I had two big events planned through my business Inner Path last week, the beginning of The Artist’s Way Series and a SoulCollage® Workshop. I had spent the last couple of months planning for them and eagerly waiting for the day. Then the snow came, and it came, and it came, and it came. Both were cancelled.
For a short period I felt myself falling into a pattern of worry and fear. “How will this impact the series? Will anyone show up for the make-up day?” I questioned. Then I took the time to tap into my higher source and remember that everything that happens is an opportunity for lessons, for growth, and for reflection.
Blizzards shut everything down, especially this one. Most of us have no choice but to retreat into our homes and wait. I find it interesting to watch the many ways people do just that. Some welcome the change of pace; others claim to be going stir crazy on the first day. Some settle in to watch movies all day long; others completely rearrange the furniture in their house. Some go sleigh riding and build snowmen; others pace the floor and wait for it to pass.
The one thing most people have in common is that for those few days, their lives do not go on as originally planned. They have no choice but to do something different than they had anticipated. They have no other option than to be spontaneous and perhaps creative.
In this culture of ours, we spend much of our time rushing from one urgent activity to the next. Blizzards teach us, with a few exceptions, that most of what we think is life and death is not. They remind us that all these obligations we feel are terribly urgent are not so urgent after all. They force us to slow down and rethink what is really important in the moment.
Am I telling you this so you will stop going to work or being productive? Of course not. But just imagine if we approached the obligations and responsibilities of our life with a little less urgency. Imagine how our health and well-being might change.
What if we carved out time in our schedule for pauses? What if we believed that it is just as important to take time for stillness and rest as we do for work and productivity?
Often I attempt to clearly define the message I’m trying to send into the world. If I had to summarize it, I would say, I want to help people slow down and be more present in their own life. I hope to help others embrace the Spanish proverb, which states, “How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterwards.”
Martha Beck claims in her book The Joy Diet that the first step in adding more joy to our life is to take time to “do nothing”. That may sound too simple, but I believe it’s so important. We may be getting a lot accomplished in our world, but we are missing a lot in the process.
We are missing moments of spontaneous joy. We are missing unstructured time with the people we love. We are missing the sweet soft voice of the Divine whispering in our ear, telling us who we are and why we are here on this earth. Blizzards tip the scale between action and rest and remind us of the importance of both.
If you were impacted by the storm, I hope you did something spontaneous. I hope you had at least a few simple moments of joy. I hope you allowed yourself to pause, even for a short time. And if you didn’t, that’s OK too. You don’t have to wait for a blizzard to take a pause. You can carve out time on a Saturday or even a random Tuesday.
Whenever it is, I pray that you realize the pauses make us stronger. They make our path clearer. They make our life richer and more meaningful. Blizzards can teach us that, but so can the quiet sound of our beating heart.