Emerge and Spread Your Wings

The Power of The Pause

“The Pause is the full stop that allows us to consider the next sentence in our lives. In that space there lies the opportunity for reflection, perhaps transition or change, or simply and understanding of the next step. It is a moment in time to be still and to see what emerges.”

Danielle Marchant

I have been fascinated by this concept of a Pause for a number of years. I first came across the idea of using a Pause in an article written by my colleague Liz Gow. An experienced occupational therapist, wise supervisor and counselor and empowering life coach, I am always inspired by the ideas Liz brings to the table. Liz titled her article “Pause, best Practice!” – the idea that taking time out of our work lives is a crucial part of keeping objectivity and delivering quality to our clients. Regular professional supervision is an effective way to push Pause in our practice.

Recently I have been trying to come up with strategies to assist my younger son to still his amazing, but busy brain, in order to focus better in the classroom. One of the skills I am teaching him is using breathing to calm himself. With using deep breathing for relaxation, one of the keys is to PAUSE at the top of the in-breath, and again at the bottom of the out-breath. This slow steady breathing is effective for reducing anxiety and calming the autonomic nervous system. This link gives more information.

By happy chance, on a long unexpected wait at Auckland Airport, I stumbled across a book by Danielle Marchant. “Pause” How To Press Pause Before Life Does It For You. This is a wonderful resource for examining your busy life and finding everyday practices to support your wellbeing. Marchant asks us to imagine reading the page in a book without punctuation. The words merging together and nowhere to take a breath. She suggests that many of us live large parts of our lives in this way. “A life which, without full stops, feels overwhelming or without meaning.”

One of my favourite suggestions among many in her book is Micro-pause 8 – “If you want your day to get off to a good start, prepare the night before. Create a more relaxed morning by taking 10 minutes before bed preparing what you need for the next day.” Such a sanity saver for me in my chaotic family mornings.

Have you considered adding a regular Pause to your repertoire of self-care skills, either a micro pause, a breathing technique or a supervision session? I’d be interested to hear what you have found works for you.