Practice the Pause

Ironically, the week before the world hit pause, I shared the following with my fellow yogis in a class I was leading:

Practice the Pause.

Pause before assuming. Pause before accusing. Pause whenever you’re about to react harshly and you’ll avoid doing and saying things you’ll later regret.

Little did any of us know that within days, we would all be forced to pause, as the tornadic COVID-19 wreaked havoc on our daily lives. Now, after almost two months of living within this pause and adjusting to life with in it, we are beginning to see glimmers of hope of returning to a changed daily existence, taking baby steps toward our new normal.

As I reflect on this experience, I realize that these words concerning practicing the pause still ring true, even in our isolation. How easy has it been to accuse, assume and react to everything occurring in our families, our towns, our country and the world?

Although difficult at times, the better and more healthful outlook might be to concentrate on the positive aspects of our lives and what we have, perhaps, learned from our pause. In sharing, allow me to highlight some of the things I have learned from our collective pandemic pause.

I have learned...that it’s actually a comfort to ease up on my natural instinct to continually “plan.” I have exhaled and realized that the only things to plan are –

  • what to make for dinner
  • what book to read next
  • when to do our walk or bike ride or TRX workout or plank challenge
  • when to make that major and still somewhat unsettling trip to the grocery

I have learned…to “notice.” Nature is truly a beautiful and amazing thing. Bill and I have watched trees and native flowers bloom, along with viewing extremely clear waters in rivers, lakes, and streams. We have also noted on a daily basis the nuances of the color of the sky and the creatures of the land – all of which we usually take for granted. For example, yesterday on our bike ride we actually stopped to snap a snake, a beautiful blooming cactus, Lake Cassin, a majestic tree, and, sadly, an inaccessible TJMaxx. How often in the rush of our former lives were we so tuned in to noticing?

I have learned…that with “attitude” and “gratitude” anything is possible. My attitude through all of this wavers between positive and negative – with a lot of melancholy and outright sadness thrown in – but my bucket of gratitude is forever overflowing! For example, I heartbroken not to be able to see and hug my grandchildren, but eternally grateful that they – and all our family members – are staying safe and well.


Speaking of kids…I have learned…the importance of human relationships and have gained a deeper insight into my children’s lives during this universal pause, and I think the same goes for Bill. We have talked to all of the kids much more often than usual and we have engaged in conversations that go way beyond our normal weekly “How are you doing? Do you need anything? chats! Such moments are precious and my hope is that this particular practice will not change when the world hits “play” again. If conversations equal hugs during this distancing period, we have both received a tremendous amount of hugs! The same goes for all of our human connections as we have tried to reach out to many friends that perhaps we haven’t talked to in a long time, as well as stay close to family members.

So, although we’re not all in the same boat during our collective pause, we certainly are all in the same storm! Learn from it and come out of the pause a better you.

Stay Calm and Travel On…



2 thoughts on “Practice the Pause

  1. Beautiful, thoughtful commentary, Karen. Glad you and yours are all well. Lyle and I are both doing well here in Northern Minnesota. Keeping busy with gardens and making face masks.


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