In this great pause in 2020, many of us have learned to build pockets of stillness into our lives.
Going for walks.
Riding our bikes going nowhere.
The glorious pockets of stillness in our recent days have been an overall, incredible blessing.
Then something unexpected happens — creativity and ingenuity. The best ideas come to us when we stop actively trying to coax the muse. We allow the stillness in our experiences float around our unconscious mind and new connections and combinations spark. Basically thinking without actually focusing too hard allows unconscious processing and untapped creativity.
For the spiritual folks, it’s mentally voicing our prayers of gratitude and requests and then being silent. It’s hard – I know. Concentrating on not concentrating is difficult but allowing this time is when the answers can begin to illuminate.
Besides being one of the greatest creative architects, stillness also mediates our moods and personal connections. Being as religious and disciplined about our stillness as about our work can have the effect of self-correcting our disordered priorities and connections to what is most important.
Not giving ourselves this downtime really is a profound failure of self-respect and of our priorities. What could possibly be more important than your health and sanity, from which all else flows?
I’m inherently learning, in this forced stillness, that presence is far more rewarding an art than productivity. The connection and grace I’m finding in myself for myself and for others is an awakening and invaluable gift.
Our culture measures our self worth by our efficiency, earnings, and ability to perform—I’ve been just as guilty of it. Productivity has its place, but worshipping at its altar robs us of our capacity for joy and wonder that makes life worth living.
So I am reframing this inconvenient world-wide pause to “ the great pause” that has forced pockets of stillness. In my stillness, I am surrendering to daydreaming and connecting within myself while going for a walk, bike ride, or my new-found fav—front porch tea or coffee in wooden rocking chairs with my husband or kids.
How have you benefitted from the great pause?