Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading

The Pause: Finding Peaceful Resolve In Chaos

By Tina Levine

Each day as I awake, the first question that comes to mind is, How much longer can I take this pause?  This physical separation from my three boys, their wives, and my grandchildren needs to end!

My mind races with all the statistics I hear on the news. It could be a year or so before I can feel comfortable and safe to commune with loved ones and friends. My stomach rumbles, my head feels like it is in a vise, and my body numbs with angst. I push myself out of bed.  This endless loop is making me feel sick even though, thankfully, I am not.

I raise the shades on my bedroom windows, and sunlight filters into the room. I am warmed by soft rays of the sun on my face and smile when I see a flock of birds heading to my backyard. They  will find comfort in food I have set out for them in my garden.

My destructive thoughts begin to fade. I shower, dress,  and head downstairs, knowing that there is hope in my backyard.  I raise the kitchen windowshade and see birds flock around the bird feeder and line up for a  turn on the

railing  in front of it. This creates a flutter – a good flutter  in my heart. I am caring for something in nature.

These flying wonders seem excited to have a safe place to feed and then go home to their nests to care for young ones. It reminds me of  my days as a young mom caring for my three little ones. A sense of peace washes over me as I recall those treasured times. Suddenly, a squirrel enters the scene. Danger has set itself upon my little flying creatures. It wants to feed not just on the bird food, but on the eggs in the nearby nests. My delicate, beautiful birds have seen danger. They quickly fly off and must pause in their nests until the danger leaves. Never do they  fly to the feeder without knowing that danger lurks without notice. I yell out through the window, and the squirrel departs quickly, but the birds do not return immediately.

A while later, as I am eating breakfast, a beautiful orchestra plays through my window. The birds have returned. One stands on top of the feeder —  the lookout. I notice that the birds take turns being the lookout. Sometimes they do not return until the next day. Sometimes I run out of bird food. Where do they go then?

By this time,  my earlier rambling thoughts  seem to have settled down. Why?

I imagine that my heart overtook my brain. It had a love experience, an appreciation of  life  before the pause, for which I didn’t have time to take note of each day. It may seem like a simple thing, but now when the  crazy thoughts emerge,  I reach for something to love that perhaps I hadn’t noticed before. I can’t control what is out there in the world. I can control how I react to it. It will not always work right away. Sometimes, I, too, will just have to pause and notice something new. The mama and papa birds cannot control danger in their realm, but they know how to pause when needed. I am sure they appreciate that which I can provide. Maybe that is why they were given wings — to show us how to flow with what the wind blows in each day.

So, what to do when you do not have a backyard or birds to feed? Let’s recall what we do have. Are you in a hospital right now? (I hope not.) Are you safe inside the nest you have created? What can you do to embellish it and free it from clutter? Do you have a writing tool with which you can  express what you are feeling right now? Is there a window at which you can notice something you never took the time to appreciate? I see people on bikes or communing with  loved ones who perhaps had no time to do this before.

Yes,  concerns about how you’ll pay your bills will creep in, and rightfully so. I find my husband and I are spending less. Also, we do not know how all this will turn out, but we can try to control our health and state of mind.

This country has been through several wars and an awful depression, as well as 9/11. Yes, many died, and many times there was a pause. I think those who survived tried each day to live the best lives they possibly could, one day at a time.

Is this pause an accident? I say no. Instead, it is the universe telling us, “Enough is enough!” Each of us has been given a beautiful place for our souls to work, play, and thrive. What are you doing with it? Have you lost touch with why you’ve been given this opportunity to revisit Earth? Have you forgotten how to love even when others disagree with your way of thinking? You have all that is needed to survive peacefully together. Instead, you find reasons to hate, manipulate, and even disregard the plight of our fellow humans. Yes, this is a pause. Get back to your source, your heart.

Take time to sit or lie down and reflect on why you were sent here. If you can’t hear the words, write them. They will come. What are you doing each day of this pause to improve any situations which you did your honor the life here on Mother Earth? This is not just about the environment, which we know  needs desperate attention. It is about how you till the soil of your heart. What is vital in this life —  really essential?

For me, first and foremost, is taking care of my spacesuit, the temple that holds my soul. When it is fit, healthy, and flexible, my spirit has a clean and safe place to reside. I am in greater sync with its voice — and it does have one. You know, that whisper reminding you to forgive someone who has hurt your feelings or abused you physically. That whisper telling you to call someone  you have left behind. The voice that tells you to provide for a charity or that whispers to you when you have been dishonest or mean to another human  or to an animal. Yes, that voice is within us — always. So, take  time during this pause  to find your whispering voice. Make friends with it, give it a hug, and then share it with others. `