Those Little Moments of Pause

I’m at the gym – again. And I’m on the treadmill – again. Behind me I hear the yanking of the front door over and over and I have to keep myself from not getting too frustrated. You see, at my gym there are one of those doors where you need to hold your membership card against a card reader. The system usually needs about one second, which I think is quite fair, to get the door to open, but today it seems like that is way too slow for many. It’s usually too slow most days but today it seems to be particularly so. I notice that I have to really keep myself from running over and explaining that the poor door needs some time to do the job, but I stay on my moving belt.

This made me wonder why we have such a rush in some situations even though the actual event might just take a few minutes, or in this case a few seconds. It’s almost as if we loathe being there and we just want to get it over with as soon as possible.

It’s the same thing when you’re standing queuing at the supermarket. How many times have we rushed to a newly opened till? We just want that whole situation to be done and dusted as soon as possible. It’s quite funny actually and I got to observe it again today, no coincidence perhaps. Two queues and people getting slightly restless, asking the staff to open up another register.

What is it about these small moments? What is it about queuing, for example, that we don’t like? Why do we want it to take as short time as possible? Could it be that we are given a moment to just be? Because you cannot really do much when you stand in line can you? You could pick up some candy that is conveniently placed there that you hadn’t intended to buy, or maybe promised yourself… You can read the headlines of the magazines, but apart from that there isn’t much to do. Unless you find a friendly person to chat with, but that is quite rare. Not that it’s short of amazing people but usually we tend to not chat too much, not in Sweden anyways. Well, I do, but that’s another story.

So could it be that we are left with nothing to do and that freaks us out?

For example, have you ever felt the need to look at your phone even though you checked it 30 seconds ago? And the chance that someone has messaged meantime is quite slim?

What are we avoiding here? Is it to just be with ourselves?

I feel this is something we could explore a bit. Why do we feel that need to go on the internet, check our phone, get stressed at the checkout or from opening a door that needs one slim second more to open itself up?

What if we were to stop for a wee moment and just feel what is going on? We then might get a chance to feel something different, which could actually be the opportunity for stillness. Something that seems to be something we run a million miles away from, even though we cannot really run away since it’s part of us – it’s within us – and it cannot and will not ever leave. But we can run from it by being busy all of the time or by eating things that make us racy.

I know when I give myself the space to just stop for a moment it’s absolutely beautiful, and the way I see, feel and experience life can change in a few seconds.

It’s like there is a world there to experience if we only stop and take notice of it.

I do that sometimes when I am about to eat. I just sit for a moment with my eyes closed and breathe with a steady breath with the sole intent of giving myself a few seconds of me time. There seems to be something magical about this and it’s like the action itself is not what makes it all happen but the intent itself, and the allowance of what is already there to be let out, or given room. It just needs the permission really. I can assure you it is a very beautiful thing and it’s totally worth it.

And all these beautiful realisations came to me from a front door that wouldn’t open straight away and a queue at the supermarket. What if these everyday things are there for us to have a moment of rest, a pause in our otherwise hectic life? Then we could see it as a blessing we get for free, instead of seeing it as a nuisance.

By Matts Josefsson, Student of Behavioural Science, Sweden

Related Reading:
Appreciating the Stillness Within and Sound Around Me










698 thoughts on “Those Little Moments of Pause

  1. Moments of pause have grown in my life to mean a great deal and when I am not honouring that I can really feel it. Lately I have been caught up a lot looking at social media and distracting myself at the end of the day and before bed, I have been aware of doing this and not really been able to stop it. I have since given myself some pause moments to truly feel what is underneath the distraction and found that I have not been wanting to feel my resistance to all the joy and gloriousness that is in my life!!

    1. I have also been noticing this is why I seek distraction i.e. tightening the left side of me body, my middle upper back, shoulders, jaw, neck. There are so many places I can hold tense to avoid the spreading of what I am physically feeling in my body, the expansion of stillness…. Crazy we want to run from it, sometimes I distract myself by thinking about how amazing I feel…. and letting the feeling fade in the background of my thoughts.

  2. The building I’m working in at the moment has lifts which have a few moments pause before they open the doors when they reach a floor. If I get impatient it’s a sure sign I’ve gone into drive, rush and nervous energy. It’s a message from God to slow down and let myself catch up with my body and stay present.

  3. The building I’m working in at the moment has lifts which have a few moments pause before they open the doors when they reach a floor. If I get impatient it’s a sure sign I’ve gone into drive, rush and nervous energy. It’s a message from God to slow down and let myself catch up with my body and stay present.

  4. Sometimes we are so caught up in the momentum’s of this fast paced world that we get impatient with the necessary pauses that allow us to correct that rush and reconnect us back to quality. There are many blessings and experiences during the day that allow us to do just that and that door in your gym Matts is just one such example. Great observations and great sharing.

  5. ‘It’s the same thing when you’re standing queuing at the supermarket. How many times have we rushed to a newly opened till? We just want that whole situation to be done and dusted as soon as possible. It’s quite funny actually and I got to observe it again today, no coincidence perhaps. Two queues and people getting slightly restless, asking the staff to open up another register.’ Yes I hear what you are talking about Matts in regard to the eternal restlessness that we have chosen to live in. We definitely need to choose otherwise. And yet it is true that people these days have an awful lot to attend to in one day and there is no reason why those multi-million dollar corporations cannot put on enough staff to keep a lovely flow happening instead of making people queue.

      1. It is actually just as educative to feel a supermarket harmoniously and caringly run so that you can experience the beauty of ‘the flow’, as it is to have to pause because of the loveless way they are now running those shops. You can feel the flow and the stillness is there, or you can be forced to pause and then go to stillness from there. Does that make sense Matts? I don’t feel we can argue that a corporation’s corner-cutting to make profits is the only way to come to stillness!

  6. Your door jerk reminded me of when you have clicked on a link or a download link on the internet and if it does not happen immediately start re-clicking and can get in a big mess. I am learning to actually enjoy these pause moments which are lovely opportunities to connect in with my body, check my breath, that I am not holding tension in my shoulders, that there is space in the vertebras of my neck and other lovely little markers – and then a few second have passed and I am rejuvenated!

    1. Love it Matts and Nicola. The jerking and clicking is a part of the instant gratification syndrome (a new disease) while the surrendering, pausing, re-checking how much we are in our bodies and then the appreciation and rejuvenation that inevitably follow is all part of the new health plan (from the ancient wisdom).

      1. Maybe it is not so smart to jerk which is why we call people a jerk when they are being foolish.

      2. Ha Ha! But that maybe IS why Americans call people ‘jerks’. I have been wondering about that word as am currently having to tutor a teenage student on Salinger’s ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ in which the ‘hero’ calls every second person a ‘jerk’ or a ‘phoney’ – am wondering what the etymology of ‘phoney’ and looked it up but the origin is unknown. But I am sure that the Unimedpedia queen will have an idea!

      3. That’s a great question Lyndy and gave me a moment to pause – but nothing came – I don’t know!

      4. On further ponder, the word phone comes from the Greek work phone – voice / sound. Maybe phoney is related to false voice?

      5. I think you you are absolutely correct here Nicola. It relates to the way we cast a ‘tone’ to disguise our real intent and energy, but all the while the discerning one can hear was is really going on, can hear the discrepancy between the reality and the phoney voice.There is no true correspondence between energy and output and so no genuineness and it makes us squirm in reaction unless we are observing and reading.

  7. I am working in aged care presently and I always get given the job of feeding those that cannot feed them selves. I pondered on why this was and realized, the very thing I love about doing this, which is I can sit and be with the client, is the very thing the other staff hate. They do not like to sit and be with themselves and the other. They prefer to be rushing around serving the food and doing what ever else needs doing.

    1. Mary-Louise thankyou, what you have shared highlights how without those moments of pause and be-ing being a natural part of our daily rhythm we also don’t allow for space to truly connect to others from that place of connection to ourselves. All the doing and rushing about extinguishes our own connection and our ability to connect to others.

  8. Thank you Matts, for presenting such great questions for us to consider as our society is currently very conditioned and measured by our doingness, so much so that we find ourselves lost as to who we are when we are stopped. But what is the quality that is moving us, as without question we do need to move? Is it the connection to the quality of our stillness within, the truth of who we are, or is it our avoidance of feeling the truth that we have left our connection to who we are, aka raciness, that moves us? There is much to appreciate, such as embracing opportunities offered to deepen our connection to who we are, when we are open to being moved by our stillness within.

  9. Great blog, as I know that I rush through the in between moments, either through distracting myself on my phone, (which is very prolific thing to do nowadays), or just being checked out in my head, thinking about myself, the future, what I am working on or not working on. Basically being consumed by what information is swimming around in my head. All of which is not fostering a connection in these in between moments, so loved what you have shared here.

  10. It’s interesting that we keep ourselves just enough distracted, or sometime very much so, to avoid what we could otherwise feel if we were to stop. The only one that I know of that is able to explain why this is in a clear manner is Serge Benhayon. From his presentations, book and workshops I’ve come to know that we do in fact have a part in us that is the spirit and that this aspect of us is sneakier than I could ever imagine.

  11. We sell ourselves short in our rush and impatience… Life is to be lived and unfolded rather than manipulated and contrived and there is great understanding available of ourselves and others when we allow there to be space and accept what is before us.

  12. This is a great reminder Matts, it is in those moments that we take to connect that we create space to observe and bring a deeper level of uniderstanding for another, this is gold as this is what evolution is all about to offer another the opporuntity to be who they truly are.

  13. I love this Matts. Thank you for this important reminder, especially to take a pause before eating. I am definitely going to give that a go. There has been so much in life that I have not wanted to feel, hence the lack of pause. But the other beautiful thing with pausing is that we also give ourselves a moment to re-connect to ourselves and check in, rather than continue with the momentum that we have been in. Living life, with this attention to detail, we realise that everything in life is presenting us something to learn and grow from.

    1. Moments of pause before we eat to feel, ouch, perhaps the not wanting to feel is part and parcel of the way to address the growing addiction to sugar and the consequential rise in pre diabetes and diabetes? If I hadn’t taken a pause to consider why I was so addicted to the sweet poison I would be in that camp myself. The ‘moment of pause’ is medicine itself.

  14. I am constantly staggered by how extensive we have gone to to avoid moments of reconnection. Perhaps that is what is missing so much in the world and why nothing ever feels like it is truly working.

  15. When we understand that every moment is an opportunity to connect with something deeper within us, to become more understanding, more loving and more gentle with ourselves and others we get to see how amazing life is and how everything is there to support us to be more of who we are.

  16. What this blog shows clearly is how when we go in reaction we disconnect from us and from the body. Instead, if we honour the situation we honour ourselves as well. Daily life confronts us permanently with situations where we can choose the quality that will impulse our next movement.

  17. It’s those connection moments which give value and make life more than just day to day function. Perhaps that is what we miss in society especially if so many find life mundane and a bore.

  18. It is in those little moments of pause that we can surrender and accept and when we do this the whole universe is available to us.

  19. Life can change in a second, so true and yet we want to jump to that next thing rather than savour each second as a moment to pause and just reflect – and I know this, that need to be somehow occupied with something we want and how easy it is to avoid ourselves and in fact why do we do that… again I know this too, it’s like i’m Slightly scared that what i’ll Feel won’t match the picture or agenda I have … but that doesn’t change it so eventually I do need to feel it so why not this moment?

  20. The pace of our current way of life seems to have sped up so much so that we want everything now, as we have come to believe that there is simply not enough time to wait – for anything. We want fast service, fast food and fast solutions to all our problems and in our rush to get what we want and to get to where we are going to in the shortest possible time we are actually missing out on so much the world is offering us in every moment; those magical moments that have the potential to change our day and sometimes even our life.

    1. To me this is a science of life – that there is a life within life. And maybe this is the hidden treasure we have been looking for such a long time. And perhaps this is the true holy grail.

    2. I have noticed the faster the service the least we seem to respect it and the more we demand from it. I hear it from people who work in the fast food industry quite often…. let alone see it all around me, especially at christmas time. Funny because most of us are getting more time off work than usual, yet we feel busier and greater levels of stress.

  21. Just imagine for a moment, music that has no pauses, no breaks at all… It would be mind wrenching and would probably drive everyone nuts… The pauses, the stillness, is essential for us… It’s a part of the reflective ebb and flow of life, and is literally built into us.

  22. Stop moments are part of the natural flow of cycles. If we don’t allow them, they simply come to us to restore the balance needed in life

  23. There is stopping on the outside and then there is stopping on the inside. Yes how we are feeling and the momentum we have been living in is what we avoid, for this honest reflection challenges our comforts even though it is a blessing to receive such awareness.

  24. What a stunning perspective to take on a couple of seemingly mundane or frustrating situations. I love how you point out the fact that everything is an opportunity to actually appreciate life! It is all around us, all the time but we are often just focusing on getting to the next destination rather than enjoying the journey. I am so deeply touched by the way that you have expressed your experience, it was light and I laughed at points but it also carried a great universal message that is accessible to all that are blessed to read it.

  25. I am forever catching myself rushing things that will take a minute or three at most and reminding myself to pause and come back to my body rather than continue in that same rush.

  26. AGGGHHHHHHH!!!! I really really really need to pay attention to this more. I know it, and have known it all for a very long time, and when I read about your experience here Matts, I not only relate (to the frustration) but also completely agree that these moments are designed deliberately for us to stop. I’m in way too much of a rush through life. Even going to the toilet, I’m in a hurry. And what for? 30 seconds? Often it really is as little as that.

    1. Don’t be hard on yourself Elodie, and I don’t really think you are. It sounds like you are just aware that there is so much more stopping business that could happen which is great. Looking down every now and then to see (appreciate) where we have come in life is important I think, otherwise we are just looking forward to the next thing. Often we don’t see or appreciate the changes we have made, we get used to them, but appreciating them creates a great foundation to move forward from.

  27. Ah to pause, to take a moment, to consider the reflections we get in life that frustrate us to be moments of learning, yes, it is well worth surrendering to those moments rather than fighting them for they are the gifts from heaven that expand our days to give us more ‘time’ than we think we need.

  28. There are many, many moments every day that offer us an opportunity to stop and connect but we mainly can’t wait to fill them up with activity of some kind or other – anything to avoid stillness.

  29. I was with my niece recently and had to go and get the groceries, I got a bit frustrated because she took so long to get out of the car, get into the shop, walk down the aisles- she needed to look at everything. I turned around and told her to hurry up, then it made me stop and realise- what was I hurrying for, we didn’t have to be anywhere urgently but I was just stuck in a running momentum.

    1. MW I had one of those little angels in the shop yesterday I think it was. She was happily looking at everything around her with a genuine interest. Very inspiring and super cute. Makes you melt.

  30. Matts not taking moments of pause is a sure way to reduce ourselves. It’s in the still, quiet moments that we ponder, reflect, and allow through wisdom about life. We get a chance to reconnect to ourselves and continue our relationship with who we are, and also to feel ourselves as part of nature, humanity and the whole universe. When we do not stop we don’t allow the greatness of our being to be present, which is connected to the grandness of the universe. We are so much less for this.

  31. I find when I eat a meal with little pause moments every so often between each mouthful, the food taste so much yummier, so you are right Matts, it is worth it ,to give ourselves these little pause moments to connect to ourselves and to what we are doing. It allows me to appreciate what I am doing and what is around me.

    1. Indeed, Chan, it is worth to have these pause moments in life. At my current job my computer is making me to stop working because of a little program that deactivates all the input from the keyboard and mouse. In the beginning I was a little annoyed as I was stopped in my work, but later on I could more appreciate the gesture of it and took the opportunity of the pause and connect with my body instead.

      1. Wow is this something your work place has installed?? That is an amazing level of duty of care by your office if this is the case, I do not or have ever worked in a populated office for a company that isn’t my own, but this sounds quite amazing…

      2. Actually it is Toni, but by many it is not appreciated as such. On my first day I was already shown how to disable this app, as that is what most people do.

      3. Wow the drive and push are that strong we have to find a way to keep pushing rather than stop!!! Even when we are being paid to stop!!!

      4. Yes indeed Toni, it proves it is actually a very caring company and I will appreciate its offering and will show the other way, the Way of The Livingness that is in full support of taking care, not only for one selves but for all others too.

  32. I read in one of Serge’s book recently the words”life is to be lived in moments,” these words gave me a moment to pause and a realisation that I can only really do that if I am consciously present with my body and what I am doing. the continual rush and doing robs us of these precious moments.

  33. Indeed those movement and moments of pause are absolute blessings of clocking that which is occurring and or taking place. To create space between all the movements you do.. there is so much to appreciate, if we do not clock those moments, we are forever lost. Motion is not true when we there is no repose taking place.

  34. When we stop it allows for the possibility of a moment of awareness to arise, and that can be very challenging and cause an unwanted tension. But wow, this is a tension that is worth stopping to observe and feel and known simply for what it is – a gateway into multidimensionality. We do not have to build spaceships and go to Mars or anywhere else. So we could say that not stopping and pausing to go within is the cause of multi-million dollar space programs.

  35. So much has shown its self as I read this and I am deeply appreciating the gift of being given moments to stop. This has become very obvious to me, especially at work when the computer is slow. These are moments where I am literally being given the grace of a moment to be.

    1. Could this be why even though the computers are super advanced and super fast (or at least has the potential to be) they are still as slow as they were in the old days. Maybe it’s reflection that we haven’t really advanced (or chosen to) even with all the offerings we have with the great technology that surrounds today.

  36. I do recognise being impatient in certain situations and what i observe in this is when this happens to me I am in a rush, a business that is actually not my rhythm, a rhythm that is in neglect of my being and the delicacy and tenderness that lives inside. So yes, I am now more open to embrace and appreciate these situations where I feel agitated for having to slow down and to wait, as actually they are moments that are offering me the possibility to connect with that essence in me that is the true me.

  37. I have recently been given the opportunity to connect deeper with my stillness and I have noticed my major distraction is thoughts. If I am struggling with a particular issue at the time it is always the first thing my mind throws in the mix to see if I’ll bite…. The way I move and breath, also have great effect, although I only notice these two generally when I am very still…..

  38. “What are we avoiding here? Is it to just be with ourselves?” I so recognise this pattern. Having been raised to be a ‘doing’ person I have found it hard to stop and ‘just be’. Esoteric Yoga has been a huge support to me with this although I struggled initially with the opportunity to align my mind with my body. A few years on I feel this modality can support those who find it difficult to be in stillness.

  39. Funny this after noon, I’m at the supermarket queuing and this guy comes over announcing there will be another till opening up further down and I find myself microseconds later half running down to get a good spot. If I had been a little less constraint I would probably have sprinted the stretch, but since I wanted to stay cool about the situation I just walked a little bit faster, wanting to appear not too eager. And what happens when I get there? Congestion big time and I had to laugh a little inside about the situation. Here I am aware of all of this and yet I cannot help myself getting swept away by the stress of things. I feel I managed to get the message and the offering of the situation that there is no use of stressing, it wont take any less time. In my case this afternoon it probably took three times the time to get through the checkout. What I did do was to wind down inside and the stress outside was quite noticeable. And I have to say that I’m impressed and amazed by the staff at the checkout, how much they have to endure, how much stress they are faced with every day. Perhaps not from the actual practical aspect as in blipping the items but from the people wanting to get through the whole process as fast as possible.

  40. Being willing to be present with yourself, and not be distracted by all that is available in life is a fundamental requirement of a life well lived.

  41. At my work we have doors where you need a tag to open the door and just as you’ve explained it takes a few seconds to be able to open the door. Sometimes I find myself frustrated that it is not immediately working and it always gives me a sign that I am not with myself but in the busyness of what I am doing, back to my stillness within that is what it asks of me, how great to get this reminder each time I open a door and that is quite a lot in one shift.

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