Right now I am wearing a small silver bracelet equipped with a piece of oval plastic that buzzes my wrist every ninety minutes. This is not a tracking device. I am wearing it willingly. It was a gift from two lovely women in California who happened upon these pages entitled 'Pause', no doubt, when they were googling this word/concept on the internet as they established an evolving idea. It is a bracelet they have created to remind the wearer to stop periodically to breathe, pray, center, to take a pause in whatever is pulling at their attention in any given moment, of any given day. Their creation is called 'meaning to pause'.
I have to admit that when I first started wearing the bracelet, I jumped and even gave a little girl-squeal when it buzzed. At first, it was shocking. This, of course, says more about me than the bracelet. In the intense ways in which any one of us move through the world, such a gentle reminder can come as a shock. But now I have become accustomed to its gentle vibration. In fact, I actually look forward to its buzz. When I am not wearing the bracelet, I have kept it in a bowl on our buffet where I can still hear its call.
Wearing the bracelet, I am reminded of the faith traditions who are called to prayer several times a day by a chime ringing, a bell sounding, a horn blowing. The faithful are called from their workbench,stove, field, assembly line,or desk, to stop for a time of connecting with their own breath and the Breath that dreamed them into being. No matter what is happening, these people stop with meaning…… to pause, pray and remember who and whose they are. I imagine that there are those who, at times, are as startled as I was with my bracelet. Pulled out of the intensity of their work they are brought into the present moment, always a gift.
And then there are those monastic traditions that follow the liturgy of the hours, stopping at several times a day to come together as community for prayer. Morning, noontime, evening, and compline or late night prayers.The very rhythm of their day is kept by coming to and returning from prayer. I wonder how long it would take for that kind of rhythm to get inside you so that, no matter where you are, you begin to feel the tug of morning prayer or compline?
Most of us live what I call 'the distracted life' and yet long for something different,something more grounded, with more gentle intention, something that connects us with the Holy in a more disciplined way. Most of us do not live in monasteries where the liturgy of the hours is our practice. There are no bells ringing or gongs sounding that remind us to take a moment to remember our own breath. And so we must come to our own place of creativity for creating the triggers we need. I had a friend once who created a practice of praying at every stop light where he stopped. It seemed to work for him….he was never in an accident while praying!
Whatever your process of prayer, however you take time to remember to breathe, I offer blessings. In these small, captured moments of intention we come to know ourselves more deeply and live more fully. And who doesn't want that?
You can learn more about the Meaning to Pause bracelet at www.meaningtopause.com.