It took me 15 years to finally pause in life after running the proverbial rat-race of corporate life for so many years after completing my MBA. The pause was risky and weird but I realised that there was no other option than to P..A..U..S..E and review and more importantly understand what’s there inside that’s causing that ‘unrest’. The results of this PAUSE were life-changing are still amazing me to this day! My life shifted from living-to-being once I moved from a qualification based job to a skill and passion based career!
In today’s fast paced life, the tools and devices that we have at our disposal are there to enable us but we have got addicted to it. The thorny question here is –Do we invent technology or technology is inventing us? The technology is an enabler but the compulsion to communicate comes from the end-user, the social animal. There is an imbalance created in our brain and research studies says that in a day we spend 6 hours out of the waking hours feeling desires and 3 hours resisting them. (Ref: Article Published in Association of Psychological Science titled – What People Desire, Feel Conflicted About, and Try to Resist in Everyday Life Wilhelm Hofmann, Kathleen D. Vohs, and Roy F. Baumeister)
It’s not true that only communication platforms or technologies is contributing to our hysterical lifestyle obsessed with speed. The other causal reason is the insanity to ‘perform at any cost and get ahead in life’. Who do we want to get ahead of? Running is good but only if the direction is right. What if we ran the race with zeal, climbed the ladder only to find later that the ladder was against the wrong wall. How could we avoid this situation? Yes, simply by a P..A..U..S..E time-to-time!
Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash
Our limbic brain was supposed to kick in for a few seconds or a minute to save us from danger, so that we sense the warning signs and escape for protection. However, in modern era, we stay stressed and frenzied throughout the day with no reason. Last 5 decades of scientific research has proven that human mind can certainly be rewired, reset and rejuvenated with Mindfulness practice which provides us the space to PAUSE.
“A pause gives you breathing space so listen to the whispers of the real you waiting to happen.”― Tara Estacaan
There are people who have figured this out, who’ve learnt the perfect balance between pause and speed, who know when to sit quietly in a nook and read a novel, and when to slog it out, all while maintaining meaningful face-to-face relationships and setting aside time for hobbies and exercise and caregiving and home maintenance and all the other necessities of a civilized existence.
The cheetah being the fastest animal on the planet with the capability of running at 120 miles per hour does not run at that speed throughout the day. It will be dead in couple of days if it did so. Only when it sights a prey and its hungry, it strategically moves towards the prey, positions strategically and explodes into action with the blood surging to all the muscles providing strength.
Photo by Cara Fuller on Unsplash
An arrow has to go back on the bowstring to gain the momentum and the direction it needs before it hits the target with maximum impact. So, we need a lateral view, a PAUSE if we want to keep the context right in life about direction, strategy and purpose. How can we course-correct and introspect in life without a PAUSE?
Photo by Vince Fleming on Unsplash
Mindfulness practice offers us a beautiful way to return to the present moment and watch it objectively without getting involved emotionally. This practice has the power to rewire the brain and give us the wisdom that we need to PAUSE and perform. In fact, this practice has the capacity to unlock certain unknown capabilities which resides only on the subconscious level of the mind and could give us fine balance, compassion, resilience and creativity.
“It’s not only moving that creates new starting points. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, an opening of the mind, an intentional pause and reset, or a new route to start to see new options and new possibilities.”– Kristin Armstrong