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The picture shows a large lilac bouquet. A woman is hiding behind the bouquet. The picture stands for the pause we should take regularly to lead a healthy life.

Mind the gap

Throughout the day, we often are so self-absorbed in our work, the projects we have to do, with our worries that we hardly notice the small gestures, the moments of stillness, the beauty around us. We are caught up in so many small details that make up our day and often do not see what is happening under our nose. Often it is only in times of crisis or total breakdown that we might feel how little time we actually have left and realise how crucial it is how we spend it.

Slowing down a bit is an important message

Every time we fall into a habitual pattern, every time we feel trapped or on autopilot, we might “push the pause button” and ask ourselves what is really important.

Are you often lost in thoughts? I know this habit so well myself.

“Yes, but…” we say. “Yes, but I have a job to do. I have to take care of the family. There is a deadline. There are endless numbers of e-mails I have to respond to. I have to cook and clean and run errands…“
How are we supposed to juggle everything we have to do in a day, in a week, in a month, without missing the opportunity to experience what really matters? We only have this precious life. And it unfolds into precious days, and those precious days unfold into precious moments. How we spend them is really important.

We have the choice to pause

Throughout our day we have the choice to pause our usual thoughts and actions. I love the practice of pausing, where I consciously create a gap, a soothing void. We can pause and take three deep breaths and the world has a chance to open up for us in that gap. We can allow space into our state of mind. The meditation practice itself is one way, but certainly not the only way, to create these gaps and restful voids.

I know from my own personal experience how strong habits can be. This discursive mind, busy, worried, caught-up, spaced-out mind. This mind is very powerful. That is all the more reason to do the most important thing – to recognise what opportunities every day offers, and how easily they can be missed.

From morning to evening, we could be completely absorbed and distracted by the details of our lives. However, what we can do instead is to consciously leave a few gaps every day. A gap in the morning, a gap in the afternoon and another gap in the evening or even more. It does not matter whether you are practicing meditation or not. It is about the continuity of soothing, short pauses. Find your own way to slow down. Find a way to relax your mind. Find a way to create these restful gaps. Be it by just looking out of the window and relaxing your eyes, exercising both body and mind, by meditating or even by taking a good power nap. Whatever works for you. Studies have shown that breaks from our endless commitments actually increase our potential for better health and success. Make it your regular habit and build it into your daily routine. Your body and mind will thank you for it.