Your Pause Button

Now and then, I wonder how it would be if I could hit a pause button on life; I’d have some moments of peace to get a few things done, catch my breath, and revel in the silence and solitude. 

I have some good news: there is a pause button. It won’t stop things around you, though. It only stops you. The trick is, you have to figure out where or what your pause button is. I know that sometimes if I just stop and tell myself to breathe or relax, it doesn’t always do the trick; I still feel tense or stressed, or my mind keeps chattering away. 

So, the yoga teacher in me realized that maybe I needed some different cues. Words like, ‘breathe,’ ‘relax,’ or ‘release’ sometimes feel cliche. Or maybe sometimes I don’t fully connect to what it means to breathe well or to relax or release stress.

Going back to my post on the word ‘sink,’ I reflect on how this word brings up feelings and imagery: sinking into a cush mattress, descending into cool blue water after a dive, or feeling my weight supported in a hammock. It sparks my imagination in a way that cues my body to respond and relax.

There’s another trick — not only do you have to find your word or phrase (or perhaps an image works better for you), but you also have to actually pause so that you remember your word or image. 

So I doodled this little drawing with my daughter this afternoon. She loves to draw and paint and it was great creative time together. Now I have a little something for the wall to remind me to pause and conjure up my own cue for relaxation.

What words, phrases, or images prompt you to relax?