Purposeful Pause


Life has a way of getting our attention – an illness, a storm, a traffic accident, a delay with a project, staff changes, developments in the marketplace, relationship dynamics, new regulations. Each time that your life and plans are re-arranged you have choices.

·       You can push ahead as if nothing has changed;

·       You can become angry, frustrated and defeated; OR,

·       You can accept the pause as an opportunity.

People who make a difference choose a positive point of view. They see interruptions as part of the natural flow of life and instead of fighting ‘what is’ they pause, breathe deep, and explore ‘what is trying to happen’ in life, work, and relationships.

Over time, masters of self-leadership don’t wait for the imposed pause. They create their own spaces for increasing awareness.


The Pause is both a skill and a practice. As a skill, it involves specific behaviours that shift awareness, release impediments, increase energy flow, activate deep knowing, and allow Self to lead. As a practice, it is a commitment to pausing each morning and evening and several times during the day. There also much to be gained by having longer purposeful pauses several times during the year.

Summer holidays, long weekends, travel, production changes, off-peak times, are not just delays. These are opportunities to take a purposeful pause.

With practice, pauses can be so integrated that they take very little time and can be accommodated into any environment or life circumstance. Whether you are headed for the boardroom or the battlefield, on the beach with family, or on a gurney headed for the operating room, a deep breath, letting go of judgement, cynicism, and fear, affirming your connection with the Energy of Life, and connecting to the emerging future with optimism and curiosity will allow life to flow for you and positively impact all those in your immediate Circle of Influence.

Go for a walk. Sit in a boat and drift with the waves. Lay on a beach. Daydream about who you are and what you hope to be as a person, in relationships, in your life. Explore your wake.

Whether it seems the pause has been imposed or chosen, you can use life’s interruptions as springboards to being more aware and more effective.

As you experience life this summer look for the gaps. Between the stimulus and the response there is space. Pause, breathe, and use that pause to live on purpose.

Doug Lester

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