Choosing Stop Moments in My Life

I was attending a conference recently in a remote part of the country and so to simplify my journey I chose to pick up a hire car from the airport. When I arrived at the car hire desk I was given a free upgrade to a new, luxurious, high spec car.

I spent time familiarising myself with where everything was and adjusting the mirrors and seat for visibility and comfort and double-checked my map (despite having sat nav. in the car, I still prefer the old fashioned method where I can see the overall plan in front of me).

Once I felt confident I knew the car, felt comfortable in my seat and knew where I was going I started the engine and set off on my trip. About 5 minutes into the journey I came to a set of red lights and put my foot on the brake and stopped. Almost immediately the car engine cut out and I felt a sudden sense of panic that I had broken down. I lifted my foot off the brake and the car engine immediately started up again.

I realised this car had built into it, what a friend had recently described as an engine stop-start system, which preserves fuel by cutting out the engine when you have stopped for more than a few seconds.

Having never driven a car like this before it took me a little while to trust that when the engine stopped it would simply start again once I lifted my foot off the brake, but as I trusted more I began to appreciate that I was saving fuel and that the car engine was getting a chance to rest.

As I pondered on this great system I considered if my own body had stop start times – times throughout the day when I brought an absolute stop to my body and simply rested.

As a physiotherapist and great advocate for sharing the benefits of rest as well as exercise with my patients I felt to ask myself in that moment to be honest about how often I truly rest my body within my day. Was I actually living what I was sharing with my patients?

What I found was that I was tricking myself into thinking I was resting when I wasn’t. I would run a bath with the intention of simply resting, enjoying the feeling of the warm water surrounding my body but would end up playing in the water with an empty shampoo bottle, filling it up and squirting little fountains of water out. I would rest on my bed and close my eyes but would have my mobile phone beside me just in case I needed it. Inevitably just at that moment a text or call would come in and I would go “oh no”, when actually I was meaning, “Phew, I am let off the hook, I don’t have to feel my body.” Or I would sit at work in my tea break with my eyes closed for a few minutes but allow lots of thoughts to come in and disturb the moment of grace I was giving myself.

What I realised was that despite having many opportunities there were very few times in the day that I allowed my own engine to simply stop and be, and that most times I came up to a red light with the intention to stop I was fooling myself – my engine was still running exactly as before. I had in fact become a master of avoiding feeling my body.

At the conference I chose to bring regular loving stops into my day, either resting on my bed or sitting in a chair. I would close my eyes and breathe gently and simply be with my body. At first I allowed myself to be distracted by all that was going on around me, the voices in the corridor, the banging of doors or the clip clop of a horse passing by outside the window.

As I committed to keep bringing my focus back to my body and my breath it was not long before I could feel what I had been avoiding – exhaustion.

I had been running my body on empty for a very long time and rather than accept this, take responsibility for it and make changes in my life I was avoiding looking at it.

It has been amazing to see since then how many times in the day there actually are for me to truly stop and connect to me. Sometimes it is only for a minute but even a minute is precious when my stop is absolute. I have found that there is an enormous difference in the quality of rest I give myself in these moments for I connect deeply to how my body feels and can then choose to respond to its many and constant messages. I might feel tired, joyful, sore, tight, light achy, sad, amazing, gentle, hard, tender or precious.

It might not always be what I would like to feel but with a willingness to stop and be honest about what I feel, I get a deeper awareness of my body and thus a deeper understanding of myself in that moment, and it is that which I take forward to my next moment.

What I have also come to realise is that each moment I connect to me, I naturally connect to everything and everyone around me.

My hire car and its energy stop-start system has taught me there is a vast difference between keeping my engine running and allowing myself a true stop moment. I don’t need any fancy high tech solutions to do this, simply a willingness to stop and feel.

With enormous thanks to Serge Benhayon who has introduced the Gentle Breath Meditation and Esoteric Yoga, both which have been a huge support to me in stopping and connecting to my body in stillness.

By Jane Torvaney, Chartered Physiotherapist, Tayport, Fife, Scotland

Related Reading:
Using The Gentle Breath Meditation To Connect
Control or Connection: It’s a Choice

1,165 thoughts on “Choosing Stop Moments in My Life

  1. I loved what you have shared Jane, I recently drove a friends car with that stop mechanism it took me by surprise at first, I can feel the difference when my stop is true or when i am taking a break but my mind is still wandering. “What I have also come to realise is that each moment I connect to me, I naturally connect to everything and everyone around me.” so simple, thank you.

  2. I love the point you share here that even though you made time for ‘stop’ moments you still didn’t actually allow your body to drop. I can relate to this, of making time to ‘nurture’ me but not actually stopping and bringing the quality needed and even if I wanted to I couldn’t because there wasn’t enough surrender in my day to be able to truly stop.

  3. The Simple stop moments can be so powerful. Thank you for sharing this with us and yes it does make me consider when do I truly stop and do I take a bath just for me or do I get distracted in the bath – which I do! This has given me a lot to reflect on and look at why there is a momentum in my body to keep pushing on rather than stop completely .

  4. I feel having no expectation of what we want to feel, and being completely honest with what we feel are major key points to stop moments with ourselves. In this we allow ourselves to go deeper and accept where we are at. With acceptance we can bring appreciation which is what stop moments are all about, a time to stop, feel and appreciated that under what ever we are doing, there is still an incredible love that has been moving with us all along.

  5. I love your honesty Jane. In this you offer us the space to be honest with ourselves too and reflect on how often we truly let ourselves stop and feel what’s going on in our bodies.

  6. As soon as I read the title of your blog I realised that I had taken very few stop moments today, so I took one before I read any further. I love how 30 seconds with my eyes closed and breathing gently can bring me back so quickly to me – it often feels like it has been 10 minutes!

  7. Moments where we can stop and reconnect within allow us to be at one in ourselves while the world continues busily around us.

  8. This is a great reminder of our ability to fool ourselves into thinking that we are taking time out to stop but in fact never truly resting in the way we deserve to… offering our bodies a moment to truly connect, re-gather and move forward from that connection and not just in a continuation of the momentum we were in.

  9. God I love the honesty of the Universal Medicine student body! It’s so, so refreshing to read articles with this level of transparency and that are just so beautifully real – and enormously helpful. This is truly about grounding a whole other way of living. Thank you one and all.

  10. When we come to the realisation that every moment is precious our purpose in life changes. Purpose takes on a new meaning in that there is purpose in every moment through being present with the body.

  11. My new car is half electric, it fills itself with energy by its driving. The energy returns to itself. This was for me very symbolic as I got the car on the moment I started to feel how in daily life I was more in charge of my energy. Taking moments to re-fill myself by having a walk during work. Being aware of the energies at play when talking with colleagues. To observe life instead of absorbing. A great call to see this reflected in the car I drive.

  12. The more we give ourselves space to stop and feel the more it becomes a way of being and soon there is no stop required but a consistent movement of stillness.

  13. I love this Jane, I can so relate to this trickster within. The one that looks as though it’s in the right but has bypassed the depth where healing is offered.

  14. I can so relate to this kind of stop not being a real stop, and I agree, it is a way to avoid feeling where I am truly at, and that is actually what my body has being asking for so long and I have been going ‘I wish I could’. Even just a minute of letting really go – I will try giving that a go today.

  15. “What I have also come to realise is that each moment I connect to me, I naturally connect to everything and everyone around me.” So true Jane. Building stop moments into my day really supports me – to stay with me – and thus with everyone else too.

  16. Stop, the word that means so much and yet when you truly do it, how supportive it can be. I love that feature in new cars fyi and so it gave me a smile when it was mentioned in this article. I can see how we don’t truly stop, we stop compared to going 100 miles an hour and so it’s definitely slower but not necessarily a true stop. Like that car feature you can make no mistake the car stops and I remember the first time I saw it myself it was like it wasn’t coming back on, but it did. Life doesn’t need to stop around us for us to stop, as life always keeps moving and it is from us truly stopping that gives you the space to truly see life.

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