I spent the beginning of this year practicing pauses - examining the power of the small moment, seized in the midst of a busy day. As part of that, I journaled my way through Bonnie Grey's book Finding Spiritual Whitespace. Her whitespace is my pause, although she went a little deeper into it than I did; validating whitespace, discussing how to find it, and presenting ideas for incorporating "shots of rest" into your daily life.
Practicing pauses is definitely something that I need to continue doing, regardless of what point of the circle I'm at. But it's also something that I want - introvert that I am, I embrace opportunities to step back and take a deep breath (or a sip of tea). The trouble is, when walking away (even for a moment) isn't an option, I begin to feel trapped. In the back of her book, Bonnie included a Whitespace Challenge - a list of ideas (categorized as creativity, adventure, community, and soul care) for creating whitespace in your life - and it struck me that a lot of her ideas would allow me to pause without pausing.
For example, under Soul Care. she suggested "Signal[ing] your body to physically rest knowing Jesus will carry you through." Things like playing ambient music or enjoying a better view (going outside, decluttering, hanging new art). Reminders that even when I feel overwhelmed with a toddler on one hip and a baby on the other, I am being carried gently in my Father's arms.
As I worked my way through past Hope*ologie prompts, the phrase beautiful dwelling arose. I loved its duality - both a verb, to dwell beautifully, or a noun, to be a beautiful dwelling. It's a lifestyle, overarching every aspect of my daily existence, and it's one that I'd like to begin pursuing. Bonnie's prompts seemed like a good place to start - I'm starting with Soul Care, and moving forward from there, as needed.