“You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It’s just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.” – Paulo Coelho
I have, for a while, wanted to be the person who wakes up early in the morning to exercise, to write, to meditate and to greet the day as the sun rises. My husband and I decided to transition my son’s medicine schedule from 2:00am, which is much too early to stay up all day, to 4:30am which, as long as I go to bed by 8:30-9:00pm, is a reasonable time to be up. As I have contemplated and read about how to make the best use of this time, I was reminded of the impact of taking a moment to greet the new day and to honor the day as the sun sets in the evening. I find myself stepping out onto the porch at 7:30am and breathing in the cool air and greeting the day and what is to come. And twelve hours later, I find myself back outside on the walkway looking at the brilliant colors in the sky and saying thank you for the blessings of the day. It’s a beautiful practice in my life, and I’m grateful for it.
The practice of pausing can serve us in many ways. If you find yourself saying yes to things that don’t serve you, pausing before you answer can help you to be more intentional about what you are agreeing to. You have to practice though. Intentionally answer every question with something like “give me a moment while I think about it,” or “can I get back to you on this one?” If your partner asks what is for dinner, say “good question. Let me think about it for a minute.” If your boss asks you if you will work over time this week, say “let me just check my calendar and I will let you know after lunch.” If it’s hard to say these things, pause and take a deep breath and then respond.
Pausing allows us to process what is going on in our environment. I find that when I pause the moment impacts me much more than it would have if I didn’t. I was rushing out one evening after my husband got home from work. I happened to look out the window as he and our boys were playing in the backyard, paused, and felt overwhelmed with love and gratitude for my favorite people who were outside enjoying each other’s company. When I pause to look at my boys profile as they sit next to me doing homework, I see little boys that are growing and changing physically and emotionally. When I pause to look at the skin on my hands and the absence of the dryness that I noticed a few weeks ago, it reminds me how much I am serving my body by drinking more water.
These small opportunities may not seem like much, but I promise that if you do it, you will feel something.