The 365 Commitment

The Pause Button

I have been pondering this concept lately of allowing more pauses in life. During a leadership training I learned about a military term, called the tactical pause. This is a concept of hitting the pause button during an intense, critical moment, just to make sure that everyone is understanding the current situation and requirements. The meditation practice that I have developed has taught me that it is a great idea to take a mental pause, a break for a few moments just to calm the mind. My running in the morning has given me a respite from the keyboard, phone and other distractions to allow my mind to clear itself – in essence – to take a pause. When you get in a disagreement with someone, and it is intense, it is a good idea to take a pause, a deep breath, look outside of the circumstance and take stock of the situation.

Pauses are not just good. Pauses are powerful. Pauses can release and build tension. Pauses can help rebuild, restore and regroup. Recovery is required. Without a pause, there will never be recovery. Pauses are an essential, quite possibly required ingredient to a personal growth plan. In a twist of irony, we think running faster, pushing further, stretching farther is how we achieve success but in reality what you really needed to do is stop of a few minutes and hit the pause button.

So why do we AVOID the pause? Why is it so hard to convince ourselves to do so?

Here is an absolute fact. The pause button is not just a quick button that you can hit and it works immediately. You have to practice pausing, rehearse it frequently, so when you really need it you can call on it and use it. How many times have you really been tired but just could not rest? So stressed out, but could not get your mind to shut down? That is because you are out of practice and have forgotten how to hit the pause button. Falling out of practice is not the only problem, however.

Pausing in life requires a methodology. Look at it with this example. I have improved my running over the last year. I have exponentially increased my strength, endurance, and oxygen utilization when running. That is great, it has taken a long time, but I can definitely see the improvements now. The reason is that my methodology has improved. My running cadence, the routing, the running schedule, my breathing, my shoes, and even my socks. The problem I ran into about 3 months ago, was that my RECOVERY had not been improving because I did NOT have a methodology. I had no prescribed way to recover. I had an exact routine and method to go running, but no method to recover. Consequently, my recovery ability was not improving in line with my running performance. This required me to really contemplate taking time to recover and more important having a way to recover.

The same thing is true in taking a pause in life. You need a way to take a pause, a methodology if you will. A process that you go through. A signal to your mind, body, and soul that it is time to relax and let things go for a while. If you do not do this, your mind will think it is in fight mode all the time and will not have any signal or notification that it is time to calm down. Not only are you out of practice, but you do not even know HOW to pause! In fact, you probably do not even HAVE a pause button!

So you need to make a pause button. A process you go through to let yourself know it is time to pause, time to shut down. It could be a routine that you follow, an activity that you always do, a phase you say, a meditation that you perform. Every time you need a pause, go through the same process. It will take a long time, but eventually, you will suddenly find that you can shut down on demand, or in essence hit the pause button.

Guy Reams

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share the Post:

Recent Blogs

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x