Time to Pause & Slow Down

Written by Heidi Payne

Time to pause…

One of my favourite trees in my yard got an infection recently, and I feel it is a perfect representation of the last year: stunted growth, illness, death, invasive and harmful growth of negative influences; but also renewal, regrowth, persistence, resilience, hope, faith, and new beginnings.

Last spring this tree was magnificent, growing beautifully, and then it had a shock and appeared to have died within a few days. I was devastated. I was going to cut it completely down, dig it out, but instead I pruned it back and let it sit.

Fast forward a couple of months, I was thrilled to see that there was new growth, substantial and healthy. I plan to nurture it, coax it back and watch it flourish over the next few years.

I’m so glad I paused before I had a melt down over it.

I’m so glad I slowed down to see what would happen.

I sat in my disappointment. I did seek out replacements, but I held off …

What if this is what this time in our lives is all about right now?
What if we were given this pause to force us to slow down, and to re-evaluate? Force us to acknowledge the toxic invaders we have in our own lives, and in our world? What if everything needs to crumble before it can be re-built into a stronger, more beautiful version?

I’m feeling that in myself, I’m feeling that in our world. What are we going to do to use this moment for change and growth, for ourselves? For those around us? For our children, our future generations?

As parents and educators I urge you to: 

  • be a model
  • have difficult conversations
  • capitalize on teachable moments
  • create opportunities for – and be open to – learning
  • defer and concede to those who have lived experience

This can be a hard and uncomfortable spot to sit in, but I’m also feeling excited, I’m feeling that spark, more than I have in a long time. I know I want to leave this world better for my kids…

Let’s do it together.


Heidi Payne Barefoot Books - Growing Payne's CommunityHeidi Payne is an independent consultant with Barefoot Books and invites you to follow along as she shares thoughts and ideas to provide positive experiences to the children in your life. Heidi highlights selections from Barefoot Books, a publishing company founded and led by women, featuring stories and activities that celebrate families and communities. The focus of all Barefoot Books is on inclusion and diversity, while honouring individual unique qualities and strengths.