In a day filled with lots of activities such as cooking, shopping, working, doing chores or even socializing, you stop and wonder where did the day go.  Days turn into weeks then months and so on.   I certainly thrive on having a busy life and I know so do a lot of other people.  I have a To Do List and I write everything down in my trusty agenda book. I work hard not to forget things.

And then one day I realized I forgot to wish a friend Happy Birthday or send a sympathy card or call someone or respond to an email or missed a payment or fix something, cook something that is now past its prime or read the books I ordered and so on.  I have a habit of quickly going through my To Do List that I am always moving on to the next thing. Then I notice I let something slip, forgot to do something. And what’s the point of reading a book or article only shortly thereafter completely forgetting what you read.    

I start to think perhaps my memory is going and blame aging.  I am sure I am not the only one feeling this way.  I recognize that maybe I am simply not present for all my tasks – working on autopilot.

I recently did manage to read a book called Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach and it really struck a cord with me.  She wrote a whole chapter on Pause.  She says “A pause is, by nature, time limited. We resume our activities but we do so with increased presence and more ability to make choices.  When we pause…we open to the possibility of new and creative ways of responding to our wants and fears”.

I think it will also help with memory.  Actually taking some time to contemplate or ponder will help to have something instilled rather than a slew of fleeting thoughts.

What does it mean to pause?  It means stop.  Stop what you are doing, be still, feel or reflect.  Maybe change directions. You can do this in so many ways and in every situation in your life.  It can be for a minute or a week.  For example, reading a book, at the end of the chapter stop and think about what you read – what was your take away?  Or if you are experiencing a lot of stress – take a vacation, go for a walk, go into nature, meditate, for example.  In a conversation, listen instead of forming your next sentence in your mind. Genuinely listen, pausing from your own thoughts.  Perhaps when listening to music you feel something emotional – pause and allow the feeling to fully come up.

Taking the time to pause allows other thoughts to come in – like remember to call someone or do something.  How often does it happen when you get into bed and you suddenly remembered what you forgot to do.  It is because you are pausing.  So practice pausing.  After you finish a task, pause.  Even if only for 30 seconds.  Then move on to the next task.

I understand that this is a habit that might take some time and practice to implement.  I am thinking about putting sticky notes around or have my phone beep to gently remind me to Pause. Any other ideas?

Pause. Be still. Be present. Take the time to Pause.  

From the heart,

Heart to Heart Nutrition offers nutritional consulting, a 12 week online sleep coaching program, health breakthrough coaching where deep-rooted behaviours impede the journey back to self-care, self-love and self-worth.  Other services include hypnotherapy and reiki.