I know it sounds too good to be true, just one little thing and it will give me big improvements? Really?! Yes, I just did it yesterday. I was stuck. In traffic. It was ugly. No way to escape the jam of autos. I could feel my blood pressure starting to rise, my shoulders tensing. Ugh! Then I remembered what I share with my clients (whenever I say it I am thinking about how I am saying it to remind myself too), remember to pause.
If I can pause and notice my reaction then I can decide if this reaction is serving me or hindering me.
To add to the tension of being stuck in traffic, my phone was dead. There was no way to call and talk to anyone or do a quick look at my e-mails while I was sitting there. And my frustration was increasing as I thought about the time going by that was taking away from my time to re-group when I arrived home before rushing off to my next appointment. Thankfully, in the pause, I recognized that I had my time right here, in the car, I could do some deep breathing and regroup sitting here while I waited for the traffic to eventually clear.
It was more productive to focus on my breath and my gratitude than the tension filled chatter in my head of how the traffic/city engineers needed to fix the very poorly timed lights of this intersection or that I wish I’d remembered my phone power car plug so that I could be making a phone call during this time, etc…
Oh the chatter that the mind can create! It’s amazing. But, when I pause, I notice it and can decide if the automatic judgements that pop up are serving me.
I shifted out of judgement about messed up intersection light timing to gratitude that I was not inconveniencing anyone because I had the time before my next appointment. And even if this traffic was going to cause me to be late, how would being tense about it help the situation?
This little pause resulted in an extra few minutes of powerful breathing in the moment and then going on with my routine with a smile on my face. In prior times, when I didn’t pause, I would have had a scowl and may have even let it ruin my mood for a while or the rest of the day or arrived later so frazzled that I then had to take more time to unwind before becoming productive.
What a difference the little pause of self awareness has made for me in my moods, work productivity and relationships. It is life changing. Here’s to you finding your pause of self awareness and its power to improve your work and life.