March 24, 2014
Ever take a good look at the “pause” button on a video? It’s two, short vertical lines, separated by a little space. The visual is one of something, then a break, then a continuation of the something. Pause buttons are good. They give us a chance to absorb what just happened before jumping in again, or to rethink continuation altogether.
Pause buttons can serve us well in our personal lives too. They can stop conversations from running off the rails, giving us a chance to redirect the dialogue’s tone or mood that’s going downhill fast. They can give us a break in relationships when we need to make time or space to absorb collective history and review collective goals. They’re important in our work or education commitments when we’re rethinking our life or career objectives.
We give these pauses different names: hiatus, sabbatical, retreat, time-out, and they’re an important tool for mindful living.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the momentum of choices made for us or by us that we don’t make the effort to really reflect on the direction we’re taking. Sometimes it’s a habit, sometimes it’s an expectation. Often it’s just that we never really thought about it. This “caught up” happens short term in dialogue with ourselves or each other, or long term in lifestyle, family businesses, intimate relationships or child rearing.
Having a personal “Pause” button and using it often can serve us well, giving us a chance to take a breath and take a moment – or longer – to really think about where we’re going and what we’re building. The Pause Button gives us a chance to make the Play Button all we Intend.