Pause for Perspective

Achieve an improved quality of life by appreciating the beauty of the world.

To have a clear perspective on just about anything, I must  

wait a long minute. I have to linger, allowing things to settle  

a bit, allowing the world to wrap gently around my soul. To  

have any kind of perspective on things, I must take time to  

breathe, just breathe, lost in speechless thought. I must  

invite the world to dance, as it deems fit, without my  

frantic intervention.  

                                              — Karyn D. Kedar 

                                                  in Our Dance with God (p. 71) 

Taking our hands off the controls and pausing lets us clearly  

see the wants and fears that drive us. We become conscious  

of how the feeling that something is missing or wrong keeps  

us leaning into the future. We can continue our futile attempt  

to manage our experience, or we can meet our vulnerability  

with the wisdom of what I call “radical acceptance.”  

                                       — Tara Brach 

Most people think carefully about moving, changing careers,  

and getting married. . . . They look at these choices as important  

because they know they are not everyday choices, yet other  

choices are even more important, and you make them each  

moment. The most important choices you make are the choices  

about how you see yourself, the Universe, and your relationship  

to the Universe. 

                                      — Gary Zukav and Linda Francis 

                                          in The Mind of The Soul 

About seventy-two thousand times a day, you have a thought. Researchers have discovered that the time between an impulse and a response is half a second. Being aware during that brief interlude can add another half a second — giving you a full second to think about it: to not instinctively react; to not say something that you almost instantly will regret. That one second can make a dramatic difference in how you see the world . . . and how the world sees you. It all depends on what you do; and so much of what you do depends upon how you see. 

As a writer, poet, editor, and noted chronicler of American Buddhism, Rick Fields once wrote this: When we pay attention, whatever we are doing – whether it be cooking, cleaning or making love – is transformed. . . . We begin to notice details  

and textures that we never noticed before; everyday life becomes clearer, sharper,  

and at the same time more spacious. 

You can’t see the whole sky through a bamboo tube. 

                                                          — Japanese Proverb 

How many times must a man look up before he can see the sky? 

                                                         — Bob Dylan 

Look up for a minute once or twice every day. We see the world for the most part at eye level – everything and anything is within six or seven feet of the ground. That can be suffocating. Even if it’s just when you’re walking across the parking lot or going out to get the mail, pause for a moment. Take a deep breath, look up at the sky, and try to soak up a little bit of the majesty of the universe. Put your trials and tribulations in perspective. As the iconic Zen master Yogi Berra once said, you can observe a lot by just watching. 

Author Bio: Alan Zoldan is a freelance copywriter (www.a2z-micromarketing), joke writer and just plain writer “with a crowded mind” who lives in Wesley Hills, NY. In 2018, Alan published his first book, It Was Funny When I Wrote It: 518 of My Funniest Tweets. 

Photo by Anika Huizinga

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    1 Comment

    1. Avery Elizabeth

      Amazing article with meaningful quotes that really illustrate how important it is to stop and breathe!

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