Tuesday, December 11, 2012

the sacred pause

I drove to the coffee shop full of angst. I knew the time would come when I have to utter the words “I lost my baby.” I stepped up to the counter and ordered a soy latte. “Oh, you’re drinking caffeine. Is your baby already here?” asked the barista enthusiastically.
Her enthusiasm immediately met my sadness as I stood there and spilled out some words about him being gone.
I quickly escaped to the bathroom where I stood looking at myself. I took a picture to remind myself that I was still breathing, still living.
This time was a moment to literally catch my breath. It was a time and a place for me to breathe and be with all that I was feeling.
It was a sacred pause.
In every yoga class I teach I have students come back to mountain pose numerous times to take a conscious sacred pause. It’s a time to regroup, recenter, come back to stillness, and access feelings in the moment.
In the moment I’m living my life in this container of the sacred pause. At this point in the year I’d normally have 2013 mapped out. I’d have unearthed new dreams for the New Year.  My planner would be filled with all things work related….retreats by the beach, yoga teacher trainings in faraway places, workshops and trainings I wanted to participate in. In true Sharon fashion, it would have exclamation points by trips and random stickers placed on special dates.
I bought a planner for 2013 but it remains mostly empty. I’ve hit the pause button.
My coaching website is nearly finished. All it lacks is a few finishing touches. I’ve hit the pause button.
Healing, connecting with Andy, and planting seeds for joy, hope, peace, and possibility are taking up my time and attention. This was not my original intention after losing baby Nico.
Part of me so desperately wanted to get back to get back to my life as I knew it. I wanted to get far away from my feelings and experience of loss. I wanted to busy myself. I wanted to get back to planning, mapping, corralling, and controlling my life. Not having a professional goal I’m diligently working towards makes me nervous, very uneasy.
Yet some part of me knows the only choice is to let it all go. I must live and dwell in this place of chaos, uncertainty, ongoing questions, and lingering sadness and trust that it’s lifting me to a better understanding of myself and my life.
It’s not easy. I fight it most days. It’s messy and it’s extremely hard work for me.
Tara Brach defines a pause in a way that deeply resonates with me. She says, “a pause is a suspension of activity, a time of temporary disengagement when we are no longer moving toward any goal.”
I’m also thinking of this in terms of the holiday season, a time that can be overscheduled and leave us feeling frantic and exhausted.
I’m wondering where the sacred pauses are for all of us in the season. Those of us that are dealing with loss and sadness as well as those celebrating a bang up of a year.
Before taking a drink of my soy latte I pause and smell, relishing the delicious scent.
Before opening a work email, I take a deep breath.
At night Andy and I light three candles on our mantle. One for Joe (my amazing father-in-law), one for Nico, and the unity candle from mine and Andy's wedding. We pause and say a prayer.
I pause during meditation and take note of my thoughts.
I pause on a walk and connect to the peace I feel, as well as the sadness.
I pause and make a wish on a star at night.
I pause during a conversation with a sweet friend and rest in quiet still space.
To do all of this and be truly in the moment, without any expectation, without strategizing, without working towards any goal is worthy of time.
It’s praise worthy.
And possible it just might save our soul this holiday season.


Holli said...

Sharon, this resonates so deeply with me. Although it's a completely different situation, I am grieving the failure of my marriage this holiday season, facing my first Christmas as a single mother, and trying my best to live in the moment. It's not normally the way I roll and it, too, makes me very uneasy. Thank you for being so honest and sharing your world--it helps to know I'm not alone. Sending all my best to you and Andy. xoxo

Belle said...

Oh Sharon, tears tears and more tears. My thoughts have been with you and Andy during the past weeks and as we close in on the holiday season. Thank you for sharing your journey. I'm certain it is helping others who are struggling through similar hard times (this little yogi included).