The Power of a Pause – Lessons from a Garage Door

I had a huge lesson about the power of pause a few months ago, and from a garage door of all things: definitely not your normal classroom situation.

A few weeks before I had read a most wonderful blog about ‘Those little Moments of Pause’ and as a result had made a commitment to bring more of these moments, which I was coming to appreciate as being very valuable, into my everyday life. Previous to this I had been one who often used to get to the end of the day only to realise that I hadn’t had a moment of pause in any shape or form, from the moment I got out of bed in the morning to when I placed my very frazzled head on the pillow that night. I also had begun to identify that the days that I didn’t take moments to stop, to pause whatever I was doing, led to nights where I struggled to go to sleep, or I would wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep. This was a very important realisation indeed.

So, to set the scene. My garage is about 80m from my house and in the morning after walking down the path, I would arrive at the garage door ready to head to work, handbag over my shoulder and my bag containing my lunch and other necessities in one hand and maybe a coat as well. On other occasions there would be a lot less baggage but I was still carrying the same feeling as I pressed the button to open the door: “Let’s get this door up and get going as fast as possible!”

Fuelled by this feeling, when I pressed the button I would feel my impatience rise as the door always seemed to rise very slowly, so more often than not when it was about half way up I would find myself bending down to get under it: definitely not a comfortable or honouring move for my body, with my bags usually going in all directions.

But this particular morning with the words of that blog in my mind I decided to press the button and take a moment to pause, close my eyes and check in with my body.

Even though I felt that I had not rushed to get ready by giving myself plenty of time, what I felt in my body surprised me. My shoulders were up higher than they are supposed to be, my hand holding the bag was clenched tightly, my jaw felt a little tight and my breath wasn’t flowing as easily as I know it could have been. Not a great state in which to get into my car and begin to drive. As I stood there, which felt like a very long time, but which turned out to be only 15 seconds, I could feel the old urge to bend down and get moving to my car, but I was determined to resist the temptation, and I did.

When I heard the door stop I opened my eyes. For a moment I didn’t want to move as I had connected to a most gorgeous feeling of stillness and I didn’t want this to end. With this exquisite feeling throughout my body, the next step I chose to take was in this stillness so when I got to the car door I realised that I was going to get into the car in a very different energy than usual; and I sure did. Every movement felt so gentle as I went through my usual preparation for driving, taking the time to adjust my seat, my mirror and how I was sitting, moves that were all supported by how I was feeling.

I then backed my car out of the garage and stopped to close the garage door with the control in my car. I drove away with the loveliest feeling in my body, a feeling that I know kept on flowing into my day and to everyone I connected with.

It didn’t take any effort at all to continue this beautiful new morning ritual, and so on the third day I felt to add another element. I decided not to drive away until the door had gone down. So, I backed out, stopped, pressed the remote, closed my eyes and another 15 seconds later the door was down. I was feeling so still and so connected to myself as I drove out of the driveway – it felt amazing.

As I drove off I could feel how taking that pause had changed the way I began my work day, or any other day for that matter; how there was no rush in my body, no tension and all from two pauses of 15 seconds that took up a whole 30 seconds of my day. And to think that previously I considered that I didn’t have the time to wait that long! So, it got me to contemplating on how many other areas of my life I have the same “I don’t have time” attitude – and I discovered quite a few. Now they too are a wonderful work in progress and becoming easier the more I commit to my precious stop moments.

And what a valuable 30 seconds this has continued to be with the garage door opening ritual becoming firmly settled into my way of living and offering me such a precious moment in time at least once a day to pause and connect to me. These moments of pause have now very naturally flowed into other areas of my life: when I am waiting for my computer to ‘wake up,’ the traffic light to go green, the kettle to boil – in fact in any moment there is the opportunity to pause and, in that moment, I am offering myself the wisdom of a very valuable lesson – from a garage door.

By Ingrid Ward, West Auckland, New Zealand

Related Reading:
Connection to self through conscious presence
Esoteric Yoga – The Yoga of Stillness
Returning to our body – The wonder, beauty and science of our body

625 thoughts on “The Power of a Pause – Lessons from a Garage Door

  1. Wow Ingrid, I love how you describe the difference between autopilot and consciously stopping to feel and claiming the energy you want to be moving in.

    1. In the world of complication we live in, its simplicity really stands out, and very hard to ignore. And just before I read your comment I was about to take a short pause, so I read, then paused, and what a difference it made to how I was feeling in that moment. Yes, it’s that simple.

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