Updated: Sep 25
verb [no object]. cause someone to think carefully or hesitate before doing something; a temporary stop in action or speech.
When you are in the midst of a heated or emotional moment, PAUSE. Life is uncertain right now. We are continuously having to adjust to a world that is changing and unpredictable. Little things sometimes become big things and emotions can really take over our front lobe (that's our smart, logic brain). To help you keep your Hot Mess brain from raging, I simply encourage you to learn the art of Pausing.
By allowing yourself to step back from the situation you give yourself permission to explore the experience through a different lens. Life is hard and we as mere humans have an innate tendency to just react to whatever is coming at us. By cultivating our curious explorer, we give ourselves permission to begin responding as opposed to reacting.
Practicing the Pause: When someone says that thing that makes you want to scream or cry, try pausing, feeling your body and noticing the thoughts that are arising. Take a DEEP breath through your nose and then exhale slowly through your lips. Even envision, "Clean, pure, fresh oxygen coming in.... grey misty mess coming out"
Then, AND ONLY THEN, respond mindfully, OR maybe realize that there's nothing you need to say.
I have countless examples of times I utilized this pause, and times I did not. The pause is always the better option. The good news is the more you practice pausing when emotional or uncomfortable, the easier it becomes.
I find that kindness and openness is the best response, but I sometimes need to pause to remember that. Practice pausing at work, with family, while driving, and any time you feel that need to avoid discomfort.
Pausing becomes the new normal and helps us navigate life's messy situations a little more effectively. Try it, you may just surprise yourself.