Unexpected Pause

Today I had a scheduled appointment at the new American Embassy in London to renew my passport. As they encouraged, i allotted three hours for the appointment. I brought loads of reading and writing material. To my surprise, my wait for all the various internal stations and departments was only one hour. I had taken the entire day off work, but had no other looming plans. This never happens. Even weekends appear rushed. If I am going to the city for a yoga class, it’s precisely planned to not allow much free time. Everything is a hustle, but today I actually could stroll.

What a wonderful experience!

I opted for the slightly longer meandering paths because it luminated more beauty. I stopped to take pictures along the way. I lingered at a coffee shop, using my alter ego name versus my normal boring one with the barista. I had time to write, pause, and breath. What beauty there is in this! Why don’t I allow myself more time to stroll?

I realize there is always a rush. I would rather be late for meeting a friend, in order to squeeze in another errand than be early. Why can’t I give myself the pleasure of allowing space to arrive ?

I wasn’t always like this. I used to arrive early for meetings and appointments. But somewhere along the way I decided my time was too precious to wait for someone else. I began to feel there was not enough time to do loads of errands, my mind was simply too busy to slow down.

In reality, there is never going to be enough time. But we can make space: to slow down, notice what’s around our environment, and use the “extra time”to slowly inhale gratitude for the arrival. If there was additional time, we could even create an intention for our upcoming appointment or meeting. The act of creating an intention may actually deepen and enrich our experience.

Although today my additional space was unplanned, it was highly appreciated. I think it will gently serve to nudge me towards possibilities.

There is a reason the adage exists to “stop and smell the roses.” When we rush to the next thing, we miss all that lies among our paths. Sometimes when we reach our destination, we are disappointed due to expectations. Yet if we are appreciating all that we meet, the entire journey becomes enjoyable. Rushing doesn’t allow space for noticing.

I hope you can take the time to pause today.

“He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead;his eyes are closed.”-Albert Einstein

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