David Robert Jones, MS LPC

The Pause that Refreshes (24)

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Akin to the ideas of relax/release and noticing the opening/closing of the heart, the pause that refreshes is a staple of recovery and continual healing. 

It’s a simple concept, but not an easy practice.

Tonight was my son’s final performance in their high school musical “Mean Girls.” I had been to all the performances thus far and we have had a full house and full schedules.  

By late afternoon, I could feel a sense of pressure building up in my head and by the time we were sitting in the theater, my head had several intense pains piercing the left eye. 

From many years of experience, I know where this kind of sensation leads and it isn’t to a place where I’d want to be sitting in a theater with loud music, singing, and dancing. 

But, I caught it. I noticed it. 

And, once I noticed it, I didn’t try to act like it wasn’t there.

I paused.

And I did whatever magic my body has learned to heal itself of these sorts of things. 

My eyes closed, I let go of any holding whatsoever, and the intuitive body and creative unconscious did the rest. 

20 seconds later, there was no trace and I was able to thoroughly enjoy the show with my family and spend time congratulating my son and his fellow cast members for the hard work they did to produce the best high school musical production any of us had seen. 

I had several of these pauses that refresh throughout the day. Neurologically, they are my way of interrupting old and often trauma-based wiring that excites my nervous system and sets off a cascade of symptoms. 

But I have been developing a new relationship with my nervous system and literally re-wiring my brain with many new connections that are grounded in a sense of being secure, grateful, and present with body/breath/sensation/emotion in meaningful and adaptive ways.

This morning, as I was sitting in the ice bath, I noticed pressure in the top part of my brain.

I paused.

And as I closed my eyes, I suddenly felt as though the top of my head was being sliced open and off like a cantaloupe. A hand with a spoon scraped the seeds of pressure out and I felt as though I was breathing the cool air through the top of my now-spacious skull. 

I then noticed that the back of my neck near the brain stem was throbbing and all of a sudden a hand was pulling the tissues as you would pull taffy. Back and forth, stretching, lengthening, and working out any of the stress that was residing in the tissues. 

It was exquisite. As good as though it “really” happened because it really happened.

The pause.

The refreshment. 

The wisdom of the creative unconscious ready and waiting.

Not a cure-all. But available.

“Enter the space inside your head.
See it as already infinite,
Extending forever in all directions.

This spaciousness that you are
Is permeated by luminosity.
Know this radiance
As the soul of the world.” 

(Radiance Sutras, p. 97)


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