may, 2022

28mayAll DayThe Power of the Pause

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One of the side effects of continued self-care, if you’re doing it right, is that you gain more self-awareness. This can be both good and bad. For instance, recently I reflected on a meltdown I had 20 years ago with one of my sons. At the time of my life, I was not self-assessing or self-regulating my emotions.

Here’s the story. We were returning in the car from the shopping day. He needed a pair of shoes for a job interview. I don’t remember what I said, but to this day I still remember how I felt after I imploded and saw his face. I regret that day to this day.

It was a moment when a pause would have been a better choice than an immediate reaction to something that was said. Fast forward to the past weekend –I apologized to him after all this time. I really wanted him to know how deeply that day pierced my motherly heart. But what emotionally hurt me further was that he remembered this meltdown, too.

It was a time in my life when I was doing everything. I was doing everything! I was a superwoman, super wife, super daughter, super mother, and super pilot. At that time, I was perfectly able to handle it all up until the moment I didn’t. As a result, I blew up. My meltdown broke my son’s heart and his spirit to this day.

It was instances like this that led me to seek out ways to care for myself better. Early in my quest to learn about self-care, I met a woman who was much wiser than I was at the time. She continually emphasized the importance of the “gap,” but I never understood what she meant.

Until one day, while I was in a group meditation, I was annoyed by a loud ceiling fan. It had a rattle sound that kept starting and stopping. The noise drove me crazy and I found myself more and more distracted. At one point, it went silent. And in the absence of sound then I realized, that must be the “gap.”

Now I realize how a pause can be the source of relief and spaciousness, but the key ingredient is recognizing that it’s there at all. The Gap represents quiet. A pause at any given time. To recognize it requires self-awareness and practice.

Pauses can be incredibly valuable in your day-to-day life. When you’re immersed in the whirlwind of work, or you’re with the kids all day, and you simply cannot catch your breath – give yourself a gap. Stop. Go to the window. Look up at the sky for a moment. Even if it truly is only for a moment, the smallest pause can transform your day.

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