engaging last week, this kind of pausing allows us to more easily notice what’s going on – both inside and around us.
I think we are (I know I am) often so busy trying to complete the things we have on our ‘to do’ list – an actual list, or the virtual one formed by the things that seem to be vying for our attention – that we’re unaware of the rising tension and the ‘noise’ this can create inside of us.
I vividly remember an experience many years ago when Rachael (now 24) was about 2 years old. I was rushing around one morning, trying to get us out the door – her to Daycare, me to work. I was frustrated, to me she was being an intransigent two year old, intentionally trying to slow us down. The more I pushed, the more upset she got.
In one of those gift of grace moments, she broke through the noise in my inner world with the words “Mummy, I need a snuggle.” This photo wasn’t that moment, but it does evoke a similar energy.
Stopping and smelling the roses doesn’t require the presence of roses to be effective – it’s the pausing, and what we do in that pausing, that makes the difference!
As I gathered her into my arms that morning and we both stopped, breathed, and opened our hearts, everything changed. It felt like the bottom had dropped out and we could go deep into the stillness of the moment. Not surprisingly, after that I was in tune with her and we were quickly ready to leave!
Pausing and soothing the noise inside ourselves gives us clearer access to our subtle senses and the wise knowing that’s wanting to emerge through us. Both individually, and collectively, from this space we can more easily tap into deep wells of creativity and allow what we are uniquely designed to bring into our world to come forth.
I’m reminded of the poem Lost. I first saw this in David Whyte’s book The Heart Aroused. He shared the words of an old Native American elder translated into English by David Wagoner – Chair of Poetry, University of Washington.
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost, Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
Even when – perhaps especially when – we are feeling lost, the act of pausing, standing still, stopping to smell the roses, to listen and in that still space to be found, to come back home to ourselves and from there be free to go out into the world and share our gifts really IS a life changer.
I’ve shared some of my experience here, and I’m curious about you – how does this kind of pausing show up in your life? What are the ways you’ve discovered to create this kind of pause? Do you recognize situations where it seeems more difficult for you to access this space? I’d love to hear your experience.