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The power of a "PAUSE"

Last year I enrolled in a class that seriously changed my life. It was facilitated by Colleen Camenisch, MBA, who owns Equilibrium-Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction in Reno, NV.

I registered for this class, because I knew I needed to incorporate mindfulness into my occupational therapy practice. Being aware and helping clients acknowledge their strengths and needs (physically, psychologically, and socially) for their activities. Although I learned so many strategies for my occupational therapy practice, I also learned so much to use in my personal space and place.

Not only was it a serious plus that I had 1.5 hours in the car (each way) to reflect on my week and process the course material while driving to and from Reno, but the material in the class changed my perspective. How to engage with people, how to use Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction in my own life and with my clients, and how to face life's challenges became more process-oriented.

One weekly session was focused on Interpersonal Communication. How to engage with people using "a PAUSE." At first this can feel awkward for you...But I promise the person you are interacting with will appreciate the time and space you are offering them to share their narrative. Their story. Their emotions. Their experience of what they are sharing. Giving that person "a PAUSE" is a gift. It's an offering of love and light and a real chance to process and share.

Someone in the class shared a piece of knowledge that parallels this. Try to keep in mind the acronym "W.A.I.T," which stands for "Why Am I Talking?" I like this too. Usually you don't need to be talking when someone is sharing something with you. Just be aware of holding a sacred and safe space for the person who is sharing. You will likely gain an incredible amount of feedback and can facilitate their process to move forward.

Next time someone is sharing something with you (a family member, friend, client, person at the grocery store) try using that PAUSE and ask yourself "Why Am I Talking?"

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