It’s been a theme in my life this week.

There is incredible power in pausing. In fact, so much of the power you have, and aren’t realizing, is right there waiting for you in the seconds and minutes between actions. Pausing allows you to check in with yourself in the present moment, it allows you the time to make conscious choices, and it is the key to breaking through any automatic thought or behavior. Pausing puts the power back in your hands.

Pause before you speak – Take in what you’ve heard, choose your words, and be aware of the effect the may have.

Pause before you act – What are you about to do anyway? Why are you doing it? What is your intention? What is your desired result? How can you do, whatever it is, best?

Pause before you eat – Are you hungry? Is it physical or emotional? Are you choosing foods that make you feel good?

Pause to give thanks – Feel gratitude, let it warm you, fill you, change your perspective, and light up the dark areas of your life.

Pause to be aware – Pause to take in everything in the present moment, the sights, smells, sounds, and feelings. Life is happening NOW, be a part of it.

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”
– Guillaume Apollinaire

Pause to check in, and care for yourself –
Part of practicing self-awareness and self-acceptance is the ability to recognize when you need a break. Give yourself permission to take a time-out and practice self-care. Maybe what you need is 5 minutes, or maybe it’s an entire afternoon, just allow yourself whatever it is you require to restore, recharge, and find peace. Pressing the pause button, giving time to yourself, could determine whether or not you will show up as your best, and most powerful, self.

Pause to heal –
A week ago, I decided I would pause at 2pm, every day. Whatever I am doing at the time, I will stop, and be silent. This pause is as much a way to recognize the state of our world today, as it is my own way of coping with it.  I realize that prayer won’t stop violence, that my meditation won’t stop the spread of hate, and that all the loving kindness I could possibly emit won’t save the world. But what if I could take the time to pray, meditate, and care for myself, and spread loving kindness to those who I interact with… And what if those people also took care of themselves, and filled themselves with love, and shared it with everyone they came in contact with? If everyone took just 5 minutes of pausing every day, to reconnect with the love and peace that is within them, and shine it towards others, how far could we get with it? Could it change how we interact with others?  Could it inspire us, and give us the strength to have the tough conversations, to take action, and DO what it will take to end violence, end hate, and stop deepening the divide between ourselves and others?

I’m not sure. But I’m going to pause, and try anyway.


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