All it takes to turn “nowhere” into “now here” is a pause.
It may seem an inconsequential change, and I’d like to suggest it is anything but. The simple act of pausing can turn an ordinary, unconscious moment into the moment of a lifetime.
By inserting a break in the action, we can radically change our experience of this instant in our life, making space to respond skillfully instead of mindlessly reacting to whatever is happening. Mindfulness makes it possible.
One of my favorite teachers, Tara Brach put it this way in her blog post titled “The Sacred Pause” :
“A pause is, by nature, time limited. We resume our activities, but we do so with increased presence and more ability to make choices. In the pause before sinking our teeth into a chocolate bar, for instance, we might recognize the excited tingle of anticipation, and perhaps a background cloud of guilt and self-judgment. We may then choose to eat the chocolate, fully savoring the taste sensations, or we might decide to skip the chocolate and instead go out for a run. When we pause, we don’t know what will happen next. But by disrupting our habitual behaviors, we open to the possibility of new and creative ways of responding to our wants and fears.”
When we whiz through life on autopilot we really are “nowhere.” Days, months and years seem to vanish in the blink of an eye. We don’t know where we were when it was all happening and have few, if any memories of it, whatever “it” was.
Stick that pause in and you are suddenly “now here.” You know where you are and what is going on. You have the power to savor the experience and import of the present moment, just as it is. Even if it isn’t a particularly pleasant moment, you get to know it and yourself a whole lot better and remember it, too.
Try it and see for yourself. I’d love to hear what you discover…