5 Ways to Practice the "Pause"
As autumn draws near I'm excited for the slow moments the chill in the air brings. Summer time is very go go go in my household. Autumn brings a sense of slowness and preparation for the cold months ahead.
Of course, this got me thinking how we can take that idea of slowness and really find ourselves present in that moment. I know I have referenced before that our society's norm is to embrace the "busy", but what if we relished in the slowness? What if that first sip of coffee or tea was slow and you really experienced the flavor before gulping it down and running out of the house?
So let's start with your morning coffee...
1. Setup a Morning Ritual.
I know that's soooo buzz wordy, but if we wake up with a plan we can be sure to have time to sit down and gently sip our coffee or tea. If your morning routine is panicked alarm, throw some clothes on, and run out the door then you are probably starting the day stressed.
What if your morning routine went something like this:
Wake up to soothing music from your clock radio as the sunlight begins to stream in through your windows. Your automatic coffee maker starts to brew as you step into a warm shower to wake up with a coffee scrub that cleanses your skin and provides a little pep in your step. Your hair dries naturally as you stir cinnamon into your coffee and begin your daily journal practice starting your day with intention. Getting dressed with ease as you had set out your clothing the night before. Kissing your loved ones goodbye before jetting off to your day-job feeling peaceful and happy.
We may not get that experience every morning, but we can aim for a great morning by preparing in advance and repeating that daily ritual as often as possible. Instead of seeing these morning habits as a check off our to do list, what if we slowed them down and thought about them with intention? Seeing our morning shower as an act of cleansing away any negative emotions or ideas. Creating time to sip coffee slowly as we check-in on our goals in our journal. It all sounds lovely to me.
2. Start a Gratitude Practice
If you haven't already, this is HUGE! List out 5 or 10 or more things that happened today that were "good" or made you happy. You can journal these as part of your practice or just go back and forth with your spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, family member, etc. I recommend doing this at night before you go to bed or any time you are feeling down. Even the worst day has something good about it, even if it was just your morning cup of joe.
Taking time to notice all the good and abundance in your life will start a mindset shift from seeing things in a negative light to taking the time to notice the good. As I've mentioned before our minds tend to remember the negative over the positive so we have to work to change that. If you've been working your gratitude practice for some time you may start to see the moments as they happen--morning cuddles with your new cat, a really good cup of coffee, a solid afternoon of reading, etc. They do not have to be big grand things, but finding the good things to slow down and enjoy while they happen are sometimes the best moments.
3. See it in a new light...
What do I mean by that? What if you saw your morning commute as an adventure, much like a child would? If we are looking to savor the moment a little more in anything, let's try to see it in a new light.
Let's say you're taking a walk because it's great for your fitness regime.
You can see it as taking a walk, or you could start that walk by noticing how your shoes feel on your feet. Noticing how it feels for your right foot to apply pressure to the ground below you and if it feels any different than the left foot. Can you feel the wind gently blowing your hair? What is the environment around you like? Can you hear any animals or people that might interact with your journey? Perhaps a squirrel is telling a story and the leaves are creating a beautiful pattern on the ground.
What if in our day to day endeavors we were super present and really felt that moment?
Which leads me to...
Meditating just 5 - 10 minutes a day will help you check in with your breath/body, your emotions/mind and even your spirit. I like to think of meditation as a means to check in with yourself and reflect. There are so many ways to meditate now a days and if one kind of meditation doesn't work for you, try something else.
Meditation provides time to just be. A way to really be present in the body/mind/spirit for RIGHT NOW. That being said every time you meditate it will be a different experience. Some days it may be easier to be present, other times harder. It is a practice as much as it's a practice to really live in the moment.
Looking to try a guided meditation? Join me on Instagram every month for a free 10 -15 minute meditation!
5. Plan Your Time
It always sounds easier than it is. I'd like to invite you take stock of your "down time". Over the next week or so keep track of your daily schedule and what you did during each hour (Hello Journal!).
After you have completed a week, notice how much time you spend scrolling through social media or watching Netflix. I'm not saying these are bad habits, but how much of your life have you already devoted to these habits? Give yourself some time to journal on what you would want to change. Perhaps you can choose one skill you could improve if you took one hour out of that week to work on it? Taking it even further, what if you gave yourself a half hour every day?
Being present in our scheduling will open up a lot of opportunities to find the time to create a morning routine or add meditation into our schedule. It may also feel as though you have "given yourself permission" to "do nothing" when you really need it if it's part of your schedule. It's all about being present in that moment and savoring those moments when they happen.
Practicing the pause. <3
- Jenn Rose