Crouch…Touch…PAUSE…Engage. Are you pausing on purpose?
Finding the still point. I love the following lines from T. S. Eliot’s, Burnt Norton.
At the still point of the turning world.
Neither flesh nor fleshless; neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is, but neither arrest nor movement.
And do not call if fixity, where past and future are gathered.
Neither movement from nor towards, Neither ascent nor decline.
Except for the point, the still point, there would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
The fuel of pausing. Purposeful performance is fueled by purposeful pausing. A pause is not wasted time.
- A pause can get us set for our performance.
- A pause can rejuvenate us.
- A pause can help us really SEE what we are doing.
- A pause can help us reflect on our performance.
- A pause can re-energize us for performance.
- A pause can help us reset our course.
- A pause can help us find full engagement.
Pausing in midair. When you throw THE ONE BALL up in the air there is a moment when it pauses before falling back down to earth. Can you notice or see this pause? In your body, can you be mindful of the smallest of pauses between inhaling and exhaling?
Crouch…Touch…Pause…Engage. I love how Rugby uses the 4 words of crouch, touch, pause, engage to start the scrum. The scrum can be a tough place but there is a moment of pause before the players engage. Perhaps we all need pausing moments before full employee engagement.
Pause into the rhythm. Dr. Richard Lonetto, wrote a wonderful book in 1988 on The Rhythm: Being Your Best in Sport and Business. The book is out of print and Richard left Sports Psychology many years ago to be involved in a family business. It was from Richard that I first learned the value of pausing.
Power is lost when we become too fast. We may feel stronger, more in control, But these feelings are an illusion. real power comes form learning to be slow. Real power comes from pacing oneself — from timing, not from speed (p. 16).
Pregnant pause. A pregnant pause is a technique of comic timing used to accentuate a comedy element, where the comic pauses at the end of a phrase to build up suspense. Refined and perfected by Jack Benny, the pregnant pause has become a staple of stand-up comedy. Imagine the more powerful performance you can give birth by starting with a pregnant pause and inserting pauses into the entire performance. Someone once said that music resides in the space between the notes. Find your music and space through pausing on purpose.
Pause now. Before you click away or shut down pause for a moment. Let life catch up with you as your pause enters you into the state of mindful performance.
Bonus: Pause to take flight. I just came across this powerful slideshare presentation on amazing pictures of birds. There are 25 pictures…even if you take 2 seconds to look at each picture you will have paused for one minute before taking flight from this site!