Pausing While Waiting

The title of this post might seem odd. Aren’t ‘pausing’ and ‘waiting’ the same thing? They seem very different to me.

In my experience, ‘waiting’ includes someone or something outside myself. I wait for another person to begin a conversation, meal, or other experience. I wait for my vacation, a phone call, test results, treatment plans, the sale to go through, the concert/festival/movie, etc. Sometimes, I wait with patience and grace. Other times, I wait with anxiety and frustration.

Pausing’ is about me. It’s about the present, not the future. It’s about how I live into what’s going on around me. When I choose to pause, I breathe in a different and more intentional way. I match every exasperated huff by deliberately inhaling AND exhaling. Instead of clenching my fists in anger or fear, pausing helps me open up my hands and heart to what’s happening right.this.moment.

I can absolutely wait without pausing. I find however, when I choose to pause while waiting, I am better at living into whatever the next present moment turns out to be.

What do you think about or how have you experienced pausing while waiting?