Why We Need Sacred Pauses

Several times a year I take a sacred pause. It’s a time when I go into the cave, so to speak, and do the work of excavating and integrating my inner and outer worlds. Sometimes I plan these pauses and sometimes my body or spirit just plain demands that I take them.

I wrote about this in the spring and it still feels relevant today. The truth is, for the past several months I’ve been recovering from a series of burnouts that began in the fall of 2015 after we moved across country. I stayed on course with my work but my health began to fall apart. I’m ready to make some big changes because I want to feel better all around…and it feels so good to say this out loud! YAY!!!

I started to wonder:

  • How often do I push myself when I’m really just plain exhausted?
  • How often do I try to fit into moulds of what success looks like?
  • How often do I say yes when I really mean no because I don’t want to let anyone down?

I’ve been practicing pauses for a very long time (not just when I’m burnt out!). Each summer I take a few months off my weekly love letters and active blogging. I also take a break around my birthday and during the winter holidays. It’s been a vital practice for me. You see, it’s in the pause where the jewels within are found.

“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

The pause allows you to honour your rhythms and trust in the process.

A sacred pause invites you into the Mystery.

It can be difficult to be in the pause. We live in a culture that prizes action and achievement above all else. The expectations and rewards for achievement at all costs are everywhere!

But here’s the thing, we can practice taking pauses every single day! You don’t need to take months or weeks off every year to do it. In lots of cases, that’s simply not practical or realistic. And to suggest otherwise is just another form of aggression. Honour where you are, and know that you can create sacred pauses in your life and still do your work in the world.

Here are a Few Everyday Ways You Can Take a Sacred Pause:

  1. In the space between your in and out breath.
    One minute of mindful breathing practiced daily will change your life.
  2. In your sleep and the time right after you wake.
    Take 30 seconds to just notice how you are first thing in the morning. Plus, you just took a pause by sleeping. Go you! 
  3. When you wait for the kettle to boil.
    This is my favourite way to take a pause. No phones aloud!
  4. In the cold or hot times of the year.
    Depending where you live, the cold of winter or the heat of summer can give you a seasonal break.
  5. And when the moon is dark in the sky.
    I’m on a personal mission to encourage us moon lovers to please, please, please look at the dark moon (new moon) phase as a time to rest! A few days to take things a bit slower can make all the difference!

Do you have times when you pause?


How does it feel when you give yourself space to simply be (or not)?
I’d love to hear about your experiences!


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