The Sacred Art of Pausing
The light switches to red. Frustrated, I stop, looking at my watch. “Why do I have all those red lights today? Really bad luck. I will be late again for class,” says the voice in my head. My body is tensed. I’m holding my breath, waiting for green with suspense. I notice I’ve been rushing all day like a “chicken without a head” we say in my home country, Belgium. And then I remember…
I take a deep breath in and out. Relax my shoulders and belly. My feet are firmly planted on the ground. I instantly feel better. The red light has become a sacred pause in my day. One that has the power to change the course of my life...
See that tribe up there? That's my awesome family. I'm so grateful for my parents and siblings that are so warm, real, loving, courageous and bring so much JOY in my life!
And you might wonder "why is she talking about her family?" Well let me share a little aha! I had recently...
See that little blue dot there on the left of the picture? That's me with my 7 month little Tao on my back during our recent trip in New Zealand! The wind was blowing 80 km/h and it was hard to walk straight. It was quite an adventure :-)
You might wonder: "What the heck were you doing there?" Well,...
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.
- Mary Oliver
When your eyes are tired the world is tired also.
When your vision had gone, no part of the world can find you.
Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes to recognise its own.
There you can be sure you are not beyond love.
The dark will be your home tonight.
The night will give you a horizon further than you can see.
You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness to learn
than anything or anyone that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
- David Whyte
Everything is Waiting for You
Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice. You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.
Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.
-- David Whyte
from Everything is Waiting for You
©2003 Many Rivers Press