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The Importance of Pause

August 29, 2023

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How is it September 1st already? When I turned the pages of my planner to fill in September, I was faced with the “check-in” page of August. I was faced with the invitation to pause and reflect.

Not gonna lie, I was very tempted to skip over the invitation to pause and reflect. My mind was filled with all the “do’s” of what was ahead. To fill in September and the tasks to be done, events to attend, work to finish, etc.

But in the three second pause I did take to read through August’s check-in question, I knew that a “let’s ignore the invitation to pause and reflect” mentality wasn’t going to help me in the moment. Or for the rest of 2023.

So with a begrudging sigh, I closed my laptop and turned my phone upside down. I read the August check-in question: 

As you reflect back on your summer months, what have been moments that have felt light and given you life? 

And laughed. I could not honestly even tell you what had happened that summer. Sure there were a few moments that stood out to me in my mind, but the majority was a blur. Does that experience sound familiar?

The problem with not remembering.

In some sense that can be comical and normal. And when our friends respond to questions of “what did you do?” and you can’t remember, in our society we tend to laugh it off. However, I’m of the opinion, more and more, that not being able to remember what happened is probably not a good thing.

Not because it means I’ve got short term memory loss (which is possible), but because it means I’m not really present in the life that is happening in and around me. It means I’m less aware of the good things that are happening, the hard things, and the small subtle moments that build into the bigger ones.

I don’t want to be that kind of person. I don’t want to be someone who just does life and lets life run around me and with me. Being that kind of person probably means I’m not being present to what is happening, both externally and internally. It means I’m probably ignoring the invitation to pause and reflect, often.

I’m going to venture that I’m not the only one who doesn’t want to let life happen, but wants to be a participant in life. Not only in the doing of it, but being of it. To live as a human being, not a human doing. To notice how life’s happenings change me, are shaping me, and inspiring me in who I am and in my story.

The solution of the 10 minute pause.

When I began to write through my summer (I literally had to flip back through my planner and see what I wrote down on the monthly and weekly pages), my heart and mind began to fill in the pieces of summer. The moments that were hard, and ones I still needed to let expectations go of. Moments that were light and brought joy, even the unconventionally light ones (who knew rainy days could bring joy). Mundane moments which also showed me how I was slowly building a heart of patience in the slow work, practicing the art of releasing expectations and appreciating the process instead. 

In the end of all 10 minutes of me writing out my summer reflections, I saw how I had grown over the summer. I saw what I was building towards for the fall. I noticed how I might be entering into the busyness of fall and where I might need to practice more grace towards myself. I could see excitement towards new projects and things I was learning about myself. I could piece together more of my story from years past to this summer. All in 10 minutes. 

Reflection might sound like an overwhelming invitation, but I promise you it is worth it. Worth it to see the growth and beauty in your own story. Worth it to remember the moments that brought you joy and life. Worth it to remember the hard moments and take time to release them, so they no longer have hold over your heart and mind. It is worth the 10 minutes.

Your 10 minute invitation to pause and reflect.

My invitation to you as you head into the fall and inevitably the snowball into the holiday season, is to take 10 minutes to reflect on the below question. To then see what comes of the time and what part of your story you understand more because of it:

As you reflect back on your summer months, what have been moments that have felt light and given you life? 

With joy & gratitude,



If you’re looking for helpful reminders to periodically reflect throughout your year, our 2024 Kindred Planner is launching in October and has monthly reminders to pause and reflect on your story. Get the updates for its launch here.

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