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The Pause That Refreshes

Life is such a miracle and yet much of the time we are missing it. We get caught up in our underwear over silliness and drama and miss the magic. We worry about the mundane and meaningless, all things we can’t take with us. We worry about things we can’t change, and we tend to forget that at any moment in a flash of sudden reality life can change drastically. Only when it does change, do we catch our breath and feel the depth of what life really has to offer us. Only then can we feel the importance of every moment.

It’s easy today to forget what really matters. Life is full of challenge and uneasiness. But, what was the real reason you came here and who are you…really? Are you living out that purpose and embracing your gift of this life as if every day mattered?

Do you stop to appreciate the sunset, the smile on the face of your beloved, the next breath you take unconsciously without effort? You are still here to reach out and touch the cheeks of your children, your parents or your partner. We can become paralyzed if, for even a moment, we think that we, or any of these people, might be gone, and yet we don’t embrace them or the gifts they bring to our lives until catastrophe strikes.

You can’t express appreciation for your life unless you are willing to be totally immersed in it, in your relationships and your purpose. The only way to appreciate life is to live it, fully. Most of us are still holding back until the right job, the right partner or the right whatever comes along.

Every choice we make either fills our life with chaos and drama or beauty and awe. An old mentor of mine once told me, “You get to design your life. If you see trouble coming through the door, shut it!” We are so powerful and yet we have not yet grasped the understanding that every decision we make has a consequence. No punishment. No reward, just a consequence.

The struggles in our life are here to teach us something about who we are and what we really believe. Each challenge has it’s own set of lessons and how you respond to life and every circumstance in it is all, and only, about you. Every feeling that arises…is about you. Every judgment that you hear inside…is about you. Every ounce of contempt and every ounce of appreciation is… all about you. Even the resistance is about you.

The key to enlightenment is in the pause before that next thought, word or action you take. It is in your next thoughtful or conscious response. When you take a minute, amidst all the rushing to decide how you wish to respond to life, the energy shifts and you become the master creating life the way you want it to be. You chose what deeply matters. You choose what feels aligned with your values, ethics or spirit. You choose. Instead of being cornered by life, you become empowered by the process. Fascinated with it. You fall in love with life again.

When you are awake, life calls you out. It asks you for authenticity and courage. With each step you take, the vastness increases and the potential, your potential, comes alive. As Ranier Maria Rilke says, “ Be patient toward all that is unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms or books that are written in a foreign tongue. The point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live your way into the answers. “

Life unfolds before us, and in each moment we face ourselves and we face each other. Over and over again, life presents us with the next new opportunity. And, it’s all in that pause. It’s in that precious moment before we speak or act. It is there that we get to decide whether we will become who we know we truly are, or who we are being in the moment. Here it comes again. Feel it?

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2008

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