my daughter is awake. it makes no difference that it's a solid 30 minutes too early for breakfast. it makes no difference that she slept an hour later than normal yesterday. she's awake. 

in moments like these i try to pause. try to be mindful. try to calculate my reaction instead of giving in to the rashness of frustration. i'm still pretty bad at it, but i'm learning. slowly.

i'm learning to pause. to take deep breaths. to look at whatever situation i'm in and try to be thankful for the good, and breathe through the bad. i'm trying to recognize the brevity of these days. these days when i have a baby and a toddler. these days when keane wants nothing more than to hold his baby sister, and take care of her. [granted he also wants to test both the boundaries and her strength by pushing her over, tackling her, and the like.]

i'm learning to pause. i'm learning to watch him for a moment when he asks to go outside and play in the rain. i'm learning to watch him open up his little mouth and try to catch the raindrops on his tongue. 

i'm learning to pause. i'm learning to watch her go after a toy again and again and again no matter how many times i move it.

i'm learning to pause. i'm learning to watch them together. i'm learning to watch her excitement build as she sees her big brother and the hugs and kisses and love they share with each other at this early stage.

i'm learning to pause and enjoy the sweet snuggles of my kids even if they come at inopportune moments.

i know i cannot pause the whole day away. i cannot stop completely very often. just pause. just for a moment. 

just drink it in. 

it's tough to do. tough to be present. tough to pause and notice. it's difficult to be mindful, but it makes such a huge difference.

the older i get [or maybe it's the older my kids get] i realize that we're not getting this time back. if i don't pause and enjoy it then it will simply pass me by. 

no, we cannot in good conscience live only in the moment. but living in the moment is different than living for the moment; and living for the moment is much different than being mindful and present in a moment.

my yoga teacher often reminds us to breathe. to pay attention to our breath. to pause and to notice. and i realize that most of the time i don't read myself, and the cues i'm getting from my own body. what am i tensing up? my face? my neck? what is causing the tension? am i breathing shallowly instead of deeply? 

i often feel so much better when i listen to my own body. when i take a second to pause and to notice.

dreaming is important - it is important to think about and plan for the future. it is important to have goals to work toward. but we can't get lost in what is next. we cannot get lost in the not yet. it makes the here and now much less enjoyable. it lets the here and now pass us by without utilizing it. 

i often think back to my childhood and realize how much of the time i was just waiting for the next thing. and once i got toward the end of college and got engaged i realized that the rest of life is not scripted. it seemed like my whole life was planned out to that point, and after that i felt a little lost for a while. i had worked to get to that point. i had checked all of the boxes. i had done all that i had set out to do. i had constantly looked to the next thing instead of pausing to enjoy where i was.

i think that's what i love about soccer, about running, about yoga. i'm forced to be where i am. i'm forced to pay attention and notice. i have to be all there. the unimportant melts away. the weight of the world disappears from my shoulders, and it's just me and what i'm doing. it's both my escape and my way to process certain things by not thinking about them at all. it's the way i simultaneously get away and stay in the moment.

so today i will try to practice that before, during, and after my run. i will practice pausing and just enjoying where i am and what i'm doing. i will try to breathe deeply and drink it in. 

what helps you pause?



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