The transition from high school to adult life can be tricky business to say the least. I remember feeling totally lost after high school graduation. I had a job at McDonald’s Hamburgers, but where do I go from here?
The Pause Crew had a blast being with these special-education students from numerous St. Louis Public High Schools for 5 presentations! Daniel Bandres, a tennis pro, shared how he experiences the value of the PAUSE FOR YOUR HELPFUL SELF practice and the students were wowed by his passion and real life stories. Bridget Long, educator, shared how using The Pause Practice helped her experience greater peace in her relationships. I, Mary, had a moment of inspired tap dancing that I discovered is a good way to get people’s attention! The students yelled out, “Do that again!” Even that was sharing about PAUSE. We never know how our HELPFUL SELF will reach into the moment showing us what to say or do that can bring joy and laughter.
The mission of Transition Services is to provide students, and their parents, with support and assistance in searching for a job, job training, secondary education opportunities and other health-related issues as they grow towards independence.
I don’t have time to pause. I get it. Women often feel, and I imagine men too, who will do the dishes, make dinner, go to work, help the homeless, volunteer, pray, hope, love? Who? Women can feel pushed to do more, go faster, don’t slow down, be superhuman, you go girl, don’t stop, be a man? Sound familiar? As daughters, mothers, caregivers, sisters, teachers, mentors, helpers … how can I be truly helpful to anyone if I’ve run myself down to the bone? Pause in the midst of everyday life.
I am eternally grateful for these women at Kingdom House, a local nonprofit founded in 1902 as a settlement house by a shoe manufacturing executive who wanted to help the poor, many of whom were immigrants. The settlement house movement was popular at this time, spreading across the United States. Being with these amazing women who were willing to get out of their comfort zone – and who no doubt know what it is like to get out of one’s comfort zone – was healing, real and meant something to me that I will try to voice.
Lisa and I enter the gym and I am there to teach Inspiration In Motion. I don’t speak Spanish, so I am grateful for Eileen Wolfington, Coordinator of Health & Wellness at Kingdom House, for interpreting. The women are trickling in coming from work, we circle up some folding chairs and I pass around our Spanish Pause Practice Card, PAUSA PARA INSPIRACION. We begin with a Pause.
In the gym there was a palpable openness and willingness to practice INSPIRATION IN MOTION that set my heart in gear to be present with these women – this wasn’t a performance, interview, lecture or presentation – no, it was women being real together. Being real because we were willing to truly be present, let down our guard, let go of our plans, and let the letting be.
An undercurrent of peaceful music in the background, I began leading them through the Pause for Inspiration 4-Step practice, line-by-line, but without any instruction on how to move. Rather, each woman receiving the Pause within herself and being moved by Inspiration Within. Not dancing, trying to look spiritual or coordinated or whatever. Not at all. Literally listening to Inner Present Love, receiving and letting the self unwind.
One by one as we circled again the women shared the most down-to-earth, insightful, and practical words about their experiences such as: Shedding tears of grief because this was the first time I’ve really been able to cry about the loss to how I see my yelling at my children is not making a better life for them and how I could use Pause in my daily life. I am stunned, grateful and still speechless.
Thank you Kingdom House. Here is their mission: To help people achieve a better life. Through holistic programs and services, we help the economically disadvantaged achieve economic independence, self-sufficiency and a path out of poverty.
“You start loving you when you start pausing. We have to be in touch with ourselves. How do we find a way through our problems? Pause. Your Helpful Self will make good decisions for you – we think too much,” Danny Bandres volunteered to share the Pause for Your Helpful Self Practice with a group of teens from two St. Louis high schools who are looking to better themselves.
Danny encountered the Pause for Your Helpful Self Practice and was immediately willing to apply it to playing tennis. When he saw how much it improved his ability to be more present, calm and focused, he decided to use it in everyday life. One day his bathtub plumbing exploded! He shared that in the past he would have exploded along with it, but he remembered he could Pause, Step Back, Step Aside and Let his Helpful Self Guide. Needless to say it was game, set, match for Danny versus the household snafu.
The high school students listened intently to Danny as he shared his own life experience saying, “I wish when I was your age someone would have told me I could be better, but my mind was bad. You have to work at being better. It takes practice.”
Danny spoke about how we listen to television and everyone else telling us who we are. “We want to be like that big guy or this person. We need to listen to what’s inside us. Listen to and accept who you are truly and start loving yourself; Pause for Your Helpful Self.”
“Life is about loving you and loving the people around you,” says Danny. Thank you Danny for volunteering your time to give what you have received practicing The Pause.
PAUSE FOR YOUR HELPFUL SELF at home, at school and in life is a practice in how to pause! The TEENS CAN PAUSE Practice is for any teenager who wants to connect with their Helpful Self in their thoughts, relationships, communications, activities, situations and circumstances.
Your Helpful Self is the LOVE in you! The Pause Crew had the wonderful opportunity to share the TEENS CAN PAUSE PRACTICE with special needs youth. We never cease to be touched in a very deep way by these youth who are living with various special needs and learning to overcome the obstacles. We are unceasingly amazed by the insights many of these students will share with us during conversations about Pause. Like most of us, they are wanting to connect with something deeper within themselves to give them a clearer sense of direction and come to know who they uniquely are beyond a diagnosis or a label. Like all of us they want to be seen truly. Like all of us they want to do their part.
PAUSE FOR YOUR HELPFUL SELF at home, at school and in life is our TEENS CAN PAUSE PRACTICE. We created it in 2016 modeled after our original 2012 Pause Practice: Pause for Inspiration, The 4 Decisions. TEENS CAN PAUSE is 4-step practice in making wise choices. As a teen is willing to apply the practice to an everyday life event, say making new friends, listening in the classroom or community service, they can potentially open to an inner experience of their Helpful Self that is always safe, wise and truly helpful.
A Guided Practice on the back of the card takes each step in a bit more detail to potentially help you see and experience how valuable this practice can be . . . all in the midst of everyday life!
You can order FREE PAUSE PRACTICE CARDS at: PauseForInspiration.org Pay only $3 for packaging and shipping for 20 cards. If you are affiliated with an institution such as a school, healthcare facility, nonprofit, government, or community organization, PLEASE CONTACT US to discuss larger quantities of free cards:email@example.com
Pause for the moment. I can’t say it enough. My favorite month is October so here I am pausing for October before it disappears the way September did! Did September actually happen or did some wayward elf sneak off with it with nothing better to do until December? Hmm.
In the Pause here and now – today, I am seeing more than ever the value of every moment, hence the value of The Pause Practice. I cannot value a moment that I am oblivious of, rushing through, throwing back to the universe because I don’t like this moment or wishing was over and done.
Life is a series of moments. How is your moment going? Upon first thought – without stepping back to get out of my own habitual way of thinking – I may think the idea of pausing for the day’s moments to be good idea, but the thought of actually practicing such a thing during a typical day seems absurd because it seems impossible! Who can do this? I am willing to ask My Helpful Self, (the LOVE in me) “Isn’t it asking too much to pause and be present to the moments of the day? After all, I have a lot of demands on my time.” My Helpful Self responds, “It is as impossible as you want it to be!” Hmm. Wise guy.
So, My Helpful Self is leaving it up to me as to how I want to see. If I want to see something that holds the potential to be enormously helpful as being absurd or of no use, I am free to do that. In fact, My Helpful Self is saying that to the extent I see pausing through life’s moments as too difficult to practice, then I will forego the many benefits of Practicing Pause. “Oh,” says My Helpful Self, “One of the main benefits is being happy.”
Have you ever noticed yourself acting upset or down on the outside, but as you pause and observe your mind, just behind the thin veil of feeling down, you are aware of a part of you that is happy, peaceful and fine? The more I Practice the Pause, the more I am becoming aware of this part of me that is relaxed, calm and happy. That my friends, is My Helpful Self and you have one too! It is the LOVE in you.
It’s wild! I recommend Practicing the Pause and staying open to this WHOLE other part of you that is enjoying the moment. The Helpful Self is always in joy, peace, calm, and dropping the criticism of self and others. I challenge you this coming week to Pause, Step Back from habitual ways of thinking and behaving that are dragging you down, Step Aside to welcome Your Helpful Self into your mind and Let Your Helpful Self Guide you into happy thoughts and calm behavior. There at your fingertips, just a glance away is Your Helpful Self – that truly is a Wise Guy!
Recently, I wasn’t feeling well and had on my sick face – you know the one; that’s okay, sometimes we’re not up to anything better! As I was saying my hellos and I’m fines to people, I noticed this Happy Girl on the inside wanting to leap out, smile and enjoy the moment even though I had a lot on my mind. I saw I had a choice. That pause was a moment of freedom because I saw I don’t have to hide who I truly am.
We live in a green light world. One of the main messages is to GO. We are told by others or we tell ourselves to keep going, go faster, you go, way to go, go here, go there, go now . . . go, go, go, go, go. I am suggesting today to PAUSE FROM GOING. The world isn’t going to fall apart if I pause, if you pause. It’s all right to Pause. Not only is it all right to Pause, it is highly necessary to Pause. To not Pause is to get in one’s own way, to rule your own show, follow a crowd that is not your crowd and make decisions under stress. Decisions made in the state of stress cause more stress!
Today began as any typical morning, but then the phone rang! Now, I had a full agenda ahead, butttttttttt sometimes we are moved in a different direction than planned and it is wiser to go with the flow – today is one of those days.
Did you ever start something and realize that had you known where it was going to lead you may have never started? It’s a good thing we human beings don’t know much. Truly, there is so much we don’t know! Had I known the expansion, challenges, deep dives and mountainous terrain I’d be trekking in sharing The Pause for Inspiration Practice with the world and running our nonprofit, I am fairly sure I would not have spread my wings and took flight!
Sometimes we can completely misinterpret what we are perceiving and feeling. I use the simple practice of Pause for Inspiration, “The 4 Decisions”, to turn my upside- down perceptions into right side-up perceptions. Have you ever felt in the dark about life? Why am I feeling this? Why is this happening? What’s going on? I imagine we have all experienced that place where life isn’t making sense. You may be “doing everything right and doing all the right things” – or not – and are left wanting to simply find some light in the dark. This is where The Pause Practice may come in handy. Watch this!