The power of pause.
I am looking for a brown bag I brought home yesterday and put somewhere. The bag isn’t tiny and my home isn’t big yet I can’t find it. Even worse, I remember doing some “logical tidying” this morning and can’t remember my own logic. Argh...
In Bless this mess., I said sometimes we need to step away. This step away is the pause. A pause is like a physical and mental detox from the details of a situation. The pause can help us day-to-day with things like lost glasses (on your head), missing car keys (in your pocket), and other things. Pause also helps when wrestling with complex situations in our work.
Pause doesn’t need to be – and usually isn’t – dramatic or expensive or lengthy. While pausing our mind and body together is ideal, pause of the mind alone has great power, too. Just stop. Stop trying so hard to solve the problem at hand and step away.
Taking an intentional pause might feel like avoiding the work. It’s not. It’s a time to let our brains exhale and recharge and a chance for our mind and heart to do the heavy lifting underneath the surface of our conscious.
The power of pause makes space to dream bigger, work smarter, gain perspective, and make better decisions. We find the spark or connection or formula needed in the place or at the time we least expected it. The pause – like the mess – isn’t some sort of magical “tip”. It’s one technique to consider when wrestling with a complex problem, something that’s emotionally amped up, or a routine decision we’d like to see differently. Or, on a much lighter note, the lost brown bag.
I stopped looking for the bag but later wondered if I could smell my way to it. The brown bag contains soaps and “it’s really stinky” according to Brooke. Smelling to find something in your house because you can’t remember where you put it? That’s just weird. But the silly thought made me smile inside and out and – you guessed it – I found the bag (thankfully I only needed to sniff my way to the adjoining room).
Pause seems to know the unresolved things in our head and heart (clearly some more important than others) and its power often shows up and helps in ways we cannot predict or prescribe or even understand.
Is there a situation you’re dealing with now that might benefit from pause?
I look forward to hearing from you.
P.S. We went to the park when I was writing this post. At the playground kids were playing tag and I overheard, “Pause.” I looked up to see everyone freeze. A few moments later, “Unpause,” and the game resumed at full speed. I smiled.