Guiding Light: The Power Of The Pause

Guiding Light: The Power Of The Pause

Ritesh AswaneyUpdated: Saturday, February 10, 2024, 04:10 AM IST
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Representative Image | Retrateapr/Pixabay

We are increasingly becoming creatures of instant gratification, conditioned by the marketing machines, which are designed to prey on our impulses. As a result, the time between stimulus and reaction seems to be ever-reducing, so much so that we’ve reacted even before we’ve had a chance to process the stimulus, leave alone the implications of our actions. The results can often have long-term consequences, both reputational and in particular interpersonal, which become incredibly difficult to repair. Trust is the most important currency, and let’s just say that impulse isn’t its best custodian!

If we were able to magically inject a pause between when we see or hear something, then we would be able to respond to it, rather than react. It is that fundamental switch from our fight-or-flight response, to our conscious brain, which is far better at decision-making, and also allows us to tap into our past reservoir of experiences to calibrate the response.

How might we train ourselves to remain mindful in that moment, one might ask, and the answer inconveniently is that there is no magic bullet. You cannot train yourself to be different in that crucial moment; it’s about taking a holistic approach and bringing mindfulness to how we operate in everyday life. That is the only way to be able to lean into that muscle memory when you’re faced with a stressful situation, which quite quickly punctures those flaky layers of fledgling resilience.

We have a wealth of knowledge and practices available to us as part of our rich heritage of yoga, meditation and spiritual knowledge. And an intuitive understanding that not everyone is the same, and we have a path for everyone to choose, be that the incisive insight of knowledge, or the transformational power of the breath.

Wisdom is choosing a path whilst you still have a decent handle on things, as that opens you to the real possibility of transformation, rather than try to put a Band-Aid on things after they start to fall apart. The joy of engaging and interacting with these spiritual practices, without the burden of stress, also makes indulging in them a more wholesome experience. After all, life is about attaining your highest possibility, and this isn’t just in the material realm but also mentally and spiritually.

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