Talking Better Together by Pausing, Again

My Dad worked for Coca-Cola Bottling Company many years ago. If he were alive today, he would likely be surprised at the meaning I am about to connect with this old advertisement.  Notice how happy this woman is with her glass of soda? She’s off to a fresh start! What if we could get refreshed and off to a fresh start by simply pausing for a moment to connect to the current, living moment, and/or to the larger context in which this moment occurs?

In last week’s blog, I described pausing as stepping off the train of habitual thinking and doing, and shifting one’s attention to the living moment.  Here I want to add another type of pausing in which we step into to a larger, perhaps even timeless moment.

This type of pausing connects us with both the living moment and that in which the current moment is occurring. Although both can be refreshing, this type seems to be more enlivening because in it one’s awareness expands beyond the present moment or situation.*

Recently I facilitated a community workshop in which people were discussing renewable sources of energy (e.g., hydro, solar, wind, waves). One participant asked the group of 40 to think about alternative sources of renewable energy not just for the region, but also for the nation, even for the world.

His words inspired a pause in which my sense of time and space shifted. It seemed as if I were hovering high above the building and could “see” myself standing in the room with people sitting around the small tables at the edge of Humboldt Bay and its spot on the earth. Despite it being 7 PM at the end of a long day, I felt energized by a longer and broader view of what was occurring. Some participants also seemed to perk up.  From this vantage point the conversation appeared larger and timeless: people talking together about what matters to them.

When does a longer or broader perspective, even a sense of timelessness come to you? How might you consciously pause in this way? How does this kind of pause affect you?

* Great gratitude to Russell Delman for introducing this type of pausing.

This blog draws on my forthcoming book Talk Matters! Saving the World One Word at a Time. Click here to leave your email address and we will notify you when the book becomes available this Fall.

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