We do an annual board meeting in our house.  We make strategies for business, process challenges, plan the calendar, set budgets and goals, and generally make sure we are on the same page.   Over time, it has evolved into one of my favorite events of the year.   I love setting aside 4 days to talk about the state of our union.  It feels decadent to give so much focus to my personal life and I always find renewed energy and motivation for long-term goals.
Last year I showed up with some significant questions.  I had experienced a challenging year in my business and wasn’t quite sure what needed to adjust.  I was eager to have my partner’s undivided attention to help me problem-solve and offer a second opinion.  I prepared reports, identified long-term goals and targets, and organized myself for  a most official presentation.  I just knew solutions were on the horizon!
Well….  that’s not quite how it went.
We did meet.  He did listen.  He questioned.  I answered.  We brainstormed.  Then my partner did the most unexpected thing….  He recommended we look at it again at the end of the year and see if we could make a decision.  Mind you, it was February and we were talking 10 months of waiting.  I was certain he had lost his mind.
I proceeded the only way I could see and calmly asked if he had lost his mind…  He assured me he had not and that I simply did not have enough data to make a decision yet.
What???
I have a problem.  I don’t like the problem.  I want the problem to go away.  Let’s make a call and change something.
But I didn’t have enough data.
Reluctantly, I agreed.  He was right.  I didn’t have enough data and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.  I was uncomfortable, but  that didn’t mean I had to do anything.  I had to learn to tolerate the discomfort and pause until I knew more.
And so I paused and, in that pause, I found clarity.  I figured it out one yoga class at a time, one deep breath at a time, afternoons on the couch reading a fantasy novel series, conversations with myself and others throughout the year, long walks, card games with family, visits with my daughter.  I figured it out by finding stillness inside and letting life slow down.
Hearing the wisdom inside myself required a massive slowdown, rather than the frantic voice that often insists we know what to do.  Right. This. Second.
At the end of the pause I knew how to move forward.  With time and more data came clarity.
Moral of the story:  If I had reacted to my insistence that I have an immediate answer, I would have likely made a poor decision.  It would have been like throwing darts blindfolded after being spun around 3 times.  Who knows what I would have come up with?!  When we pause, take a breath, let the feelings pass, we are better able to make decisions that take us where we want to go.  For me, I found a way to write you on a weekly basis!  If I had reacted quickly I would be missing out on this relationship.  I’m so very grateful for the pause.

One comment on “The Power of the Pause

  • I really needed the pause today after an uncomfortable situation that occurred at work. Regrettably, I had not read your post yet. I will use it next time! Thank you for the valuable lesson.

    Tina Patterson

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