The Power of Pause

by Belinda Munoz on July 11, 2011

It’s really no secret. But still, I’m in awe of just how much power a pause holds.

Breath, held for a few seconds, results in forceful exhalation emptying the lungs of impurities in one single gush. One could argue that the instinctive, split-second pause between breathing in and breathing out is what keeps us alive at the most basic level.

A brief period of thought and reflection, known as reason amongst certain cerebral circles yet may be referred to as meditation amongst spiritual-types, could change the course of one’s action (or inaction for that matter). Much like the reaction triggered by any perceived threat or stress, the hypothalamus sends a message to the body and the body then responds by either fighting or fleeing; one or the other being determined by a single pause.

It’s no wonder a break can work wonders when feeling frazzled. A mere one day pause can reset the body and mind anew. A few days, perhaps a week, and the mind, body and soul may lock in sync again, allowing one to notice and appreciate beauty, and perhaps even allow oneself to immerse in it guilt-free, without pressure and with no restrictions.

The pause. It has long suffered a subordinate role to the much heralded beginnings and endings. It’s worth a closer look. Perhaps the pause provides the backbone to the meaty in-between chunks that give glory to beginnings and endings.


Pause: Is it a slippery slope to laziness or is it a lifeline that we who call ourselves civilized don’t utilize enough?

Is our need/greed for more, more, more and our drive to go, go, go clouding our ability to discern the merits of the pause?

Incidentally, the verb pause, according to an online etymology dictionary, is from the 1520s. The rise of the West, according to historians, occurred in the 1500s when all sorts of oceanic voyages were taking place and the Renaissance was underway. Perhaps we have Michelangelo and his cohorts to thank for the concept of vacation, in addition to all the great art they left behind for us? Just musing.


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ayala July 11, 2011 at 5:52 am

Welcome back, Belinda. I hope you enjoyed your pause. Your words perfectly express the importance of pausing and recharging. Last week we went away to Chicago for three days to celebrate my birthday. It felt awesome to go and explore a new place. I was fortunate to go away in june for a week to Paris with my best friend. Both pauses did wonders for me.
I hope you had a wonderful time!


2 TheKitchenWitch July 11, 2011 at 10:12 am

Hi Belinda! I think Pause is beautiful. I do sometimes have difficulty with re-entry, but I never regret the pause.


3 Sandra / Always Well Within July 11, 2011 at 10:59 am


I never connected the “pause” with reason. I like that! I’m learning to cherish the pause. Thanks for the reminder.


4 Vishnu July 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm

I don’t find pausing difficult Belinda – too much of it may be procrastination! Being aware in the pause is the challenge.


5 Cathy July 16, 2011 at 11:35 am

I think pausing is important. I think if more people paused before _______ there would be a lot less conflict in the world.


6 Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri July 18, 2011 at 7:47 am

The pause is elusive for me. I am working on trying to integrate breath in the everyday. Thanks for the reminder.


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