Sometimes life can get noisy. I don’t mean outside of us, but inside. Our inner critic will tell us what we do wrong, the inner self that craves love tells us what others seek from us, the inner parent corrects us to put us on the right path again, the inner fun lover tells us what is the most fun option, while the inner self that embraces modern perspectives tells us what we deserve or entitled to. During these times we can feel inner conflict or a sense of being unsure.
Let me give you an example. I was recently given a partner and we were assigned to a role at an event. While hundreds of people milled around, only the two of us were given the role of organizing this group of people. I had many inner selves at work here. The task orientated self, the overwhelmed self, the self that wanted to perform well, and so on. My partner and I set to work and I was promptly told that I was in the way, that the crowd was confused with two of us, and that I should step aside of the two of would work together later during the event. I felt a moment of hurt and discarded. A moment of “I deserve to be equal in this important role” kind of attitude. There was a moment of anger. I felt disappointed and like walking out of the building altogether. So many things came to my mind. I walked out of the room with as much dignity as I could muster, trying to hide my feelings from the hundreds of people around me that didn’t know what happened anyway. I stepped out of the room and paused. Just paused. I let my thoughts come and go and I just took a moment to breathe. During this pause I had the thought that there were people upstairs that needed organizing for the event as well. With that, I pushed all the dejected feelings aside and set back to work. The event went great and I was later told that it was very clever to head upstairs to work and quite efficient. I knew that this idea would have never come to me, had I not taken a moment to pause and disengage from my negative feelings for a moment. My partner and I worked very well together for the rest of the event.
Since that time, I have used “the pause” technique many times. When my thoughts are crowding in. When I feel sad and unsure how to act. When I feel “over excited”. When I am in a social situation and am unsure of the other person’s reaction. The pause allows for a moment for us to visit our inner self. To hear our heart. To listen to the soul of the environment around us. It is in this space, between our “inner selves” competing for a voice, that we often find the answers we seek.
The next time you find yourself uncertain or overwhelmed, I suggest taking a moment to pause. Pause and listen to your true self. Pause and let go of all the peripherals. Pause and breathe. Pause. Listen. Ready, set go. Move on with that inner stillness as your base.