How to Give Yourself Permission to Pause


When we consider the suggestion to slow down or hit pause, the first thought that usually arises is “I don’t have time” or “I’m too busy.”

Sound familiar?

Why Busy is a Bad Excuse

This scenario happens more frequently than most of us care to admit, but the reality is that it’s characterized by empty excuses that rob us of our ability to choose.

Consider this: time is a limited currency, and whether we acknowledge it or not, we all have the power of the purse. We each have the power to decide how we spend our time, with whom, and where.

Convincing each other – and ourselves – that the pace at which we’re moving is out of our hands is merely a justification tactic for a misalignment of priorities. When we resort to removing responsibility from ourselves for the way we spend our time, we’re masking the intuitive feeling that our current patterns are not giving us what we need to thrive emotionally, physically, spiritually – and everything in-between.


How to Reclaim Your Power to Pause

It’s time we give ourselves permission to pause and realign our priorities. Continuing to move at a million miles a minute – and making personal sacrifices along the way – may seem like a fast track to success, but it’s a cleverly crafted illusion. The truth is, our rush to thrust aside our autonomy in the name of “busy” stems from a fear-based belief – the fear that we’ll make the wrong choice, disappoint ourselves and others, or, worse yet, fail.   

But failure is not the worst possible outcome. What is? Looking back and realizing you had the power to choose to pursue your passions, to prioritize what you care about most, to say no, and to take chances when, deep down, you knew that you’d fly instead of fall.  

Pause. And all we have to do to reconnect to the intuition that adeptly guides us in this adventure of life – if we step into our power and reclaim the reins – is pause. Slow down. Breathe. Let go. Create space for silence and introspective thought.

Reflect. Remember – you always have the power to choose. Recognize this incredible autonomy and the freedom it offers you. Identify the excuses you’re using to shy away from this intimidating privilege and give yourself permission to pause in that path. Acknowledge that you’re operating from a place of fear, and understand where that fear may be coming from. Let go of the belief that a negative outcome will arise if you divert from what you believe you “should” do. Reflect on your values, your purpose, and the life you want to lead. Visualize an action or outcome that brings you joy and shifts you into alignment with your purpose.

Choose. And slowly, surely, step into your power. Make small, simple choices based on your intuition, until that tiny whisper grows into an inner voice that’s loud and clear – especially when we need its wisdom the most.

Above all else, be intentional with how you’re spending your time. Consider the areas of your life that trigger anxiety or stress, rather than fulfillment or joy. Focus on those areas during the intuitive practice outlined above.  

And as you reflect on your current path and give yourself permission to pause, give yourself permission to choose again. Because “busy” is just a distraction from a purposeful, vibrant life that’s filled with the right priorities.  

For an immersive experience focused on mindful movement and centering within the present moment, sign up for my upcoming workshop Slow Down + Breathe at NoDa Yoga in Charlotte.

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