I am stretched out on the grass before a lake in a park near my house. It is late afternoon and this brief interlude provides a needed pause for wonder and reflection. I love the light at day’s end at the close of summer. Its tender elasticity is almost unbearably soft. It’s as if the sun is tapping into its energy stores to stretch out the summer light as far as it can possibly go before it dissolves into dusk. Interestingly, as I think about the sun in this way, its ability to effectively stretch the borders of light and to essentially make do with less, it reminds me of human resiliency and my own ability to cope at times when emotional rations are lean.
For the most part, I am resilient and that is not necessarily a testament to my well-seasoned coping skills as much as it’s a consequence of a calm and optimistic disposition that, I’ve been told, has been with me since birth. I tend to move comfortably in the world, guided by a sense of curiosity and interest. I can laugh or cry at the drop of a hat and often do both at the very same time. I have pleasant work relationships and deep friendships. Still, I know I can be even more emotionally resilient with mindful practice.
Take this breather, for example. I can certainly do more of this on a daily basis—choose to stop and smell the roses or expand my view of the world in the moment. Also, I can pause more often in my conversations with friends, family, and co-workers to provide space for others’ words so that I might better hear and understand. Similarly, I can attend more regularly to my own thought processes to bring awareness to the messages I am giving myself. Am I being fair and kind to myself? And I can pause more often before I agree to take on any additional tasks to consider my external and internal reserves. How often do I say, “Yes,” before checking in on my energy level or ability to get things done without over sacrificing? Finally, I can pause more often in my human grief and my desire to remember that loss comes in waves that last for seconds and not forever.
In this moment, I commit completely to honoring the wisdom of the pause and enjoying this heavenly light.