Tag Archive for: pause


On Tuesday morning, I was sat with my other co-facilitators at the back of a very large hall, filled with 150 or so teenagers (13 โ€“ 18-year-olds).
Together, we listened attentively to the opening remarks, the first devotional message and the plans for the day.
Unexpectedly, all of the facilitators were asked to come to the stage and introduce themselves and their workshops.
One by one, each facilitator introduced themselves and their workshop topic.
Finally, the announcer looked towards me and my co-facilitators.
I took a breath and slowed down.
I ๐ฉ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž๐.
There was a polite round of applause.
Then, I made a gesture by raising my arms.
The result, the applause got louder.
I raised my arms a little further and the noise went up another notch or two.
Lowering my arms, the applause subsided.
I hadnโ€™t uttered a word, and yet had already managed to gain the attention of the 150 kids in the room.
Most people find it hard to pause at all.
Itโ€™s fascinating working with young people.
Top Tip – Get their attention with some noise, then freeze and be quiet for a moment, nonverbally signalling that you have something to say.
Pausing is not a moment of โ€œnothingโ€. Rather, it is a tool that can help us to build a connection, to engage with the audience, and grabs attention, whether emotionally or intellectually.
Pausing is not as easy as it sounds.
In my experience, pausing helps to convey a message more effectively.
It also allows you to collect your thoughts and allows your audience to follow what youโ€™re saying.
Never underestimate the power of a pause.
โ€œThe right word may be effective, but nothing is as effective as a well-timed pause.โ€ – Mark Twain
Why not consider using the power of a pause in your next lesson or presentation.

Look Up!

Look Up!
“I try to avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward” – Charlotte Bronte.
In the busy, incessant nature of life, do you ever feel as if you have got caught up in the thick of thin things?
I recall one experience recently, when my to do list had 50+ actions on it – all urgent!
Something had to change.
Simply stated, I had been walking around for too long with my head down, scurrying about from one thing to the next.
Sound familiar?
In our families, our homes and far too frequently in our workplaces, we can become too narrowly focused on the next email, the next conference call, the next meeting or become concerned about a troublesome conversation from weeks ago.
Then, sometimes I catch myself, I come back to the present moment, and I remember to look up and see what matters most.
Have you paused to reflect and look up recently?
I know that the simple action – to look up – will help you to see more of your own world.
It’s hard to be down when you are looking up.
As you board the bus, train, plane, tube, step into the car, or walk to work today, or even in your lunch hour – catch yourself, come back to the present moment – look up – and see!
Behold the wonders all around.

What does it mean to commune with God?

Arising from my knees early this morning, I asked myself had I simply been โ€œsaying a prayer or had I ๐’„๐’๐’Ž๐’Ž๐’–๐’๐’†๐’… with God?โ€
I paused and reflected upon the question.
I slowed down.
I sunk deeply into my very comfortable chair.
I noticed all of the distractions around me.
The ticking of a clock.
The buzzing of an electric light.
The whistling and howling of the wind.
A car engine roaring into life.
The chirping of an early morning bird.
I noticed my breathing, in an out and the physical sensations of my breath.
I became much more ๐’‘๐’“๐’†๐’”๐’†๐’๐’•.
I became less concerned with time.
Consciously, I had moved from simply getting my prayer done, into a much deeper immersion and was now ready to โ€œcommune with Godโ€
๐‚๐จ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐ง๐ž โ€“ โ€œto communicate intimatelyโ€
I returned to my knees.
I yielded myself to Him.
I began, slowly โ€œDear Heavenly Fatherโ€ฆโ€
I expressed thanks and gratitude for a while.
I listened.
I listened some more.
I asked for guidance and help.
I trusted.
I communed with God.
I listened again.
Time was irrelevant.
I closed โ€œin the name of Jesus Christ, Amenโ€
I waited.
I waited some more.
I listened for a while.
I listened, quietly, paying attention, listeningโ€ฆโ€ฆ
Answers came.
Are you simply getting your prayers done?
Or are you communing with God?

Ask first!

Standing in the kitchen, Monic passed me the jar of beetroot.
Having tried to open it already, Monic didn’t have to say anything, the look in her eyes said it all… “can you open that please?”
Taking the jar from her hands, I gave it a go.
Holding the jar in my left hand, I tried to open the jar with my stronger right hand.
No joy.
Holding the jar in my right hand, I tried to open the jar with my left hand.
Reflecting now on that silly moment – as expected, no joy!
“Try holding it under hot water” Monic said.
Under it went. Several attempts later, and after straining my right wrist – still no joy.
“Try it with a cloth” Monic said.
With my right wrist strained, it was back to holding it with my right hand and then trying with my left hand.
No joy.
Monic took the jar back again.
“I remember my mum said if I pry a knife under the lid, it may let a little air in and that may help” – said Monic.
So, taking a knife she pried it under the lid. Hey presto “pop” went the lid, a little twist with her hand – job done!
Moral of the story….
Pause, reflect and ask the question first…
“Has your mum given you any tips as to how to open that jar?” ๐Ÿ˜…

Emotional Triggers

You’re having a lovely civil conversation, then BOOM! Suddenly your blood pressure surges, you get agitated, you gasp for air, you raise your voice and you have a noticeable urge to throttle the other person…

What just happened?

Emotions kicked in, that’s what happened.

On two occasions this week, my “hot buttons” have been triggered.

So what are emotional triggers?

They can be almost anything. People, situations, words, opinions, can all provoke extreme and disproportionate emotional reactions within all of us, usually resulting in some kind of unhelpful behaviour. Often, the triggers can unconsciously remind us of past life events or maybe even long established beliefs from childhood.

So, what can you do?

In my case, I took some time to question why I was being triggered. Then I took even more time to pause, breathe, reflect. Then I chose to write down what actually happened in my journal. Capturing what emotions surfaced and what my reaction to the events were, actually helped me to have that inner dialogue with myself and understand what happened.

Another learning experience for sure, pausing, recognising the trigger and being able to change the response is key.

What are you emotional triggers and how do you control them?