When we hurt – whether it is physically, emotionally, or spiritually – it is as if we are at odds with the entire world. Trust becomes a major issue. The world seems as if it has gotten dense. It may seem that we are walking through shadows – darkening and foreboding shadows. We do not trust the world. We may not trust others. We may not realize it, but we are doubting ourselves. Our trust in our ability to handle ourselves is compromised. We falter in our resolve. Our negative thoughts are dominating us. Everywhere we turn, it seems that we are hemmed in. We keep trying to find our way through, yet we are caught in the mind’s labyrinthine thought patterns. If we do not take positive action, we may falter along our path to healing.
When I get to this place of feeling at odds with the world, it is time for me to bow and reaffirm my connection to my Higher Power. When I feel such resistance welling up from within me, and I am fighting with how things are instead of accepting the moment and moving from there – I stop what I’m doing and pause.
I detail the extraordinary and profound power of the pause and the present in this excerpt from my upcoming book:
“We can be so caught up in the mind that we are on an endlessly spinning hamster wheel of thoughts. If we look at this from the perspective of physics, we can say that this spinning has its own momentum. To get off this hamster wheel of the mind, we must change its momentum.
Enter the pause.
All we need to do is just pause – for a moment – to change the momentum of the spinning mind completely.
The pause is a sumptuous and sacred space of creativity.
Look to the living cell as an example.
When a cell divides, whether through mitosis or meiosis, the stage (resting or interphase) just before that moment of creativity is the pause. It is a place of stillness and of fundamental reorganization. From this resting phase, this pause, is born the next phase of creating something new.
Here is how I see the part the pause plays in the life of the addict and chronic pain sufferer.
When we are caught up in the mind, it is as if we are lost in a great deluge or avalanche – the momentum is that powerful. We can be so lost in it that we do not even realize we are indeed lost. Imagine what would have to happen to pause a waterfall or an avalanche. This can be the power of us being caught by our thoughts. That there is a way to disengage from the cascade of the thinking mind is a miracle when looked it from this perspective. Yet… this is how powerful the pause is.
In wave-particle theory, it appears that a wave is a wave – until we put our attention on it. Then, a wave becomes a particle. As to wave-particle theory, I can see a correlation to the presence here as well. The pause is a space where the wave (potential) and the particle both exist, because our attention is on neither. So it is with presence and meditation. We sit with a blank slate of expectations and notice what arises in our consciousness. So, our choice as to where we put our attention after the pause determines which direction the momentum of our thoughts go: back on the endlessly spinning wheel of thoughts, or into the healing space. In either case, an epigenetic transformation occurs. In the case of remaining in the healing space of presence – this is where spontaneous evolutionary epigenetic change can occur.
Before you decide that I have crossed over into the theatre of the absurd with the premise in the last paragraph, hear me out. I can understand how you might question how one might pause the flow of a waterfall. I can also understand how you might question an avalanche slowing down. We base our predictions on what we know to be true in our past. But here’s the thing. This is exactly the kind of limited thinking I had when I suffered with chronic pain.
I wanted to think outside the box. I knew outside-of-the-box thinking was out there somewhere. I just couldn’t access it. I had no empirical evidence in my past that would point me to a life other than the one in which I was living. I was caught in my own version of the endlessly spinning thoughts of the typical addict and chronic pain sufferer.
When I was shown a new possibility, embraced it, and felt the shift in my experience as the pain dissolved back into the nothing from whence it arose – this was such an incredible occasion for me. Literally. I found it hard to believe, yet it was indeed happening. It was so momentous that as I look back on it, it seemed to me as if someone had come along and switched the flow of the waterfall of pain rushing inside me. It seemed as if the avalanche of chaos that was my life suddenly switched from careening downhill, to climbing steadfastly back up the mountain of wellness. And in the midst of all of this abrupt change in the directions of my health – was the pause. The pause when all things as I knew them stopped for one sacred moment as I considered that there might be another way to live – even if I wasn’t exactly sure what that was. A new possibility arose from that place of pause. It was the turning point for me, the pivot point around which all else rotated. It was the place where from here – my choices made all the difference.
The pause is a sacred place for so many reasons:
As in the example of the cell, it is that space from which creativity arises.
For the addict, it can be the bottom from which all else springs. It is the place where at last we say, “Enough! There must be another way.” We are at the brink and we come face to face with ourselves. It is a place of raw, stark, and rich honesty.
For the chronic pain sufferer, in addition to the realizations gleaned by the addict, it is the place where we finally come to a place where we are no longer terrified of our pain. In the pause, if only for a millisecond, we turn and face our pain. We meet it… And in this pause, we switch from ceding our power to the pain, to taking our power back. We move from victimhood to empowerment. It is the springboard from which we rise.
So much energy exists in this moment of pause — around which all other momentum revolves. It is the turning point. It is the point of healing. It is from this pause that we can then step into power of presence and its extraordinary healing potential.”
[- Excerpted from Chapter 8: Genetics & the Power of the Present Moment from the upcoming book “The Way Through: Crack the Code to Chronic Pain & Discover a Thriving Life”.]
We learn through the power of the pause to trust ourselves once again. We have become present and so have entered the healing field. Our Higher Power lives here and our Self. Trust is no longer an issue because doubt cannot survive the present moment. This space is where we can regain our sense of self-trust and our confidence. When we pause and bring ourselves into the present moment, we promptly return to our healing path.