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Why we need to press the pause button

In the field of neuroscience, it has been discovered that the brain loves pauses. It uses the pauses to make sense of all the information that is pouring in. It is not only our brain that flourishes well with strategic pauses, but our bodies and minds also are nourished, and work better when we make […]

In the field of neuroscience, it has been discovered that the brain loves pauses. It uses the pauses to make sense of all the information that is pouring in. It is not only our brain that flourishes well with strategic pauses, but our bodies and minds also are nourished, and work better when we make time to pause during the day. The now famous story of two woodcutters, set the challenge to cut down as many trees as they could in one day, shows how the one who took time to sharpen the saw, was the one who achieved more. Although he took those moments of time out of the task – those moments were the key to his success.

Wonderful things happen in true moments of pause. We are rested, refreshed, and have time to reflect. A true pause connects us to our inner core, and brings us to a place of stillness. The more we give ourselves access to this inner stillness, the easier it is to go whenever we wish. We need to be able to do this in times of greater stress, but to do that we must rehearse the way there, so that new neural pathways are created and we can follow them at will. This place of stillness is a place of wisdom. There is clarity there and that clarity can renew our energy and give us a different perspective, only able to be seen from that inner space.

We all know the feeling of having other buttons pressed. The fast forward button, when we worry about what is going to happen, and the reboot button, when everything seems hard work and is going so slowly. Other people also have the knack of pushing all kinds of other buttons within us, provoking us to react without pausing. If we could develop the habit of pausing before reacting, then our relationships would be increasingly more harmonious.
The best practice is to rehearse pressing pause when we are feeling less stressed, feeling good about ourselves and our lives. In that way we can ‘save for the rainy day’ and accumulate power and energy to deal with things in a more manageable way. Accessing the inner core is more easily achieved first thing in the morning. It also helps us prepare the tone for the day to come. Then, from time to time, during the day we can find ways of reminding ourselves to pause.

It is all part of our spiritual journey, but we are not alone on this journey. We have companions who can help and we can help them too as we travel along. The most important companion, though, is the source of all spiritual light that is constantly radiating light to the entire human family. The more I pause, the more I am able to gain access to this source, and the more light I receive. The more light I accumulate, the more I too can radiate to the world.

Juliana Vilarinho is an English language teacher. She is part of the coordinating team for Brahma Kumaris activities in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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