“The pause is as important as the note” – Truman Fisher
I didn’t always concur with the above statement. I used to push myself from one project to the other. I was proud of my busy daily agenda, which included trying to be a perfect person both professionally and personally.
But in 2015, life happened, there came a phase, where I was falling sick often and the doctors couldn’t find a medical reason for my illness. My physician blamed “stress” as the reason behind my frequent sickness. This diagnosis led me to move from a constantly fast-paced life to slow down. I realised as I slowed down, I was able to give my body and mind a chance to rest and restore.
I did not escape to the mountains (even though I would have loved that). I took time to take mindful pauses to connect with myself at certain points during the day. I did not know that I was starving for silence and stillness till I tasted these mindful pauses.
The mindful pauses led to me developing my capacity to stop hiding my emotions – rather to accept them, and eventually let go of the ones that no longer served me. I was able to rework my priorities, reawaken my desires and experience an emotional reboot.
Taking a pause is immensely beneficial for our emotional and physical health. Like I said earlier, taking a pause does not mean escaping to the mountains or mastering the art of Zen meditation, it means to stop or rest for a calculated period of time.
I seek these pauses every day to help me restore and regain my balance and I urge you to do the same.
Few ways in which you can pause and reconnect with your body:
- Begin your morning doing nothing: For the first ten minutes of waking up, do nothing. Get out of your bed, find yourself a cosy corner (preferably where you can soak in some sun), and play a selection of your favourite songs.
- Connect with your breath: Find a spot where you can lay down and relax. Set a timer for 15 minutes. Take this time to focus on your own body and mind, remove all distractions. When you feel comfortable, gently close your eyes – breathe in and breathe out. Slowly inhale and slowly exhale. Allow your thoughts to calm down and settle as you slow down your breath. Try to truly connect with your breath. Once the timer goes off, slowly return from the meditative state and start to open your eyes again. Roll on to your favourite side and come to a seated position.
- Journaling: Take time to write down things. Write whatever comes to mind. You don’t need to write for hours together. You could set up as low as ten minutes each day to pen down your thoughts. You will be surprised to see how quickly you are able to find words for your feelings.
- Restorative Yoga: A subtle practice using props, a pose is held for a longer period of time, somewhere between 5 to 20 minutes each. In the pose, the goal is not to stretch or strengthen the body, the goal is to slow down and relax.
- End your day with a self-massage: Dim the lights, hop on to your bed and grab your favourite lotion and take your time to apply it to the soles of your feet, paying attention to the sensations in the body and appreciate your feet for everything they do throughout the day.
Remember, a pause is temporary, you will hit “play” again, with a clearer mind.
Come, let’s take a pause!