Taking a moment to Pause
There are many articles on this website that illustrate the challenge, the impact, and the consequences of the ‘go-go-go’ lifestyle. Yet the very make-up of our society promotes and rewards that behaviour. So, this example is a very simple article to offer a moment of pause, just in case the thought of a big stop was too much.
A moment of pause does not need to add anything to your day, rather, it introduces the concept of why you are doing what you are doing and how you are doing what you are doing.
Let’s take the example offered by Mary, who has been living at quite a pace for some time. The ‘go-go-go’ lifestyle has been her normal and it wasn’t until she chose to consider the messages from her body, and the world around her, that she saw just how many messages were showing her that her ‘go-go-go’ lifestyle was not just impacting her physical and mental health but also that of those around her.
“I was on the first day of a 3-day program of noticing what my body was communicating to me. I had tried this once before and only made one morning, so I was very keen to try to make the 3 days. The first time I clocked the communication was when I realised I was busting to go to the bathroom at work. I had held on so I could ‘just finish this urgent thing’ I had to get done. I am known as a highly efficient person, if you want a job done, give it to someone who is busy right? Well, I was that person so, who knows if what I had to do was actually urgent, but my body communicating to me that it needed to go to the loo was definitely urgent!
To get to the bathroom, I have to walk down a corridor, through a few doors and into the cubicle. This morning, I was aware of how I walked down the hall and past all the desks I passed along the way. It was like I could feel the wave of urgency I was washing over everyone on the way and was picturing papers flying off people’s desks behind me, (thankfully only a picture in my head). I was aware of how I banged my way through the doors and how I slammed the cubicle door open then shut, how I slammed back the loo seat and pulled my trousers and undies down just in time to collapse onto the seat and relieve my, now about to explode, bladder. Even my pee was noisy.
As I sat there, I thought, that was absurd, and questioned if any of that needed to be that noisy and dramatic. My, at least honest answer, was no. I had been like a tornado because I had not noticed that I needed to go a long time before and had not listened to my body till I was at critical. There was a moment of shame and a feeling I had failed on morning one of day one, till I realised that it was the gift I had been asking for.
This is what I had asked to see, and it was a blessing. Was I going to react, dig myself a pit of shame, indulge and wallow in it, then spend the rest of the day digging myself out of it? Or would I respond to the offering and simply change my movements?
I decided on the latter. I decided to slow everything down. Remember my work at my desk was still urgent and my ‘go-go-go’ head told me I really didn’t have time for this, but I was on a program and experimenting, so I was going to take a moment of pause and the consequences would be what they would be. I went into ‘movie-rewind’, in slow motion. I stood up gently – NOT slowly! A very big difference by the way. I flushed with presence but as I went to reach for the door, I could feel I was already out of the door and my hand clanged on the door lock. I stopped and reset myself. Every time I allowed myself to think ahead of the present moment, I brought myself back.
It was the MOST wonderful and life-changing moment. I don’t know how long it took me to leave the bathroom, but I do know that the people whose desks I passed – who would have experienced a monsoon as I walked past before, now felt something very different as I was coming back. I chose to imagine that I was rewinding time and that I cleared up the remnants of the monsoon I had dumped on them as I had walked past their desks. I didn’t say anything out loud, I just got on with it. Space was clearing up and opening up all around me.
I did my work in record time and left for home on time that day. I played and laughed with the kids and we all got the house a bit more ordered for when my partner got home from work. A very different feeling for everyone that night.
The experiment has continued ever since with many, many moments of in-my-face horror stories that actually turn out to be very funny when you see them all as learning moments. I am learning not to curse myself by saying ‘I am a seasoned go-go-goer’, or ‘I am a recovering go-go-goer’ because that reduces me to being forever under that curse. I would say I am learning more and more about how that ‘go-go-going’ energy is fed to me, so I don’t experience the space that is just there waiting for me to enjoy it. I can also see, humbly, that everyone would have felt my ‘go-go-goingness’ and it might well have felt as rude and dishonouring as if I had urinated on their desks as I walked past in that initial example. Not a pretty picture but considering my movements in that moment, and the impact they may have had on others, has pulled me up quicker than anything else.”
To recap; a moment of pause does not need to add anything to your day, it becomes about why you are doing what you are doing and how you are doing what you are doing rather than just leaving in the what you are doing.
Enjoy observing your every-day movements and see what comes to the surface!