I’m honored to be in a position where people ask me, “How do you make all of this business and life stuff work?” And when people asked me this 10 years ago I probably rattled off a long list of what I do. It would have sounded like a lot (because it was) and it would have sounded a little frantic (because it often was.)
Today, my answers are different. Because I am different. And lord, I am grateful for that!
I said this was going to be about big juicy insights, but really, it’s about words. And the insights holding these 3 words close have given me.
My hope is they will serve you in some way, too.
If you’ve ever met me or watched my videos, you know I talk fast. I move fast. I think fast. And while that’s the way I am wired, and it helps me create good stuff and get it out in the world, it also creates a host of issues for me. Misunderstandings with Bob, starting projects before building enough foundation, making mistakes, and having to redo my work.
And if I’m honest, for most of my life, I wanted to give the middle finger to anyone who told me to pause, slow down, make a plan. I thought they were so b-o-r-i-n-g and just didn’t get it. I had stuff to do! These days, however, I feel the exact opposite.
To pause is to know yourself. To pause is to open to the present awareness goodness that life offers you each moment. To pause is to soothe the jangled nervous system ruffled and creased by modern life. To pause is to invite intimacy with everything around you and in you.
One of my favorite things that happens at the Oasis is how women start reporting that they’re pausing more often. Not because they “should” but because they genuinely want to be aware and experience their actual lives. And revel in the changes pausing brings, especially when it comes to A) preparing for sleep and B) dealing with big challenges like divorce, a sick spouse, moving house. I especially love how one woman used pausing to help her connect with her beloved, because she realized that she was craving that by… pausing!
Yes, I’ve become a gushing fan girl for the power of pausing.
Gosh, if my dad were alive and he read that I am learning to be patient, he’d laugh his loud “That’ll be the day” guffaw of his. I’d love to tell him,
“Daddy, it’s true! I’m grasping what you were always trying to tell me, that my impatience at myself doesn’t do me any good. It’s a form of self-violence. Patience is love. Patience is that long view you were always going on about. Patience is awareness of how little time we really get in this body. How you wanted to hang on to yours, even through all that chemo. I get it now, Dad, I really do. And patience is what I wish I had Dad, when you told me those same stories over and over again.
“Dad, patience is, I think, about love – for myself, for my people, for my students, for cutting the carrots for the stew tonight. When you are out of patience, you are out of love or at least not in a place of love. It’s also about surrender, giving up the fight for things to be different, and relaxing with what’s here.”
“I get it now dad. For entire breaths at a time.”
A coaching client and I were talking last week about how tempting it is to want big results fast, seeing you haven’t created those results yet, and then giving up on your dream. Patience isn’t sexy, but it works a whole lot better than quitting.
This “P” word I’ve always been pretty good at and I’m really good at teaching others to get good at it, too.
I want you to be the be-er (not be confused with beer!) vs. the one who waits, watches, and perhaps, dithers. I want you to be the one who stops looking for THE answer out there and instead checks in with her own knowing, participates, and then reflects, “What was that like? What do I know now?” and then keeps going, keeps participating.
I used to have a terrible habit of waiting too – in this case, it was my creative career. Because I had been lucky enough to have my first book, The Woman’s Comfort Book, become a bestseller, and lots of speaking, teaching, and media opportunities come to me, I started to believe that was the only way for me to continue to reach people and earn a living. I became someone who waited to get chosen (by a speaker’s bureau, by Oprah, by a magazine) rather than being someone who participated in choosing herself.
Unlearning that way of seeing my work was one of the biggest ways I’ve learned to truly participate – and create a far more sane and lucrative career!
When you don’t practice pausing, patience, and participation, your life goes slumping downhill.
It’s just like yoga and meditation or whatever your coming-home-to-self practices are – when you neglect them, your life doesn’t work as well. You become more critical of yourself, less trusting. You slide away from faith and (mostly) delighting in your experience of being alive and into doubt, flinging yourself at “solutions,” gripping about whatever or whomever is pushing your buttons.
You already know the good news: you can always begin again, right now, with your next breath. It doesn’t cost a penny, doesn’t require you to add one damn item to your to-do list, and opens the doors of your precious heart.
Welcome the Pause.
Surrender to patience.
Pucker up some participation.