Joy Ignites Success

2017-The Year of the Pause

By - Tuesday, January 24, 2017


I recently completed reading the entire text of A Course in Miracles. This was a huge task and one I had set a goal of completing by the end of 2016. A bit out of character, but I completed it. The next task was to read the Manual for Teachers. On January 1, when I opened the book, I immediately felt some resistance. And a deeper voice, saying “not yet”. On exploring this, I starting pondering how quickly we jump from one thing to the next and specifically, from one year to another. I realized that as much as I was ready to be done with 2016, I was not yet ready for 2017. Like the pause between the exhalation of breath that comes before the next inhalation, I needed a pause between years.

And, because Spirit likes to reinforce the insights, I showed up to dance class that very morning where Jessica was leading a class about finding the pause in the body. Thank you Spirit, thank you Jessica.

So for the first week of 2017, I was officially pausing. What exactly does it mean to pause? I like the Cambridge Dictionary’s definitions best: a short period in which something such as a sound or an activity is stopped before starting again or a period of silence between musical notes. A pause implies starting again. It doesn’t have the inertia associated with it that stopping would. A pause allows for reflection, perspective and re-direction. In reality, a pause is an energetic state.  I spent January 1st through January 8th (by the way, Mercury also came out of retrograde and went direct on the 8th) in a deliberate state of awareness that it was okay to pause before, during and after doing anything and everything.

How did this manifest in day-to-day activities? Surprisingly enough, I found more gentleness with myself. I found a place where it was okay to do things, but also okay not to do things. And, I was able to do or not do, without any resistance. If you pay attention, on a normal day, resistance arises around almost everything, including not doing anything. It arises in the form of judgement and mind chatter (you should be…) and also in the form of complaining (I’m sure you know this voice). When these showed up during my week of pause, I was able to notice them and say “it’s okay, I’m on pause this week”. This element of gentleness did not result in spending the week on the couch. In fact, around the 3rd, I found myself tackling projects I had been putting off.

With this powerful experience, why stop at one week? 

And so I am declaring 2017 the year of the pause. Though I’m still considering it an experiment, I feel confident that I will be happy with the outcome. Who’s with me?

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Melanie Smithson Institute is dedicated to enriching lives through embodied education and training; using movement, play and releasing to connect with innate wisdom and joy.  

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