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

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

  1. I have found that any tension or tightness in the body reduces my capacity to move more freely and hence feel more of what I am feeling in all that is happening around me. The stop moments help me first to feel the tension and tightness without trying to change this at all. This alone is already a blessing.

  2. When I feel myself getting revved up or racy or reactive (irritated or angry), I get to realise that I have not had enough stop moments in my day to feel what I am feeling and to acknowledge what I am feeling. The garage door stop is a brillant idea of how we can bring these simple stop moments into our day at any point. Thank you Ingrid!

  3. There is such an incredible expansiveness that can be felt when we truly pause and connect to the stillness that is within us = space. Many of my behaviours in the past did not allow for this depth of connection, which is why it can be challenging at times to truly pause. If our bodies are over stimulated with coffee, sugar or stress etc we first get met with this momentum.

  4. If the space around us is communicating all the time, the more we are present in each moment the more we are likely to be able to respond to what is being communicated.

  5. I absolutely love those moments in my day/week when I just stop and be with my body and my breath knowing that it is enough and there is nothing else to do or nowhere else I need to be in that moment. Priceless.

  6. We can either wait in expectation of eventually getting on with what we are wanting to do or happen, or we can simply be while we know the future to come to us without any waiting on our side.

  7. It is so worth taking a moment or two throughout the day to make sure we are settled, connected and avoid the disconnected rushing around. Whenever I fight the opportunities such as the garage door to do this my day goes and the impatience and disconnection just builds, but when I honour those moments the added quality is invaluable.

    1. I had a big chuckle with the image of God asking himself – ‘what can I use to get their attention, nothing else has worked so it better be something very unusual, and big!’ And in my case must have been one of those, so he brought in the garage door! So, all I can say is – thank you God, the lesson has been huge and deeply appreciated!

  8. A pause to reconnect can be very powerful making the difference in how we respond to a circumstance. It can change the energy of a situation affecting all involved, possibly for the rest of the day, or perhaps shifting something in yourself or another completely.

  9. ‘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.’ – It is amamzing to what detail you were feeling what was going on in your body in this short moment of pause.

  10. The more moments of true pause we take during the day the less time is left of a quality we need a pause from. At some point the focus then becomes to not take a pause from the beautiful quality we live that once was only known to us when taking a pause.

  11. Yes moments of pause are so important, it allows that moment of re-connection and honouring what truly lies within and know that the temporal world truly has no command over.

  12. ‘I decided to press the button and take a moment to pause, close my eyes and check in with my body.’ – This is such a beautiful example of how simple it can be to stay connected and present in our body.

  13. It is in the grace of ‘the pause’ that we can to feel the momentum we are caught in so we can then take the necessary steps to arrest it.

  14. So often I catch myself getting annoyed or irritated because something is happening slower than I expected, or there is a so called ‘hold up’ along the way so this is beautiful to consider that these hold-ups are actually pauses with purpose that I can appreciate and accept on a much deeper level.

    1. I agree, this blog is a great reminder of the real reason these ‘hold ups’ are happening and the opportunity it offers and not getting annoyed thinking that we are ‘accidentally’ held up.

    2. I caught myself in this same irritation just this morning when I was doing the most simple job of taking hooks out of two large curtains, but the moment I clocked it I remembered your comment Andrew and it brought me to a halt. So, I closed my eyes, felt my body, breathed gently and in doing so could feel the need to get the job done quickly dissolve in the beautiful space I had offered myself. Once I opened my eyes any irritation had gone and the ease in which I completed the job was amazing.

      1. Getting ‘caught’ in a traffic line up is good practice for staying with oneself and not ahead of the moment we are in:). I actually like these times and observing all around.

    1. I have felt the awesomeness of the expansion you can get to when I give myself time to pause and connect deeply with my body. Those moments feel timeless and deeply restful and sometimes I can feel that the energy within my body and the energy without is the same so that there is no demarcation between the energy running through my body and my body itself – it’s like my body no longer has physical walls. This is not like bliss and checking out but an expansion of space in the body as the particles re-align and expand.

    2. I so agree Johanne. In that moment of pause the space around me and in me is tangible; in fact it feels endless and full of possibilities, as it offers a platform of stillness for whatever my next choice will be. And I have found that if that next choice is not a loving one it creates a huge disturbance in my body as that stillness is lost.

  15. What a powerful realisation that the days when you don’t pause at all, you have trouble getting to sleep. It sounds like your body is still wired from the overactivity. I find when I have a pause or two in my day, it’s an opportunity to check if I am running my body ragged in the drive to get things done. With a pause I can feel what that drive is doing and start afresh, and have so much more energy when I get home.

  16. The Universe is forever pouring wisdom and awareness through for us. Greater awareness calls for greater responsibility. Perhaps that is why we have so many ways of rejecting this stupendous gift offered to every single one of us constantly. So many ways of blocking it, and yes resisting the power of those pause moments is one of them.

  17. Since reading this I have noticed myself taking more of a pause in certain moments like having a hug with someone, or just being with myself and feeling whatever is there to be felt. I have also shared the essence of this article with others to illustrate a balance and the required foundation of stillness before life’s time efficiencies overtake us.

  18. I’ve recently come to feel how being early and having moments where I just stop during the day create space in what would otherwise be a never ending stream of activity- and what that then offers. It actually takes commitment to stop, because we’re so used to being in the momentum of continuously doing things. But when we allow space, there is the potential for more expansive and deeper conversations, ideas, projects to flow and come together- without us having to seemingly orchestrate things.

    1. It is becoming more obvious to me that we are addicted to the momentum we have built in our lives, a momentum that says loudly that we don’t have the time to stop, we have to keep on going even if we eventually collapse with exhaustion. No wonder exhaustion is the biggest plague that is facing humanity today and from this exhaustion flows the many illnesses and diseases that are highlighted in the escalating statistics of our global ill-health. Yes, it can be challenging to bring this momentum to a stop and it takes a deep commitment to the well-being of ones’ body to do so, but it is so very worth it.

  19. I have also noticed that when those little moments of pause or calm or stillness present themselves or suddenly appear in my day, I can easily fight them or try and over-ride them. There is a strong thought process that kicks in often that says I need to be doing something or I must ‘crack on’ and that pausing and just connecting with me or the moment is a waste of time. Sounds ridiculous but it is true.

  20. The power of a pause is so much more than imaginable it offers us so much being able to feel where our body is and feeling our stillness inside is the best gift we can give ourselves which changes everything allowing true quality space and flow in our lives.

    1. Yes, I often spend moments connecting with my body before getting out of bed and it is amazing the level of detail than can be felt in different areas of my body. If there is tension it is magnified and by simply bringing awareness to these areas they start to release. Even though in pause it may look like not much is going on our whole body can be re-configuring.

  21. To see the natural stop moments we have in our life as an opportunity to check in with our body, is something that will totally change the quality of what we contribute throughout the day, whether that is in expression or movement.

  22. “The Power of a Pause – Lessons from a Garage Door” – whether it’s a garage door, an open shutter or door, or unclosed cupboard drawer .. at every level we are being messaged or communicated to and it’s how we live life in this understanding that we choose to know how life is no random sequence of events; that there are no coincidences and that every thing messaged in our life is contributing towards the evolving of us.

    1. So true Zofia, when you say that “at every level we are being messaged or communicated to”, and those messages are not just once in a while, but endless. Everything is here to offer us the opportunity to learn and to evolve, but whether we choose to listen is totally up to us. I can definitely say that listening is absolutely worth it, even to the message from a garage door, as from the lesson that is being offered the quality of how we live our lives cannot but be changed.

    1. We have space around us, within us and through us that is not ’empty’ at all but a vast field of communication that is constantly relaying the wisdom of the universe to us and through us. How much we can access will depend on how we move through space and how we allow this space to move through us.

      1. Yes, and can we feel at ease with this spaciousness and not automatically want to fill it up, therefore crowding the space from the natural flow of communication to be accessed?

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