If you allow yourself to pause, you might feel love from an unexpected place. 

Most days begin in a rush, and end in a sigh of relief. What follows is a listing of an average day: At dawn, wake up, take out the dog, eat breakfast, get dressed, pack work stuff and self into vehicle. Then, weave in and out of the early morning rush to arrive at a destination where many hectic hours are logged, some things are accomplished but more “to dos” are discovered and logged for future days that aren’t hectic. Again, pack self back into vehicle, do the reverse commute, and end up home where the dog needs to go out, dinner needs to be created, eaten, and digested, lunch for the next day needs packing, laundry needs folding, and then there might be some time to connect with loved ones and read a few pages of that lonely book on the nightstand.

In a day's monotony, it is easy to lose yourself. Your actions - robotic, urgent, and repetitive - can limit your ability to feel present, human, and connected. One simple way to access your sense of self, and unique point of view, would be to press pause. 

In the middle of any task, try taking yourself out of it. Pause and focus on one aspect of that moment, and think closely. Consider it. This could be the whir of air circulating from your desk fan, or it could be the intricate lacing of ice on the windowpane. This tiny act of observation can allow for creativity to creep in, stimulating your imagination, and bringing your unique perception back to the surface. This helps you reconnect with your surroundings, and may kindle a sort of partnership with your environment. If you allow yourself, you might be inspired by some poetic aspect of your surroundings. On a particularly challenging day, you might just be reassured by the subtle affection of a common red standpipe valve.


Click here for related content: Maria Shriver's USC address "The Power of the Pause"