The Power of a Pause | 3 Areas to Pause

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”

Mark Twain

I recently asked my friend for advice about podcasting. She is an avid podcast listener, and her response intrigued me. As a podcaster, I wanted her perspective about what keeps her hooked and listening to episodes. She gave me helpful insights and tips, but one that stood out the most was to not fear pausing during an episode. I paused (naturally) and thought about the power and weight this word and action carries. 

In our fast-paced, hustle-driven, consumer-focused world, we don’t always think about pausing. We rarely attempt to pause. We are caught up in our busyness. Busy is part of our social norm. Being busy is common in our conversations (e.g. I’m busy). We feel busy in our minds and bodies and add more to the plate constantly. 

The world will keep going at its busy pace and make us feel like we have to keep up. However, we have a choice when we find ourselves caught up in the busyness and on the side of the majority. We can either go with the flow or pause and reform.

Pausing seems inconvenient and somewhat unnecessary, but I’ve personally begun appreciating the importance and power of pausing. Pausing is mentally stimulating and helps us and others get grounded in what we say, do, or believe in. 

The power of a pause gives the speaker and the listener room to breathe. It helps the speaker deliver their message and for the listener to take in the message. It allows specific phrases to sink in and for personal thoughts to form. It supports and encourages answers to questions and helps prepare the listener for a new thought or idea.

It reminds both parties to take a breath. 

What is it like to breathe? 

What is it like to pause?

There are many areas in our lives where pausing could be helpful. 

Our conversations, our daily grind, and our thoughts deserve to experience the power of a pause. 

The Power of a Pause in Our Conversations

When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.

Proverbs 10:19

One of my “filler words” or phrases is you know. It doesn’t matter how confident I am about a certain topic, my habit of saying you know between every other sentence or breath could get the best of me. If I assess this deeply, part of me seeks assurance and acceptance from the other person when we’re talking. I continue to work through this. On a very surface level, you know is a filler word I’m simply in the habit of saying. Saying you know fills the void of any potential gaps, awkward silences, and pauses. 

As I learn about communication and improve my skills, filler words become more obvious to me. Even as I’m writing this post, I’m aware of the filler words in my mind and inner narrative. Our filler phrases and words (likes, um’s, uh’s) are habitual because we don’t like how a pause feels out loud. Even though filler words could enhance the meaning of a message, imagine replacing a filler word with a pause. I propose it could deepen the point, if not, the conversation. 

Instead of filler words, replace them with pauses. Pause and listen. 

The Power of a Pause in Our Hustle

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

As a fast-paced, hustle-driven woman, staying busy is important to me. In my mind, busy equals development and success. But in my spirit, I recognize that if I want to scale in growth and health in every aspect (spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally, etc.), it’s important to pause intentionally. Pausing in our hustle and in our daily routines helps us find renewal, rejuvenation, and refreshment to keep going

Have you ever thought about your breathing when you’re driving, walking into a store, or running other errands? I try to keep this at the forefront of my mind because it helps me pause internally when I’m on the go. When we recognize our breathing, the power of a pause in our hustle takes its place. We notice more than just the task at hand or goal in mind. 

Notice your breathing when you’re on the go or doing things around the house. Breathe deep.

The Power of a Pause in Our Thoughts

We are over-stimulated with outer noise. In fact, most of have been conditioned to require constant music and entertainment. There is no doubt noise has become ingrained in our cultural norms.

Cara Bradley 

Many of us are afraid of silence. We don’t like to hear ourselves think. When we’re alone, we fill the void with more noise. Many of us have too many thoughts and crave silence and stillness. If only my mind could be quiet! It’s our busy mind in action, moving from one thought to the next. The answer to both is pausing more often. 

The power of a pause in our thoughts looks like embracing silence. If that’s too much, then soothing music can help ease us in. But it’s important to pause in our thoughts, to submit each thought to God, so that we can get grounded in what we say, do, and believe in. 

Embrace the silence for five minutes every night. Submit each thought to the Lord. Find rest and renewal for your mind in His presence. 

Conclusion

When was the last time you paused…? 

  • Instead of filler words, replace them with pauses. Pause and listen. 
  • Notice your breathing when you’re on the go or doing things around the house. Breathe deep.
  • Embrace the silence for five minutes every night. Submit each thought to the Lord. Find rest and renewal for your mind in His presence. 

How else will you pause?

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