Reflections

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  1. A
    AP

    This is really a good reminder for me to take pauses before speaking. It will deepen the conversations I have with my family and co-workers.

    2 months ago
  2. O.Christina

    Awareness of this space before speaking allows to recenter in Love and so allow deeper communication and connection. Thank you. 🙏

    2 months ago
  3. Erich617

    When I do practice this type of communication, my relationships become less adversarial and more collaborative.

    2 months ago
  4. Robin Ann

    I took a course in “Invitation to Change” for families dealing with addiction. I learned about the “pause” and the benefits of it. It is invaluable but we also need to change that habit of speaking too soon which is not always easy.

    2 months ago
  5. Don Jones

    Before my prayerful time, quiet is best. It encourages an opening.

    2 months ago
  6. Avril

    I’m getting on here a little late today. I noticed a high volume of responses to this question. I haven’t had a chance to read them; I assume many of us feel we can employ more patience. I have a history of impulsiveness. Over the last several months I’ve been very committed to my spiritual practices (sadhana). An area of concentration is ahimsa, non-violence, and being skillful with my words. I’m finding there are many times where I don’t even have to say anything. But it is a process.

    2 months ago
  7. Carol

    If I were to pause for a few seconds before speaking, how might it change my relationships?

    TOLTEC WISDOM TAUGHT ME THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING THE TIME TO PAUSE BEFORE SPEAKING AND IT HAS NOT ONLY NURTURED MY RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHERS BUT IT HAS CHANGED MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MY SELF. I SHARE PART OF AN ESSAY I WROTE SEVERAL YEARS AGO ON TOLTEC WISDOM AND IT’S INFLUENCE ON ME TOLTEC HAS GIVEN ME TOOLS WHICH QUITE FRANKLY LED ME TO EMBRACE THE IMPORTANCE OF LIVING A GRATITUDE ORIENTED LIFE. THESE TOLTEC TOOLS ARE KNOWN AS THE “FOUR AGREEMENTS.” THEY ARE EXPLAINED MORE FULLY IN A BOOK BY DON MIGUEL RUIZ. THE FIRST AGREEMENT IS JUST ANOTHER WAY OF PHRASING TODAY’S QUESTION; BUT I WILL SHARE ALL FOUR AGREEMENTS BELOW BECAUSE I HAVE FOUND THAT WHEN YOU EMBRACE NUMBER ONE, THE OTHERS JUST FALL INTO PLACE BECAUSE OF THE POWER OF THAT PAUSE.

    1. BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD: SPEAK WITH INTEGRITY; SAY ONLY WHAT YOU MEAN. AVOID USING THE WORD TO SPEAK AGAINST YOURSELF OR TO GOSSIP ABOUT OTHERS. USE THE POWER OF YOUR WORD IN THE DIRECTION OF TRUTH AND LOVE.

    2. DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY: NOTHING OTHERS DO IS BECAUSE OF YOU. WHAT OTHERS SAY AND DO IS A PROJECTION OF THEIR OWN REALITY, THEIR OWN DREAM. WHEN YOU ARE IMMUNE TO THE OPINIONS AND ACTIONS OF OTHERS, YOU WON’T BE THE VICTIM OF NEEDLESS SUFFERING.

    3. DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS: FIND THE COURAGE TO ASK QUESTIONS AND TO EXPRESS WHAT YOU REALLY WANT. COMMUNICATE WITH OTHERS AS CLEARLY AS YOU CAN TO AVOID MISUNDERSTANDINGS, SADNESS AND DRAMA. WITH JUST THIS ONE AGREEMENT, YOU CAN COMPLETELY TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE.

    4. ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST: YOUR BEST IS GOING TO CHANGE FROM MOMENT TO MOMENT. IT WILL BE DIFFERENT WHEN YOU ARE HEALTHY AS OPPOSED TO SICK. UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, SIMPLY DO YOUR BEST AND YOU WILL AVOID SELF-JUDGMENT, SELF-ABUSE AND REGRET.

    THESE FOUR AGREEMENTS ARE BASICALLY A COMMON SENSE CONTRACT YOU MAKE WITH YOURSELF…A COMMITMENT TO KNOW YOURSELF…TO BECOME A WITNESS TO HOW YOU OPERATE; AND TO CONSCIOUSLY CHOOSE TO RESPOND NOT REACT TO WHATEVER ARISES IN YOUR DAY TO DAY LIFE.

    TO LIVE THE FIRST AGREEMENT (TO BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD), YOU HAVE TO BECOME WHAT PSYCHOLOGY CALLS A PARTICIPANT-OBSERVER. YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO THE DIALOGUE IN YOUR HEAD; AND YOU HAVE TO HONOR THE FEELINGS THAT ARISE IN YOUR HEART BEFORE YOU SPEAK; AND TRUST ME WHEN YOU AGREE TO OWN YOUR WORDS, YOU WILL NATURALLY START TO TAKE THAT PAUSE. YOU WILL SPEAK LESS AND LISTEN MORE.

    RUIZ TEACHES THAT TO BE IMPECCABLE MEANS TO BE WITHOUT SIN. HE SAYS WHEN YOU ARE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORDS, YOU TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEM. YOU OWN THEM AND WHEN YOU OWN THEM, YOU FIND YOURSELF BECOMING MORE COMPASSIONATE TOWARD YOURSELF AND IN-TURN OTHERS. TO QUOTE RACHEL CARSON WHOSE WORDS ARE SHARED TODAY ON THE HOME PAGE, YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF EXPERIENCING BOTH “WONDER AND HUMILITY”—TWO FEELINGS WE DON’T NECESSARILY THINK OF COUPLING. YOU WILL ALSO REALIZE THAT WORDS CAN HURT AS WELL AS HEAL AND IT IS IMPORTANT TO USE THEM TO RELEASE LIFE-GIVING ENERGY.

    2 months ago
  8. Linda

    They would be more peaceful for sure!

    2 months ago
  9. Barb C

    For much of my life I have been quick to answer.. This goes all the way back to being in school and showing that I was the “smartest kid in the class”. I’ve been working on making sure that I step back so that others have the space in which to share first. I still have to watch myself but it creates a much richer connection and engagement. I’m in a lot of workshops where I’m one of the speakers and I consciously apply the “progressive stack” approach in which people who have historically been denied access to power and privilege are the first to speak and those with more are the last. This changes my relationship to my privilege so that I am trying to make space rather than take space.

    2 months ago
    1. Carol

      Barb, “…make space instead of take space.” I love that image!

      2 months ago
  10. Charlie T

    This is a great question for me. One of my goals is to be more present when interacting with others. By pausing before I speak, by listening with intention, by asking questions, by really hearing what the other person is saying, I can deepen that connection. Thank you for the reminder 🙏

    2 months ago
  11. dragonfly

    Pausing could prevent some words from coming out of my mouth that either should or need not be said. It would most likely also help to really understand what the other person said or to realize that I need clarification. What I have often found, though, is that there is an expectation of a quick response and if it is not forthcoming there seems to often be an assumption that you either did not “get it”, don’t have anything to say or are a “bit slow” This, of course, keeps turning the spiral of ping pong conversations that lack depth. The reverse would be the case when a conversation could be slowed down and infused with more thoughtfulness, which is good for relationships in so many ways.

    2 months ago
    1. Joseph McCann

      “…..conversations that lack depth.” I just love that string of words. Fits our times.

      2 months ago
  12. Mark Piper

    If I were to pause for a few seconds before speaking, there would be a change in my relationships as that pause would allow me to slow down, think, and perhaps be more legato than staccato in my responses. My hypothesis is it would better, or enhance, or improve my relationships and my listening. But I think I’ve known this since adolescence the question is how do I do this; how to I learn to pause before speaking?

    2 months ago
  13. Racel W.

    I think the intensity and the flavor of the conversation could change. The opportunity to listen with intent and respond accordingly.

    2 months ago
  14. Y
    Yram

    When I respond quickly I wonder if I truly heard the speaker. When I pause the speaker may feel respected and affirmed. Then a relationship will be improved.

    2 months ago
  15. c
    carol

    Of late in an effort to allow for mindfulness to come forward, I’ve started playing a chant of praise softly in the background. I’ve found that I”m calmer. able to respond instead of react. I’m hoping that neuroplasticity will expand this to other situations where I can’t play the chant.

    2 months ago
  16. Rabbit

    I agree with what everyone has said but I looked at the question a bit differently. The first thing I thought was that I should think about the question before answering it but then I usually do that. I also thought that it would change my relationship with myself. First, I might not leave a setting thinking and worrying that I may have said the wrong thing. Second, and this is also about what I say in my head, I might be able to respond more calmly or not at all. The aggressive driving I see these days is an example. I can’t change them so why let it steal my composure and peace.

    2 months ago
    1. Carol

      Rabbit, I hear you loud and clear.

      2 months ago
  17. devy

    This is something that I am still working on. I have a habit of blurting out things before thinking which results in either a misunderstanding or hurting. I’ve been making a conscience effort to keep my trap closed until I think things over and digest and have noticed a big difference in my relationships.

    2 months ago
  18. Joseph McCann

    Over the years I have gotten much better at pausing before speaking. Too many times to remember during 34 years of marriage I have tried to catch the last word out of my mouth and tried to reel it back in before the sound hits my wife’s eardrum. It never works.

    2 months ago
    1. Carol

      Joseph, You can’t reel it back but my guess is you have learned to pause more than you think! As my 12-step sponsor use to say, “You do better when you know better.” Awareness is such a game changer.

      2 months ago
      1. Joseph McCann

        So true Carol.

        2 months ago
  19. EJP

    Pausing before I speak would enable me to mean what I say and say what I mean….greatly having an impact on all relationships.

    2 months ago
  20. Helly

    My immediate thought is that there would be a beautiful transformation if EVERYONE thought first, spoke after!

    I am a naturally impulsive person, and for me meditation is so important. In knowing what is going on with me I am more aware of when rogue impulses rise up. The older I’ve got the more I think listening is far more valuable than speaking in many situations…

    2 months ago
    1. dragonfly

      That brought the Dalai Lama’s words to mind: “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”

      2 months ago
  21. Laura

    People would wonder what was wrong. We, and I include myself, are so geared to responding quickly.
    Beyond that, though, a pause would let someone know that I’m giving an actual response rather than a perfunctory reaction. Hopefully, that would provide additional comfort and trust in my relationships.
    I came across this prayer the other day. It seems apt for today’s question:
    God, grant me the grace to live in the space between impulse and action.

    2 months ago
    1. Carol

      Laura, Love that prayer. Thank you!

      2 months ago
    2. Barb C

      Oh, that’s a wonderful short reminder. Thank you for sharing.

      2 months ago
  22. Antoinette

    I’m having trouble today . My dad passed away yesterday in the USA. I’m here far away and my mom is there. Our family is spread out all over . I’m feeling overwhelmed and way too many thoughts and feelings are blowing around like the weather here in Norway. I guess I have to say that pausing is good and yet I don’t know. Feelings are sometimes really difficult.

    2 months ago
    1. KC

      Antoinette, I am so sorry for your loss. I am holding you and your family in love.

      2 months ago
    2. Michele

      I am so sorry for your loss Antoinette. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. I will light a candle for you.

      2 months ago
      1. Antoinette

        Thank you so much Michele. ❤️🙏

        2 months ago
    3. sunnypatti48317

      Antionette, I’m so sorry. Sending you and your family much love and peace.

      2 months ago
      1. Antoinette

        Thank you sunnypatti. ❤️🙏

        2 months ago
    4. O.Christina

      I am so sorry for your loss, dear Antoinette. My heartfelt condolences are with you and your sons and all your family.

      2 months ago
      1. Antoinette

        Thank you so much Ose! 🥰

        2 months ago
    5. Robin Ann

      So sorry for your loss. Maybe your family can somehow connect thru a zoom get together I am hoping. This must be so difficult

      2 months ago
      1. Antoinette

        That’s a wonderful idea! Wow 🤩 thanks 🙏

        2 months ago
    6. Carol

      Antoinette, I hope you will not run from your feelings. We have to feel to heal We have to own our feelings before we can let them go and that process takes time. Big hug coming your way.

      2 months ago
      1. Antoinette

        Carol, it’s like you know me! Yes I tend to run like a wild horse. I have chosen to do the opposite. Slow down and feel what’s coming up. Allow it to arrive and part- let go. Over and over while I pray 🙏 thanks 🙏

        2 months ago
    7. A
      Ana Maria

      So sorry for your loss. Blessings to you and your family as you gather physically or mentally to be with your loved ones to celebrate his life. May you find comfort in their presence.

      2 months ago
    8. Barb C

      So, so sorry, Antoinette. I hope you have some good memories to hold in your heart to keep your father and family close.

      2 months ago
      1. Antoinette

        Thank you Barb . 🙌

        2 months ago
      2. Antoinette

        Thank you Anna Maria. 🙏

        2 months ago
    9. Charlie T

      Antoinette, I’m so so sorry for your loss. I’m sending warm loving energy your way.

      2 months ago
    10. Y
      Yram

      My heart goes out to you and your family at this time. Thank you for sharing. I shelter you with love. I paused before I wrote this because I gave you a hug.

      2 months ago
    11. Rippleffect

      Antoinette,
      I am so sorry about the passing of you Dad. Grief is an emotion that can seem like a destructive gale blowing through our lives. It must be so hard to be far away from your family. I hope it helps you to know in this community you have those who care. Holding you lovingly in my thoughts and prayers at this sad time

      2 months ago
      1. c
        carol

        May Grace be with you as you travel through all that grieving the loss of your Dad brings forward.

        2 months ago
    12. Rabbit

      Antoinettee,
      Please know we all send our sympathy to you and your family. Be gentle with yourself. Healing will take time. Memories will help. Your dad will find ways to be with you in your thoughts. Peace be with you.

      2 months ago
    13. devy

      My condolences to you and family.. may good memories help during this difficult time..

      2 months ago
    14. Helly

      I am so sorry for your loss, and sebding a gentle hug xx

      2 months ago
    15. Pilgrim

      I am so sorry for your loss, Antoinette. I will hold you and your family, dispersed as you all may be, in a circle of kindness, light and prayer.

      2 months ago
    16. Laura

      I’m sorry so for your loss, Antoinette.

      2 months ago
      1. Joseph McCann

        Sincere condolences Antoinette.

        2 months ago
        1. Antoinette

          Thank you 🙏

          2 months ago
  23. sunnypatti48317

    Pausing allows for more presence, more awareness into the moment. So pausing before speaking gives us a moment to think about our words and speak only the ones that are truly needed. This is good for any relationship whether it be with a spouse or coworker.

    2 months ago
  24. Michele

    I know being from Philly this is difficult …. we all talk fast and over each other. It takes effort and control to do this and my kids and I should work on this. 🙂

    2 months ago
  25. Kevin

    In a nutshell, pausing before replying to what another person has said improves the quality of communication, helps the other person feel heard, and deepens the relationship overall. This is the “101” of basic conversation, which is easily understood and yet challenging to practice.

    2 months ago

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