the arrival of pausing turtle


turtle baby





When I moved to Santa Fe in September, it was like an adrenalin rush….new people, new places, new experiences…And also, since I didn’t have to worry about getting work right away, I had the time to explore. I fell in love with the land and with the energy here. I went walking/hiking whenever I could. I spent a lot of time at Upaya Zen Center, sitting in meditation, participating in retreats, feeling welcomed into the community. I began to make a few connections with people. I felt so happy and alive – vibrating from the excitement of it all. It was like a vacation with an indeterminate ending.

And then after several months, the ending came and I crashed! Reality stood directly in front of me with all the signs of, well, reality. I still had a bit of money left in the bank, but of course that was decreasing, and I started feeling anxious about finding a job. The few people I had connected with had their jobs, their lives… The honeymoon was over and suddenly I felt very alone and homesick for my east coast friends and family.

Obviously when there is stillness, it’s the perfect time for our minds to play all kinds of games with us, and wow! What games were going on in my mind! I was and am incredibly grateful for my meditation practice and all the work I have done with my teachers over the past eight or so years; this certainly helped me from going completely into a dark hole, which was in some ways where I wanted to go. And my practice also stopped me from making a drastic, reactive choice, such as packing my car and driving back east.

Pausing Turtle arrives…

One day I seemed to be having a particularly difficult time with my situation, feeling that I had made a foolish, expensive mistake by moving out here to NM. I was questioning everything. Fear, self-doubt, confusion….swirling all around and I went swirling around with it all. I found myself calling to anyone, anything for guidance. Turtle, which has always been an important spirit animal for me, showed up. I asked for guidance and what came to me was that I needed to pause….I needed a turtle pause. I sat with this for a bit and then Pausing Turtle came to be. It made complete sense. And this would become a life-force in the days to come. I have embodied Pausing Turtle and let the spinning, swirling craziness settle (at least most of the time). How gentle and comforting. How freeing!

Then I realized I could use Pausing Turtle as the name for this blog as well as for the note cards and other things I make. I went searching on the internet to see if anyone else was using it, and what came up was this:

Female turtles must be choosy about when and where they lay their delicate eggs to make sure food resources are available and environmental conditions are safe.
…the mother turtle secretes a gooey substance that surrounds the eggs while they are still inside the turtle’s reproductive tract.  The substance reduces the oxygen level to the eggs to such a degree that it literally stops their development.  It’s as if they’re frozen in time.  It prevents the eggs from reaching the critical stage of development where any turning would be fatal.

Anthony Rafferty, of Australia’s Monash University commented: “We think she wants to stop the development of the egg before it reaches that stage because if she was laying the egg, and it turned at all during the laying, it would die if it were at any further stage of development.”

from LiveScience Staff   |   February 06, 2013 05:21pm ET |

Once the eggs are laid, the mother turtle pauses for some time and sighs before beginning her journey back to the sea, pausing along the way after such extraordinary work.

This description connects with my need to pause. Not that I’m laying eggs, but I am indeed doing a lot of work and I feel like I am birthing something. It may not look like it from the outside, but this extraordinary inner work takes a great deal of time and energy. Pausing Turtle helps me remember that I need to give myself the space, not attempt to force things, and to have faith in the unfolding.

Here is my very first post! I look forward to sharing my writing as I continue on this journey, pausing often.
Thank you all for your support…