The Great Pause

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Today, my computer froze while trying to record a discussion for our Difference Makers Discussion series. The whole thing literally just shut down, right in the middle of our recording. Just like that.

The two humans, Elea and Adam, who were with me when this happened were incredibly patient and understanding. They even created the space for us to redo the recording. But when it happened, the computer wasn’t the only thing that turned off. I shut down, too. I put down the computer, dropped my phone on the desk, and walked out. I went into the living room, sat on the floor with my girls to play for a while, and then we all went for a walk. 

As we enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine, I reflected back over what had happened with my meeting and attempted recording. It suddenly struck me that just before the unexpected shut-down, Elea had been talking about our current global experience with coronavirus being the “Great Pause.” As we are all being forced to pause, many of us are finding there are some gifts that have come with this reduced pace. We are learning that technology does not have to be perfect. That we can be more patient and accepting with each other. That we can be at home with family and go on long walks in the sunshine whenever we please, and that the world will keep turning if we do.

At least those are my Great Pause gifts, my personal silver linings. And if these gifts exist for me, surely others are finding their own gifts, too. 

Of course, there are plenty of things to be concerned about during these times. I’m not negating or dismissing them. But there’s also a lot more space right now for us to find clarity around what really matters. 

Remember all those times you said, “If I just had time, I’d…” Well, what if that time you’ve been waiting for is right now? Now, while there is no commute? No calendars full of events? No after-school schedules packed with extracurricular activities? 

What will you do, once you finish reading this? Instead of filling your time with yet another YouTube video, TV series, online conference, or webinar, just stop for a minute. Take a breath. Allow yourself to pause, too.

Ask yourself how you want to use this pause you have been gifted. How will you move forward during this time intentionally? Meaningfully? Is now the time to tackle that house project? Learn that new hobby? Get into a daily walking routine? Actually write the book you have had in your head for years?

Or is it time for a long-overdue break? A moment to simply rest and be still?

The world has never seen a pause like this one, and most of us will never see one like it again. There is no one right answer as to how to contribute to this world-changing, historic moment. 

But there is a right answer for you. You are here for a purpose. Your passion exists for a reason. So breathe, reflect, and make the most of this incredible time, this Great Pause. Do what you need to do, for you.

When we do hit play, you will be rested, restored, and ready for what comes next. 

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