Pausing to Respond to Life’s Challenges

STOP HandLearning to pause in the midst of life’s challenges can be a skillful way to access our wisdom and make intentional rather than reactive choices.

One young father who participated in the SHINE program at the PACT Therapeutic Nursery for families who are homeless recently shared his story of how using the STOP practice made a difference in his life. This dad, who we’ll call Alex, said it kept him from losing his job and more. Here is his story:

One day he was driving to his new job when someone cut him off. He pulled his car over and got out to let the guy have it. As he was moving towards the other driver’s car, he remembered to use the STOP practice he learned in SHINE. He literally stopped walking and took a breath. Feeling how angry he was, how his heart was beating real fast, he remembered why he took that job – to care for his kids who he loved. In that instant of stopping, breathing and reflecting, Alex said he knew that he couldn’t risk assaulting someone, getting thrown in jail, and losing his job. He turned and walked back to his car, got in, and drove to work.

This pause reconnected him with what was really important, and gave him the space to consider what he wanted to do with the strong feelings within.

We each have that capacity. We can learn to STOP, take a breath, open and observe what is happening with our thoughts and feelings, consider the impact of our actions, and then choose how best to respond.

Time has stopped.
A minute is still a minute.
An hour is still an hour.
And yet,
The past and the future
Hang in perfect balance.
All focused on the present.
~ Leonard Nimoy

We’ll be focusing on the present moment and learning the STOP practice in this Saturday’s CommunitySHINE workshop. There is still room in our circle, and we’d love to see you there!

To what one breath can do,

Amy Bloom Connolly

amy connolly

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