Pause During Conversations – A Deeper Connection
Have you ever asked for INSPIRATION and it immediately showed up? Wow, I was just driving to the PAUSE studio where we create in the pause, (I say this now instead of “work”), and while driving I was pondering the fear of pausing. What is it about the thought of pausing that can make us anxious? At that moment, my phone rings and it was a friend offering to volunteer for PAUSE. In our conversation he began telling me a story about something else that he has told a number of times. In the midst of his talking, he paused, and emphatically said, “You know, I’ve told this story over and over and it’s just an excuse . . . an excuse not to do what I know I need to do!”
I replied, “Yes, I’ve heard this story!” We both got a good laugh out of calling his me-character out on an unhelpful way of thinking. I do the same thing and have experienced the freedom of stopping myself in the middle of another blah, blah, blah. One way to break a habit is to break a habit in the middle of doing the habit.
How often are we honest with ourselves in the moment? I notice my friend is practicing Pause; I hear him getting out of his own way – calling his cubicle mind out – and opening to seeing himself Another Way. In this practice he shares matter of fact, “I do that, just keep talking, because I am uncomfortable with any silence in conversations. I’m afraid of the silence. I’m afraid to pause.” Right on awareness right there in the midst of practicing Pause.
Why are we afraid, uncomfortable of silence? If we stop the Pause Practice at PAUSE, the silence may be overwhelming. So, I can continue with STEP BACK – Getting Out of My Own Way – and observe what I am experiencing in the silence without judging my experience. For example, sometimes I may feel like I have to impress someone or someone is trying to impress me, but now I can notice this me-character need, not judge myself or the other, and simply step back. Now, I STEP ASIDE – Open to Receiving Inner Inspiration – I can listen within to the deeper knowing of my Helpful Self. Now, LET INSPIRATION GUIDE – Choose to follow What Inspiration Is Giving. During conversations judgments of self and others can distract us from being present, from truly listening. With the Pause Practice, one can release those judgments that interfere with helpful communication so to experience a deeper connection with the person with whom they are speaking. That deeper connection IS Inspiration!
Especially while teaching the Pause Practice I have to let silence happen, my own silence and the silence of students. It’s okay. The wisdom that often rises up out of our silence shows us the value of saying nothing. Being silent together can give us permission to be silent. Often students find the silence gives them space to listen within and they begin sharing what is going on in their hearts, minds and lives and see how using the Pause Practice may be helpful. We seem to notice that as we are all living in this world, each one of us is dealing with something and we are connected to one another in ways we may not have imagined. The Pause Practice may at first feel awkward especially in conversations. Consider practicing Pause in a simple conversation and see where it leads. You may see that your so-called “comfort zone” of repeating the same old stories, covering past topics, may not be so comfortable after all. I find the Pause Practice is worth the peace, clarity of thought and deepening connection that awaits us all on the other side of our uncomfortable zone!