On Pausing: Finding Stillness and Embracing the Liminal


“I got part of that from Miles, especially the silences. The holes.
Nobody plays better holes than Miles, from a musician’s point of view.
In Indian music they have what you call ‘the unstruck’,
which is the note you don’t play.
That has as much value as the stuff you do play.”
– Jerry Garcia

New Yawk City. Can’t stop won’t stop. Gotta go, gotta be, gotta do.
Even in fitness. Even in wellness. Even in healing.

And I totally get it.
You want to feel better. Or be out of pain. Or be more fit. Or have better posture. Now.
Enough, no waiting, You’ve got a life to get to. More is more. Faster is better.
Instant gratification. Now now now.

So I am here to promote the power of the pause.
The space between.
Embracing the liminal.

I don’t mean stop. (can’t stop won’t stop)
And I also don’t mean a collapsing in exhaustion. This is not even rest.
It’s not even necessarily passive.

Inside these spaces, don’t shut down. Tune in.
See what bubbles to the surface.
Let your nervous system catch up. Let the tissue adapt.
Let all the beautiful work you’re doing shift and gel.

Give change a chance to happen and give yourself a chance to witness it.

Pauses are opportunities. To see what shows up.
These in-between moments create a clear field for you to notice things you never did before.
To acknowledge progress.

If you’re rolling on an exercise ball, MELTing on a roller, if you’re on the Pilates Reformer,
or just got a massage.
If you’re working on a deadline or dealing with a family issue or having an argument or
writing in your journal.
Just take a beat or two to bring awareness inward, experience an opening or unwinding or a deeper fuller breath or greater blood flow or releasing. Letting go.

Can you find your stillness inside the velocity?

Even if you’re still in pain,
could you sense a release, an opening, a giving way of tension in your tissues?

Even if you’re on a crowded subway with your headphones. Lower the volume – are your toes curled? Are you gripping your bag more than you need too? Is that headache still nagging you or did you even realize that it’s gone? Are you only sitting on one butt cheek?

Are you clenching your teeth or have you finally let go?
Could you feel your heartbeat, hear your breath?
Could you be present and quiet with yourself for just a few of those breaths?
What do you notice when you do?

Are emotions percolating that you’d prefer to push back down?
Are you caught in a loop of thoughts you can’t shake?

These are powerful gifts of discovery. Of listening and paying attention.

What could happen if your brain and body connected? How real could things become?
Would your truth be different?

I just triumphed through a 28-day healing cleanse. The first 12-13 days were incredibly challenging for me. Everything was so on-the-surface. Every little thing was super intense, physically, emotionally, mentally, energetically. It all was very loud and frantic. I would try to create some fleeting moments of stillness and go inward to see if I could sense what was really happening. It was pretty hard but pretty reassuring. It got me reconnected to what was truly shifting in my body because I was so frenetic on the outside.

It let me honor the space between before and after, between the first step and what was possible for me. To celebrate in my own little way what I was capable of, what my body was capable of, what it took to get there.

It’s not the intention or even the first step. It’s not the goal reached or the finish line or the declaration of being healed.
But these spaces between have just as much value as the stuff you’re doing, being or going.

Can you find the unstruck note?
Can you find your stillness?

let’s rock this thing.

PS – In my first blog post I posted a link to an article by the Medical Medium. His healing cleanse and protocols are the ones I’ve been following and they’ve been nothing short of miraculous. I can not recommend his book enough for anyone with chronic illness, misdiagnosis, unexplained symptoms, no answers, mystery illness, seemingly unrelated symptoms, etc.