Pause

This morning at yoga, our instructor reminded us to pause between poses and listen to our breath. She invited us to try more challenging poses, yet encouraged us to listen to our bodies so we wouldn’t cause injury. At the monastery, when we read the Psalms together, the monks pause at the end of each line. It takes patience to read in this way, but the slower pace allows the words to sink in more deeply. Today as I went on a walk, the word I carried with me was “pause.” Whenever my mind was distracted, I thought of this word. Reciting it silently helped me to focus on God, and I immediately felt stillness and quietude.

What would happen if I paused more frequently throughout the day? When I feel anger or impatience approaching, if I take a time of respite, could those negative feelings slowly dissipate? If I’m hurrying, could pausing help me to reset and question if this accelerated pace is necessary? When thinking tranquil thoughts, even while lifting weights at the gym, I feel as if my blood pressure drops, my heart beat relaxes, and every molecule in my body fills with peace. Our bodies are wise. Why has it taken me so long to listen to and trust my own body? While driving in traffic, exercising at the gym, or waiting in line; although active I can still be at peace in my heart. This is where God abides.

How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God…O LORD of hosts, happy is everyone who trusts in you. – Psalm 84:1-2;12

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