The Great Pause is the Departure Point

Author’s Note - This might be triggering. Take what is useful here and leave the rest. Not everything will resonate with you, but that doesn’t devalue what does. 

I’ve started to refer to the time we are in as “The Great Pause.” A lot of us are at home and getting reacquainted with our home, our environment and loved ones in new ways that we haven’t in ages or perhaps ever. We are getting to know ourselves better than we ever have before. For some that means listening to our innermost self and for others that might mean projecting and living in fear  (and everywhere in between).  We are learning what makes us tick, what habits support us and those that don’t, how to work from home (many while homeschooling children), and we are learning where and how we truly need connection in our lives. It is a unique time in all of our lives and I have welcomed it with open arms (for the most part...I’m only human). 

How can you welcome such a tragic time with open arms, you might be asking. I do not relish in the pain that is here or that is coming, but I do see this time as a once in a lifetime opportunity. Yes,it sucks. Yes, it’s annoying and in a lot of cases life threatening. Yes, we are all experiencing fear. Yes, it’s a change and change is hard. But it’s where we are, it’s happening. Spending time wishing it wasn’t happening is energy you can put to caring for someone, or yourself or create an idea or learn a new skill.  Everyone will experience this time differently depending on what your path is (as always), but I think the key to this time is acceptance of whatever that is in your life for you. “Resistance against” is where we get tripped up and create undue suffering for ourselves. Wanting it to be different than it is, prevents us from using it as an opportunity.  Feel your feelings always, but know that each emotion we experience, we choose what to do with it after we’re through the initial swell and intensity.  Will you cling to the pain and suffering, or will you experience it, let it move through you (in due time), integrate, and open you up to what is new? 

I keep hearing phrases like “when things get back to normal,” “when things calm down,” etc. Spoiler alert, that’s not going to happen and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. THIS IS THE DEPARTURE POINT. There are a few events in my short life, so far, that have been like this. Moments in time and history where there is a “before the event” and an “after the event,” a line in the sand. These points have changed the world, for better or worse, and “the great pause” already has and will continue to. 

This Great Pause, however, is different.  These other points didn’t have us all at home, unable to do anything in the outside world, many of us out of work, an entire society essentially closed down. Some of us have more time than we have ever had and some of us have much much less. Whatever the case is for you, find the space to ask yourself questions and listen for the answers. Whatever your practice is, meditation, mindfulness, yoga, running, Qi Gong, long walks, playing that same game for the 100th time with your kids, washing all those dishes created from working from home, etc, let these questions rise up. Get real with yourself, and let yourself be bored and quiet, don’t fill every moment (ehm social media), let the brain breathe. The best ideas can come out of boredom. The mind needs that space to create. Innovation can come out of silence and boredom, or that recurring loop walk you do everyday because you can’t go anywhere else while in isolation. The big and small ideas that will change our world (or maybe just your world) going forward can come from anywhere and anyone if we are only willing to listen. 

Can you believe how fast so many people and companies got staffed up to work from home? Sure not everyone can do this, including my mother who is a nurse (and any number of other people with essential jobs), but those that can, wow, that was fast. I have whiplash from how fast that happened. What is it they say, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” - here we are, innovating in real time, an entire country, the entire world.  This alone will change the fabric of the known work life for millions of people across the world. And my hope is that this shift alone will help us bring more affordable and accessible internet and technology to a wider population of the world, including here in the US. 

The veils are coming off. We’re seeing what’s working, what isn’t, what needs to be changed, not only in ourselves and our lives, but in the wider society. The cracks are more visible than ever. We can no longer ignore them. 

New things will be born. Humans of course because we are resilient but also new businesses, new podcasts, new thought processes, new ways of doing things, likely new elements of the economy or maybe the whole economy, a new paradigm and things we can’t even dream of yet. We are living in a once in a century historic event that will change the shape of the entire world. It’s going to be messy and uncomfortable for a while, but most transitions are, it’s how we learn what is essential and important. 

Let yourself pause (if you can), let yourself be bored, let yourself experience your emotions, let yourself be with your families. Take this unique time and be still, reclaim what is truly important to you, so that when the time comes to create again, you can. 

We are back in the womb, infants waiting to be reborn again back out into the world with other humans. What will that world look like? How do you want it to look? How will you help create it?

I firmly believe that we don’t ask ourselves enough questions, so  these are the questions I am asking myself right now (and so many more) and I hope you will too. And if your kids are old enough, I hope you’ll ask them too, their wisdom is not yet bound by the structures of society humans before them have created. They are some of the best out of the box thinkers. 

How can I be of service? 

Where are my skills and unique talents most useful? 

What new world are we creating right now? 

What’s really important in this new world? 

How is this new world powered? 

How can I dream and then take action to bring this world into being in my own small way? In my community or wider? 

What wants to be birthed through me? 

How do we connect in this new world?

What is the future of work? 

How can we redefine what it means to be social?

May you be healthy and be guided by your inner wisdom as we create a new world. 

(As a note, this is also a post for me because I have worked the last 16 days in a row. I haven’t been great at pausing yet, but I know how important it is, and I am looking forward to it.)



  1. Hi Sawrah, its been a while since I've read a post from you. This one is lovely, caused me to think deeply.

    Love your question prompts. The one that speaks to me is: How can I dream and then take action to bring this world into being in my own small way? In my community or wider? I love the duality of dreaming and taking action.

    Thank you for this. Take good care.

  2. Hi Pete! I've been doing that a lot myself lately, thinking deeply, as I am sure we all are. I haven't been writing as much lately, so I am happy you are still reading. I hope you are doing well during this unique time in history and treating yourself well. Thank you for reading and commenting!