Our lives are filled with noise.  First in the form of physical sound; much of which we choose to invite in by what we listen too.  Televisions, car stereos, ear-buds, etc. – we live in a society where audible inputs are constant.  On top of that we add visual noise; injecting image after image willingly into our minds with the various screens we use each day.  The amount of visual and audible stimulus we take in is staggering.  

But the noise doesn’t stop with these sensory inputs.  There is the noise of our thoughts which at times can be all consuming.  In this state our minds are like the surface of the sea during a storm – full of choppy jagged waves of all sizes, frothy crests, and punctuated by millions of raindrops.  Perhaps it is no mystery that we struggle to sleep soundly or awake with anxiousness.

But missing out on sleep is not the greatest harm that mental noise can do.  More gravely, it may cause our feelings to go unnoticed. It may mean we miss their message.

Feelings are like subtle currents, often deep ones, in the seascape of our being.  They are messengers and movements of the heart. Even the ones that are not pleasant.  Perhaps especially those. Inherently then, they possess a deep wisdom and intelligence. You might even say they represent our true selves.  Most certainly they carry critical information for our growth and joy.

Pausing to feel is an effort  to settle our mental sea enough to begin to notice what is going on below the surface.  It is a practice that not only allows inspired guidance to flow into our lives, but transformative shifts to occur.  Without pausing to feel, very little positive change, both inner and outer, will be possible. Pausing is also its own reward – for, even if no epiphanies arrive – the calmness alone is a soothing balm, bringing much needed rest, healing, and restoration.

Time on my yoga mat is one of the best ways to create the space to pause and feel.  Continuing this practice and sharing it with those who have found the same to be true, is a cherished blessing.  One for which I am particularly grateful at this time of year.   

Amidst the wonderful noise of the holidays, remember to create some space to pause and feel.