We cannot be mindful unless we pause to interrupt autopilot. The Mindful Pause website features a series of 9 very short videos that will help you explore different aspects of the pause as the foundation from which mindfulness emerges. Each video is under five minutes. See Mindful Pause videos.
What is a mindful pause & why we need it:
Being mindful is the opposite of being mindless. That is the opposite of being disconnected, absent-minded, mechanical. So, being mindful means paying attention to what we are doing.
To be mindful, we first need to pause. This is what it takes to disrupt our default mode, which is to be mindless unless we absolutely need to be attentive.
While the ability to pause is an innate part of human nature, there is a lot of momentum in staying the course, not disrupting our mindless autopilot mode. Hence, it is important to cultivate our ability to shift into a potentially disruptive, mindful pause.
How to take a mindful pause:
“Attention“ is not a thing, it is a process. There is no such thing as a pile of “attention” the way there is, say, a pile of rocks. A process means there is an action. We pay attention to something.
For instance, as we are walking in the woods, daydreaming, we shift into a more mindful mode when we intentionally pay attention to the trees. Actually, it gets even more specific than this. It helps to have a specific focus, such as the intention of noticing similarities and differences between trees.
In other words: a mindful pause is anything but passive. There is an intention, a focus. Led by curiosity, we enter into a relationship with our environment. We are actively involved with it, and this allows our innate mindfulness to kick in.
Of course, this relationship will only be sustainable if the focus of our curiosity is meaningful. Otherwise, it will quickly revert to boring, i.e. there is nothing for us to sink your teeth into. And that’s OK. We just need to figure out a different way to enter into a meaningful relationship with our environment if you want to be mindful as opposed to mindless.
This is the spirit in which I invite you to watch these 9 short Mindful Pause videos.