The Mindful Pause is a multi-purpose tool for self-regulation. Below, I provide three energetically different uses of the Mindful Pause. “Still” is the formal practice of meditation necessary to successfully train a strong mind-body connection that you can elicit on demand as needed. “Steady” supports your inner calm even amidst the chaos of life that can sometimes lead to a sense of overwhelm. And “Sink” taps into the well of relaxation that helps to quiet the body, mind, and spirit for restful sleep. Each use of the tool is assigned a color that may help summon the desired inner quality. The use of color is flexible, and you can choose a color, music, or aromatherapy as additional aids to support your practice.
Mindful Pause for meditation is an alert state but welcomes stillness as a practice to grow comfortable with simple “beingness” over our habituated state of “doingness”. This practice grows the spiritual and mental muscles of mindfulness meditation. This is best practiced in your sacred space, without distractions, eyes open or closed, with your focus narrowed to awareness of your breath and growing spacious and lightness of being in your body. In this practice you choose to cultivate and maintain peace with whatever is…no expectations, no controlling, directing, or comparing. You simply sustain a deep sense of surrender to the reality of each breath. Meditation is often practiced as a unification or connection with the Divine or Spiritual nature of our being. The purple target relates to self-knowledge/spiritual awareness. It is the union with your higher self, with spirituality, and your higher consciousness.
Mindful Pause for self-regulation in the moment is a personal and professional skill that interrupts unnecessary energy expenditure and maintains a sense of inner peace in the face of urgency or overwhelm. This practice goes with you wherever you are…no need for sacred space or yoga mat. You can be moving or still. Your eyes are open, and you remain actively engaged in each moment. Your breath is balanced, and you intentionally embody the positive emotion that suits the situation. When you sustain present moment awareness of your body wisdom and an upspiral of positive emotion, you generate a warmth and brightness that inspires and directs right action. The “Steady” target is yellow to capture the brightness, warmth, and inner willpower to align your actions with best intentions.
The Mindful Pause as sleep aid guides you into deeper relaxation as part of a sleep hygiene practice to prepare for restful sleep. In this practice, you simply shift your breath regulation from equal part breathing to a breath pattern that extends the outbreath. Perhaps 4 or 5 counts to the inbreath…followed by 7 or 8 counts to the outbreath. This signals parasympathetic dominance…or the relaxation response. Sometimes called “the sinking breath”, this practice is a natural way to down-regulate body systems, release physical tension and stress hormones, and quiet the mind. Invite a soothing blue color to accompany this practice.