Power in the pause

children on stones

Ellie Fass Roads

When we learn to interact with things or situations mindfully, we start to create some space, to pause, to respond in the way that we choose to, and not just with an immediate reaction.

When I’m teaching about mindfulness, I talk about how when there’s a stimulus, there’s always a reaction.

I am constantly surprised in life when solutions to difficult problems or questions, arise in these pauses. For example, I couldn’t decide on what to write this blog about. I had all sorts of ideas and subjects I could discuss, yet I felt stuck. Instead of just soldiering on and picking something to write about for the sake of writing a blog, I decided to wait, and pause until eventually, this seemed to be the most fitting thing to discuss in my first blog.

When we have the space and time in the pauses, we create opportunity and creativity. So many of us rush to get things done, to tick off the list and move on to the next thing, that it’s no wonder why we don’t feel we have the time to create these pauses!

By not reacting, we can look at things from a much broader angle before we respond.

Once when I was living in Leicester and working at a university, my job was put up for redundancy. It was down to myself and a colleague, who were doing the same job role, and ultimately, they could only pick one of us. She got the job. Now my instant reaction was panic as I needed to find a job. I started looking, applying, going for interviews, keeping myself very busy indeed!

It was only when I stopped to pause and bring awareness to my situation, I realised I had a choice and an opportunity.
Did I want to carry on living in Leicester or could I start my job search somewhere else? I realised that I had an opportunity to start again, to move, find a new job and a new city. The doubts and panic, turned into excitement and adventure. I was lucky to find a similar job at another university in Bristol, and within a month I had moved to Bristol to start my new life!

What could you discover in the gaps, spaces and pauses in your life?

Instead of keeping on with your old beliefs and traits, bring some mindful awareness to your situation, problem or dilemma. Can you turn this negative into a positive? Can you find the stillness that will give you the answers you need?

Don’t be fooled into thinking that stopping, pausing or tuning out is lazy, unproductive or a waste of time. Our minds are crying out for these breaks, gaps, time-out’s! It is from these moments of down time, our minds have the ability to do some amaizing things (if we let them).

I’m not saying to just sit and wait it out all the time; in life we need to get on with things and respond to deadlines, but when you’re truly stuck or don’t know which decision to make for the best, mindfulness can help. Awareness of the moment can focus our attention to bring clarity, and tuning into our bodies and our felt sense, can give an indication of what decision is right for us - ‘going with your gut feeling!’

However you find your stillness and inner peace, whether it’s through meditation, going for long walks in nature or having a relaxing bath – trust that you can tune into yourself and your inner quietness, and from that ‘pause’, you’ll find great power!


I would love to hear your opinions and experiences related to this subject! If you wish to contact me via email please use the contact form at the base of this page. You will not be subscribed to any Kindfulmind services or subscriptions and your contact details will be used soley for the purpose of replying to your specific query and not shared with any third party.

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