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Play The Pause Game

Feb 24, 2020

The pause game. do you know it?

My kids play it all the time. One of them has the TV remote and they press pause and the other one has to stop what they are doing. It could be in the middle of eating breakfast, brushing teeth or putting a sock on. Of course it will always result in the paused child getting squirted with water, drawn on or shaving foam squished in to their hair which raises the entertainment factor.

This game got me thinking about how we can switch the rules up a little bit to incorporate it in to our lives. I don’t know about you but pressing ‘pause’ throughout the day sounds quite appealing.

Regardless of your stage in life, the ‘busy’ phenomenon has crept in and is described as a feeling. I’ll ask someone how they are and their reply will often be ‘busy’. The result of this busy culture that we have created has left little time for the important things in life. Little time to listen, little time to check in and little time to be still.

The irony is that when we slow down, listen, check in and are still we can achieve so much more.

How would it feel to step out of your mind? To step out of the thoughts playing on repeat over and over again?

How would it feel to notice those thoughts and see if they need an upgrade?

What would your life be like without the freight train of overwhelm coming at you?

How would it feel to be fully in the moment?

What would it be like to see and hear subtle cues from the people that you interact with?

How would it feel to pick up on those cues and foster a meaningful interaction with that person?

What would your relationships look like if you took the time to really listen to what the people in your life are saying?

How would your life change if you took time to listen to the messages from your body?

What would it look like if you responded to those messages leading you to take action?

All of these things are possible when you press pause on your day.

Do it now. Where ever you are reading this article. (Yes, you DO have time)



Take a big deep breath in through your nose for the count of 5. Feel the cool air on your nostrils as it enters the body. Feel your ribs and belly expand. Exhale out of your nose or mouth for the count of 5. Feel your shoulders relax, listen to your breath. Repeat this for 5 breaths, bringing your mind to the count, allowing all other thoughts to come and go without attachment.

Now look around you, notice your surroundings. Use your senses, hear the sounds, see what’s around you, feel the fabric against your clothes. Take it all in.

‘Ok Anna I get it I hear you’ say; ‘but how can I press pause in my already full day? How can I find the time to be still when I am juggling all the balls’?


Great question! And here’s some suggestions:

  • Take those 5 beautiful breaths as the kettle boils for your daily brew
  • Replace scrolling through social media with breath work
  • Set a reminder on your phone 3 x per day. Simply write ‘be still’ or ‘pause’
  • Cultivate stillness and quiet in to your daily routine. Let it set you up for the morning and end your day at bedtime.
  • When you feel emotions such as over whelm, anger, anxiety and frustration press pause immediately and allow the breath to work its magic.

Haemin Sunim, Zen Buddhist teacher and author behind the beautiful book ‘‘The things you can see only when you slow down’ starts one of his chapters with the question. “When everything around me is moving so fast, I stop and ask, Is it the world that is busy, or is it in my mind?”

This question changed the way I view my life and reminded me that I have a choice. I get to write the rules. I get to choose. Until we die, we always have our breath. Make your breath your friend. Play the pause game. Take intentional, quality breaths. Bring gratitude and calmness into your life. Notice the positive change it makes to you and those around you.