Did you know that just five seconds is all that it takes to change your life?
How many times have you done something, say like signing up for something online, only to shortly thereafter wish you hadn’t… or discovered in the middle of doing that something that you are not longer “on task” on something that is important to you.
We live in a world of “Faster, Harder, MORE” which leaves precious little time to process what we’ve seen or heard. We’re expected to respond post-haste without deeply thinking about the ramifications of how we’re about to respond.
When confronting a decision or call to action / response, I like to recall a breathing meditation from the Vedanta which goes something like this:
Ask: “How is what I’m about to say or do help me or help answer the question?”
If nothing helpful comes to mind, repeat.
Continue to repeat, or say nothing, if nothing comes to mind.
Just 5 seconds will bolster your impulse control and gives your brain a moment to process.
In correspondences, try using the “send later” feature of your email program to send your reply 12 hours or more later. This is possible within a working environment. At first it may seem difficult, but it becomes easier as your success with this technique grows and expectations adjust.
The need for immediacy is often within our heads.
5 seconds gives you time to think.
12 hours gives you time to move the conversation in a mindful and helpful way.
Let me explain.
Much of what is said to us is in the moment. If you really listen you can hear the conversation behind the conversation and respond with clarity and from a place of kind gentleness and positivity.
Let’s slow down what we are saying and to whom… Look to answering the needs of that background conversation, not the spoken words on the surface.
This helps us to purposely move our conversations to exploring gracious solutions.
I assign this exercise to my clients and ask them to report back.
It’s extraordinary how pausing can change a whole conversation for the better. Unnecessary conversations never happen, unkind words are never spoken and others’ needs are met more deeply.
Life becomes calmer and easier.
Sunday evening is the best of times to pause and reflect back upon the last week and to plan how you want to feel in the coming week. It’s important!
Why do I believe so much in pausing?
Well, pausing gives you the opportunity to:
* Improve your self-restraint
* Improve your emotional intelligence
* Prompt yourself to remember to mindfully breathe deeply
* Balance the emotional and the rational parts of your brain to reduce stress
* Redirect intrusive, negative, and anxious thoughts
* Improve your ability to discern and make optimal decisions
* Empower you to focus on what’s best in you
The effects of this are not only immediate but can become exponential over time. And then there is creativity which is born from deeper and clearer thinking.
You can pause many times throughout the day. (I do!)
You can also choose to take an hour off, a day off, a week off, a month off to pause and think and reevaluate your life.
This week I thought I’d focus on pausing and some ideas around how I pause. Pretty meta eh?
To kick start the conversation this week, you might enjoy this clip of what can happen when you live life more slowly and then have gratitude for the world around you.
Lots of Love