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Growing up my dad worked long hours. As construction company owner, he built homes for a living, which meant he could come and go as needed.

I remember in the summertime he’d often come home for lunch. After we’d eaten, he’d sit in the low side chair, tip his ball cap down over his eyes, cross his hands, and say, “wake me up in 10 minutes.”

Mom usually gave him 15, would wake him up, and he’d be off to work until dinner, often later.

Most of us don’t nap during our work days, but maybe we should. Dad always woke up fresh, having paused to rest, renew, re-set his energies.

Of course, you don’t have to nap in order to re-set your energies. You can simply practice pausing.

Pausing is part of a larger cycle of work and renewal, the ebb and flow of life.

Pausing interrupts our automatic reactions to life. Pausing allows our minds and bodies to take a break, to re-set, and to be with life as it is.

Pausing isn’t simply a good idea; it’s a required nutrient not unlike air or water, much like a good nap (BTW, for more on naps).

Try this: As you go through your day today, simply stop, drop your attention to your breath at your belly, and take three deep breaths.

Look up and out at your surroundings. Drop any agenda about what you ‘should’ be seeing, or what ‘should’ be occurring, and simply notice what you notice.

Commit to this practice three times a day for a week, reflecting on this practice at the end of the day. Simple? Yep, just like that nap, the one we find excuses for not taking.

What did you learn from cultivating pause? Or, would you still like that wake-up call in 15 minutes?

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