Practice the Pause

I don’t know about you, but I feel like my life is not slowing down at all. As we have been returning to  something that resembles “normal life” following two years of pandemic uncertainty, I find I am ramped up, taking on too many things, not sleeping at night because I can’t get my mind to rest. 

Moving back to working in the office, sending kids to school, attending after-school activities along with finding time to take care of my own needs – going to therapy, re-engaging in yoga class, making time for friends and family, I struggle to find the time and space to just pause for intentional moments in my day.

Yesterday I was listening to a daily meditation in which I was invited to be aware of the pause which comes at the beginning and end of each inhale and each exhale. We don’t normally pay attention to our breath. We are barely aware of it most of the time. It’s amazing how this life-giving practice, so automatic, is so easily forgotten. But in this moment, when I was made aware, I could stop and recognize the pause.

When we are feeling restless or overwhelmed, we can take a moment to remember the pause. Sit in that pause and notice it for what it is. The pause is that moment where we can stop, refocus and rest for a moment.  It is the moment between bringing energy into our bodies and releasing the energy once it is no longer needed.  The pause is the preparation for letting go.  As we focus on that pause, perhaps we can find a moment of calm for our minds, a moment of peace for our hearts, and a moment of stillness in our day. 

The pause may be the most important part of our day. It snaps us out of autopilot and allows us to reset. 

The pause. The breath. The pause again.

When I stop and recognize the pause, I feel a slowing down. I make clearer decisions. I can rest. My life may not be slowing down, and maybe I don’t really want it to. But when everything feels like it is unravelling, I can breathe. And I can pause.

How do you bring a moment of stillness into your day?

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