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Reintegrate your thinking with a Pause Practice

Taking time each day for reflection is a way to reconnect with yourself and to what’s important to you. Finding a way to pause, be it for a few minutes, a half hour, or more, serves to reconnect the loose ends of your thoughts and the fragments of your dreams, and restore calm in the midst of a chaotic day.

Early in my business career as an Information Technology professional, I had the occasional task of filling in for the network administrator to perform the weekly back-ups of the data storage devices for the now-obsolete Wang Word Processing System. Following a set of written procedures, I changed disk platters, ran the back-up programs, ran a program called “de-frag” and rebooted the system. The de-frag process was an automated process to reconnect fragments of code that had been stored in various random places on the disk, reconnecting them to contiguous strings, improving the access speed and efficiency of the disk. The reboot basically set everything in place and started the disk off fresh with all the data organized nicely.

The practice of pause serves the same purpose. It provides our minds and hearts a chance to stop doing our tasks, and simply re-integrate what we are already holding, putting the pieces back together. This not only makes us sharper and cleaner in our thinking and feeling, but also opens up the opportunity for threads to be recombined in new ways, presenting us with new thoughts and insights that were given space to form.

The benefit of engaging in a pause practice is that in what outwardly may seem like doing nothing, may actually create something only possible to emerge in the stillness. This something could have been missed or not brought together in the motion and commotion of our daily lives.

Here’s a simple Pause Practice to get started: Make a commitment to yourself to carve out five minutes a day to pause. Find a quiet place to sit comfortably, or lie down on the floor on a yoga mat. Still your mind and allow yourself to come into the present moment. Bring your attention to your breathing. When you notice your mind wandering to the past or the future, gently bring your attention back to your breath and the present moment.

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