'Sacred pause' what does it mean?
I use to think I knew but the winter this year taught me I never really knew what it meant. I thought I did, I thought I rested. I thought i had truly experienced sacred pause, but I hadnt really.
Within the wheel of the year, are the sacred directions. In the north, the place of winter, is the place of rest.
The north in our wheel of the year, in the northern hemisphere is where time stands still. The time the trees sleep, their sap flows down to their roots. Its the time many animals, and insects hibernate, the earth freezes.
We as humans once used this time to rest too, we stored all we needed, we followed the cycles of day and nights natural rhythm, and slept longer as part of the pattern. Allowing our bodies to rest, restore and repair.
I recently attended a most beautiful course in Seidr winter writing. The teacher, Zara Walderback sunk us into the depths of winter, into what it meant to meet with winter, to meet with the dark, to really 'be' with both. We sat with dusk, in silence, in sacred pause, during the long phase of the light changing, until dark enveloped us. What a gift that was. Zara told us in Sweden, where she lives, there is an old tradition whereby the farmers stop their work and come in at twilight to rest during this period, its called Ta'cmeywii, which means 'very beautiful'.
I began to find time in each day to rest, and honour it for myself. I use to fill each day up. I honoured my daily rituals in my own practise but I now see none were in rest, none were about the pause.
I still do have a full day with calls, clients, and family activities, but...I now also honour rest time and time of inner peace for myself each day.
What I've learned is, I still have time. I have time for everything. Time seems to be elastic, it can stretch. And feels easier to feel into with inner peace.
I've also always know that concept that through rest, in winter, that is when seeds grow. They quicken, little storehouses of wisdom waiting to create the being they will become in spring. I knew for us metaphorically creating this space, the sacred pause, for ourselves. For rest, for inner peace, would create space for our seeds, for our dreaming. Winter is the time of dreaming.
I had experience of this, but not compared to the true pauses I gift myself now.
I am learning; pause gifts peace and peace gifts us nourishment.
If you are doula, a birthkeeper, a healer, shamanic practitioner or celebrant. Chances are you are self employed, chances are you rarely gift yourself space for rest.
If you are reading this as a parent, new or expecting, you are likely so busy you can't rest.
But you can! Each day find a time to truly rest. To put away technology, phones, TV.
Take yourself for a walk in peace, and maybe find a place to just sit in stillness by a tree.
Or use the natural time of pause during dusk. As was the beautiful task suggested by the lovely Zara. Sit by a window, watch the sunset colours, light a candle and sit until you are surrounded by dark with just the flickering candle light. This will connect your body with your natural rhythm too.
I leave you with some quotes on peace by the wonderful priest Peter Owen Jones from his book Conversation with Nature.
'Peace is the mother of this earth, the mother of every stem and star.
Nurturing peace is the life purpose on all thriving planets. The greatest hope for for human being is that one day you will choose to nurture peace, to know yourself on that surface, within those depths, to know what is found that it is peace that holds a life world in being, it is above all things, the foremost reality'
Sit with me, see how the light and the water are one. That even in storms, the fierce hunger of desire, these pools are wells of calm. The depth of peace is found in stillness. You don't make peace, it is peace that makes you'.
You don't make peace, it is peace that makes you! What incredible words.
Find your sacred pause each day and let peace make you!
Blessed be in sacred pause,
Photo: frost covered grass by Eva.