I am reading the book Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach, Ph.D. She speaks about pausing. She writes, "when we are caught up in striving and obsessing and leaning into the future, pausing enables us to reenter the mystery and vitality only found here and now." (Ie: in the present moment).
She suggests we "weave" pausing into our daily life. Even in the midst of an activity, we can stop, take a few breaths, check out our bodies for tightness and anxiety, and just observe the world around us as it is. Hmm, mustard flowers. Hmm, bird calls. Hmm, cars honking.
When I was younger, I rushed from one activity to the next, without conscious pause. I was never really DOING the activity with my whole self, but was always thinking ahead to the next activity that needed to be done. No wonder I felt stressed. When I began to pause between or during activities I taught myself to relax. What is so important about vacuuming the entire house all at once? Who cares? Well, I was never one to get into housecleaning big time anyway, but that's just an example.
Here's an experiment from Tara Brach. This week, choose one activity you do daily and commit to pausing before or after the activity. Just observe. Be present. Be aware of your surroundings and your inner self.
"In the midst of a pause, we are giving room and attention to the life that is always streaming through us, the life that is habitually overlooked. It is in this rest...that we realize the natural freedom of our heart and awareness. ...rather than running away, we need only commit ourselves to arriving, here and now, with wholehearted presence." pg.70