Press Pause (this is a video on this topic if you prefer watching something instead of reading)
I choose to pause.
I say choose because pausing does not come natural in our busy, over scheduled, frantic, productive, crazy lives.
I am learning it takes serious will power and discipline.
Pausing for me takes place in 2 primary ways:
- I choose to pause when I begin to feel rushed, anxious, stressed or like when I’m unraveling. I know in that moment I can buckle down and push ahead but that only builds the tension in my heart and body or I can give myself like a time out. One of my stress triggers is having a full busy schedule so I need lots more pausing when we are busy. Later in the post I will share an example how I did this the other morning.
- I choose to pause at specific times throughout my day. I want to pause whenever I feel stressed but I also want to have this life giving practice as a regular part of my day. I want to have it as a spiritual discipline that strengthens my soul. So many things in life are out of our control. We can only control our response to things. I believe having this as a practice will help me to respond better to what comes my way. This post describes the times to pause. But whatever works for you. Try just setting your timer for 5 minutes every day to be still outside. The 7 times that many monks/nuns practice are sunrise, midmorning, lunch, mid afternoon, sunset, bedtime and then middle of the night. I can’t forsee middle of the night one for me. 😉
Practical Steps to Pause:
- FIND A QUIET PLACE: Outside is the best therapy for my soul. If you have little ones and it is not nap time, perhaps a bathroom (sitting on the toilet lid) right after you have introduced a new toy or a tub of toys they have not seen in awhile. You may get a few minutes of them being distracted. Or it may be off to the side in a chair facing outside.
- STOP: Things need to stop. All forward motion, productivity needs to stop.
- BE STILL: Try to allow your body to relax. I have now made a pausing place inside if its cold. It is a comfy chair and padded footstool in my bedroom. I am working on not piling it with laundry and junk. It has 2 pillows (one for the small of my back and the other to go under my knees) and it has 2 books (7 Sacred Pauses and Day by Day) that help me focus and be still.
- QUIET YOUR MIND: I start my pausing with 2 minutes (at least) of silence. I set my phone timer and silence my phone and resist checking it when it vibrates. During that time I try not to think on all I have to do but on things I am grateful for or I just soak in the beauty of creation all around me. Sometimes after the 2 minutes I will read some from one of those 2 books. I hope to buy some more prayer books,