Pause with a Purpose



Find Clarity with a Purposeful Pause

The more we practice pausing, the better equipped we are in an artistic moment of need. Take my cooking as a parallel universe. A decade ago, I cooked almost every night. I’d carve out thirty minutes from the rest of my schedule and labeled the time, “cooking.” Cooking is a form of pausing if you grant open space for its cause. I liked what I made, then. A few (perhaps lying to be polite) recipients even said they liked my meals. My pausing paid off.

Life happened, work picked up, a kid arrived, and I’d blog or hit the gym while my husband started to cook for us. He likes to cook and is great at it. Hallelujah! He enjoys pausing, in that way. While I didn’t mind the call of duty, I found I preferred to pause at the gym or via art making. My cooking skills went out the window. When I recently tried to make a meal for us, I couldn’t even come up with a menu. My mind had fallen out of the practice of making space for cooking. When I did try to cook, my husband hovered, reminding me to pay attention to an active burner and pan. It was more fire safety than micromanagement (that’s what he said). By this point, I had removed myself so far from the cooking pause that my personal experiences swallowed the meal I made long before it hit the table. I’d think about what to write about next or grab a few extra push-ups while noodles burned to the bottom of pans.

The more often you automatically check your Twitter feed while I’m trying to talk to you on this blog, you can bet you are doing a similar kind of burn. And if you usually review social media screens while art making, you more than have priorities wacked, you have your head wacked. Your frontal lobe short circuits, and the rest of your brain needs some loving. How may you recalibrate? Practice intentional pauses.

I needed to pause and show up to cooking if I had any chance to get back on track. Well, I didn’t. The further I removed myself from pausing in this way, the further my cooking focus and interests dissolved. When we pause in productive ways, in directions that matter to us, our lives become more fulfilling. Otherwise, you risk chronic distraction. Practice pausing in ways that interest you.








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