The Power of the Pause
In business – indeed in life – having the ability to take a moment to pause before we start any activity, or before we react to any situation that presents itself, is powerful.
If we can learn to pause – even for a split second – we then have a moment of choice. We’re not just acting or reacting automatically, in our habitual way. Instead we can act consciously and intentionally.
This ability is one of the most important elements of the body intelligence approach, and is rooted in a key principle of the Alexander Technique. It is what makes it work!
If we do not learn to pause mentally, we then miss the opportunity to choose the way we want to act and get stuck in our habitual way of doing things. We’ll lose that moment of possibility for choice and change.
The idea of pausing is not new to most people. In fact it comes through in our language – look before you leap and think before you speak are two sayings that come to mind immediately.
However, for me, the Alexander Technique takes the idea of pausing to a whole other level. We learn to use this pause to help us identify and change the subtlest habits of tension and posture that infiltrate the way we move and react throughout our day.
A pause is powerful because it gives us the opportunity for:
We can be present to ourselves right now, rather than jumping ahead.
This brings awareness so we have time to assess the situation and different options on how to proceed.
This allows us to make a reasoned choices in how we behave and respond.
We can then act intentionally, rather than on automatic pilot.
A pause can be long, or so tiny so as to be indiscernible to anyone else.
What if you stop – pause – right now while you’re reading this blog? Take a moment and notice your feet on the floor, notice the contact you have with the chair you’re sitting on, become aware of your breath flowing in and out of your body, and look around at the space around you. On just this simple level, did just stopping for a moment and being aware of yourself in this present moment change anything at all?
Do you have times in your life where you’ve been able to successfully pause and rethink how you want to react for the better? Can you think of specific triggers that cause you to react in a way you’d like to change? How could a moment of pause be useful to you today?
As always, I’d love to hear from you. If you have an observation, question or comment for me, please leave them in the space below.
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