Power of Pause
Have you ever experienced the tension between wanting to do something in life that brings you joy, but you feel like you never have the time to do it? Time is one of our greatest assets.
When we do have time, we can easily fill it up with things that may not be as meaningful or life giving. Time can also be the hardest to prioritize, especially after work, time with kids, your spouse, friends, neighbors, chores, responsibilities and the list goes on.
What if making time for the things that you really enjoy doing was a perspective change - permission to reserve time for you. We won’t know what that looks like unless we pause, take time to reflect, and assess our current commitments. It’s the power of pause.
In other words, if you are always doing, focused on a fast-paced, busy lifestyle, but there is nothing restoring you, or refreshing your soul, you can hit burnout really quick. You can feel discouraged, bogged down, tired, and overwhelmed. I know I have felt this way in different seasons in my own life, when my head is down and I forget to look up. I realize that I actually need to pause, adjust my current routine, and re-focus on what is important and life-giving to me.
What does the power of pause mean?
To take a pause by definition means, a temporary stop in action or speech. It’s about listening to ourselves and identifying what restores us, gives life to our soul, and refreshes us. This will look different for each person and can be a healthy way to check-in with ourselves about what we need to adjust in our life to feel more balanced.
What does an intentional pause look like?
There are a number of ways to help instill the power of pause in your life. Here are 5 ways to guide you through taking a pause in order to create more balance in your life.
Protect your time. The power of pause doesn’t happen if your time isn’t set aside for you. Block out time in your calendar to check-in with yourself. Identify (by making a list) what you need and notice how you have been feeling. Do you need rest, more work-life balance, adventure, time with friends, do you want to learn a new skill? Even if you don’t realistically have the time or resources to do them, this list can be an important tool to keep with you in order to create more balance in your life.
Take negative thoughts captive. Identify any negative thoughts that keep you stuck, or leave you doubting yourself. Identify what is true about who you are, and don’t let fear or doubt keep you from living out your passions. In Brené Brown’s book Rising Strong, she talks about the power of rising strong when we fail. She explains, “Our job is not to deny the story, but to defy the ending—to rise strong, recognize our story, and rumble with the truth until we get to a place where we think, Yes. This is what happened. This is my truth. And I will choose how the story ends.” We often get in the way of our own happiness by letting negative thoughts become truth about who we are. When we learn to respond to those negative thoughts with positivity, it can restructure our entire perspective about ourselves or our current circumstance, also known as cognitive restructuring.
Identify your values and passions. Think about who you want to be known as and what’s important to you. Visualize what that looks like and how you will get there. What would your week look like if you spent even a small amount of time being that version of you each day? This can have a huge impact on the way you feel. It can give you meaning and purpose in your day and will help create balance in your life when you feel exhausted or overwhelmed. Intentionally living out your passions can help breath life back into your soul.
It’s okay to say no. This can be the hardest thing to do, but one of the best things for you. When we always say yes, we can feel overwhelmed and experience imbalance in our life. Learning to say no, even to good things so that you can say yes to the right things in your life is essential. It allows you to focus on what is truly important to you and believe in. During a mindful pause, think about what you have a hard time saying no to.
Vulnerability builds connection. Be honest with yourself and others about how you are feeling. It’s better to work through hardship with people you trust than to try and do it alone. To learn more, here is a great TEDx talk by Brené Brown on Vulnerability. When we are vulnerable with others, it’s gives those listening permission to follow suit. Connecting deeply with others can create a more balanced life and also remind you that you are not alone.
The power of pause is simple. Take time to identify what you need, how you are feeling, and begin to prioritize passions, joys, values, relationships, and meaning back into your weekly routine. We often need to give ourselves permission to make a change, but it’s also a good reminder that we don’t have to do this alone. Novo Life Counseling can be a great resource for you as you begin to live out your power of pause. We look forward to hearing from you!
Leanne Konzelman, MA, LMHCA
Novo Life Counseling // @novolifecounseling
Leanne is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate and Founder of Novo Life Counseling. She is committed to developing a positive and helpful partnership with each client during the therapy process. Working with couples, teens, and adults she is passionate about helping clients find balance and live their life to the fullest. Leanne is an avid adventurer, and enjoys exploring with her husband Drew and baby girl!