The Break, The Mend, The Pause, The Noticing
A moment...one moment can bring upon the greatest positive shift, unexpected disaster or may go unnoticed. We have 86,400 seconds in a 24 hour period. Wow! Imagine if we were paid by the second. Not only do we have 86,400 seconds, but we have 86,400 opportunities to take a pause, maybe less if we choose to sleep.
I walked my journey for 31,536,000x40 seconds (equaling more seconds than my calculator can display) without recognition of the ability to take a pause. There was no sense of permission, right or norm to do so.
For the following 157,965,000 seconds (saving you the calculation this amounts to 5 years) I learned through the valleys in my life I needed to embrace the pause. I didn’t just wake up one day saying, “Hey Pause I see you. Can we hangout today?” It went more like barely waking up one day, truthfully many days, and not being able to engage with the world.
I've found myself in many valleys over the years. There've been peaks as well where the sun is felt on my skin traveling all the way to my bones. Being in the valleys for more time than I’d like to talk about gave me a great sense of gratitude for the time at the peaks, feeling the warmth of the living and witnessing all the world has to offer. It’s during the peaks I can look back seeing the canyons behind me, recognizing I made my way out, I made my way up.
During the most recent, two years ago, valley or more a deep cave underground yet to be discovered, I found myself in Emory Wesley Woods Hospital Outpatient Program. The cave I was residing in for weeks upon weeks was discovered by many of my loved ones in my life. I couldn’t find the way out. There wasn’t a rope thrown to me, no stairs, and no light to see a darn thing. Hope of finding a way to traverse the nasty terrain I was in was nonexistent. In fact there wasn’t thought present to begin to ponder leaving the cave.
Fast forward...the rope extended down as a sense of awareness of time and space found me at the base of the cave. I began to climb my way out sometimes slipping down a couple of rungs. With a mixture of counseling, medication, support from family and friends, yoga and meditation I found my way seeing and eventually feeling the light. I began climbing the mountain to eventually make it to the crest, the peak. There've been slips, tumbles, climbing back up, stretching arms with hands gripping to move forward. It's inevitable the valleys will come again. I don’t hold fear in my body, nor question what if. Life is lived.
Now, I take to my mat to bring awareness to my body; the sensations I feel internally from north to south, head to feet. I check-in with my breath. I come to the moment, the now, the present. My nervous system receives a break and creates new pathways throughout the body including the brain, because the brain is one of our organs and capable of change. I focus on thoughts and where they take me, but also let them move and pass as clouds in a beautiful blue sky. Through time I have learned and trained my body and mind to find the space, the space giving way to noticing, the noticing leading to choice and then moving to the reaction.
It’s the break, the mend, the pause and the noticing that have brought a sense of homeostasis. I do spend some time at the peak where the sun shines gloriously. Where the eyes see further than I thought humanly possible. Where my breath gets taken away at the beauty of the world and the people in it. But as there is yin and yang, hot and cold, light and dark I know valleys will come. Maybe not as deep or not as long, but they will be there. The fulcrum of the balance sounds like the beautiful place to live, but with further thought I would not feel the heat and the cold. There would only be a middle ground. A place where minimal sensation would be felt and living would not be rich and deep.
Keep on Thriving and Flourishing,