The circle was spinning on my computer screen along with the words, “Please Wait”, as it tried to process information that I needed immediately. Frustrated, I took a deep breath and in an irritated voice I spoke aloud to no one, “Really? I don’t have time for this stuff.” (Except I didn’t use the word, “stuff”).
With the exception of the few, wise, “work/life” balanced individuals among us, it is safe to say werun through life in overdrive as we check off our excessive “to do” lists. Add on the Christmas parties, holiday baking and shopping that comes with the season and it’s enough to tip us over the edge.
But nature may provide us an excuse to slow down, as if one needs to be goaded into stepping back from our face-paced life to take a breather. Today, December 21, is the winter solstice – the official first day of winter that marks the longest night and shortest day of the year. It’s during this time that we experience the dark months ahead which can open the door to our natural inclination to hibernate, allowing us to rest. And, if we dare, suspend our busyness for a while - standing still while we wait for the promise of warmer and longer days to come.
The word “solstice” roughly translates to “sun stands still.” Even something as important as the sun takes a moment for quiet and reflection. Although technically, the sun only appears to pause, but nature in her wisdom may be trying to tell us to pause from time to time, too.
There are many advantages to taking a momentary hiatus for rest and self-reflection. One well-known benefit to pausing in this way is that it allows the mind to process important information, increasing our ability to create with life. The act of slowing down itself, gives us time to take a deep breath and actually “hear” intuitive thoughts that often become reality, taking action in a more purposeful way.
I must admit that I will always be one to busily flutter from one task and event to another, so for those who find themselves in the same predicament, I am unable to offer any solutions for slowing down - (except for the obvious act of doing less).
But when moments become too stressful and things are spinning out of control, I will recall that moment when my computer asked me to “Please, wait” as it processed the information I requested from it. And much like that computer, I will do my best to pause - and wait – so I can process life with the intention to act with authentic creativity.