“Because experience happens so quickly, unskillful habitual responses can come out of our mouth before we know it. It helps to practice skillful responses when things are easy. That way when things are tough, a healthy pattern is available, already set. It also helps to train ourselves to pause before our response. This is called the sacred pause, a moment where we stop and release our identification with problems and reactions. Without a pause our actions are automatic.” –Jack Kornfield, The Sacred Pause
It can be difficult to pause. We can get stuck in habitual patterns, stuck stress, limited mindsets, and feeling triggered. And yet, these difficulties all bring forth an opportunity to ask yourself the question. Ask, Can I pause? What do I need to happen in order for me to pause? Can I ask for what I need? Can I walk away?
It can be challenging when life around us refuses to stop and listen. It can be especially hard with little ones and the busy-ness of technology. The pressure for a quick email response does not support taking a pause!
Carving out time to create a life of intention is challenging at best. It is, however, well worth the effort. We may not be able to change the conditions of the world around us, but we sure as hell can start to reinvent ourselves from within. That reinvention, and the creation of intention, all starts with a sacred pause.
“In today’s world, we simply need to carve out space and devote time to descend into our own living systems with no agenda, to do list, outcome, or result intended, other than to simply be receptive to what returns on the tide of an ever-flowing sea.” -Liz Koch, Stalking the Wild Psoas