Last week I brought up the idea of finding ourselves in the pause, and that “the pause” provides space in our lives to touch into our deeper, more knowing selves. I also recommended a talk from Tara Brach called The Sacred Pause, which is a lovely, friendly dive into this topic. I invite you to check it out! In the meantime, I’d like to continue this discussion by touching on the “how and when” of bringing moments of pausing into your life. Hopefully, this is practical, useful information that you can apply in any of life’s moments.

First off, a quick reminder: when I say “the pause” I simply mean taking a moment to step out of incessant inner dialogue and busy-ness. It’s a moment to stop problem solving and simply feel what it’s like to be you in any given moment.

What does this look like? Here’s the practical “how to” portion of this post! This exercise can take two minutes, or if you’d like to relax into it, let it be as long as you’d like.

  1. Step one is to breathe. Take three slow, deep, deliberate breaths, allowing yourself inhales and exhales that are as long as feels comfortable.
  2. Then, offer yourself a kind invitation to tune into yourself.
  3. What is it like to be you right now, in this moment? This can be physical sensations, sensory experiences (sights, smells, sounds, etc), or physical sensations.
  4. Name the feelings you’re feeling. Fear? Elation? Confusion? Restlessness?
  5. Allow and acknowledge those sensations to exist with a kind heart

black statue of a man And that’s it! It sounds simple, but the real trick is to leave it at “what am I experiencing right now,” and not jettison into “what action do I need to take right now.” If your feelings are uncomfortable, this moment isn’t about making that into a problem. It’s simply acknowledging that discomfort and not fighting with it. “I hurt right now.” Breathe.

So when in your busy life should you do this? Basically, the more often the better, but my advice is to not wait until you’re in a dire situation to give this a try. First try it when you’re having a normal, non-reactive experience. Try it right now! What are you feeling? The more you can practice this when the stakes are low, the better you’ll be at it when it really counts.

And what about meditation, you ask? Great! Yes! Meditation is basically training your body and mind, on a regular basis, to build this muscle. It’s a more proactive way to make sure you have a say over how you react in different moments. But don’t worry! You don’t have to have a meditation practice to receive the benefits of taking a pause. Just practice pausing as often as you can (maybe set a goal of two to five times a day and see how that goes).  

With practice, the next time you’re in an overwhelming moment, you have a resource to call on. Take a pause before you say that thing you might regret. Take a pause before you hit “send.” Take a pause before you step on the gas. The point is to act from a place of your best, wisest self. To act with intention instead of reaction. To really be in the moment, instead of at the mercy of the non-stop inner dialogue that we all experience. It’s a small step, but a mighty one, on the path to connecting with ourselves, each other, and the world around us. 

I acknowledge that it’s easy to say this and harder to do it. Almost everything goes more smoothly with proper support and guidance, so if you’d like to talk more about incorporating this into your life, feel free to be in touch! Email me at [email protected], or better yet, set up a complimentary consultation with me to see if coaching would be a good fit for you. You can also find me at I’d love to talk more!

May your pauses be filled with gratitude and contentment!


By Published On: April 22, 2024Categories: Staying Mindful, Up-Leveling Life

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