The dictionary explains Pause as a momentary hesitation or any comparatively brief stop, delay, or wait.  When COVID first came on the scene in Oklahoma many of you had much more than a pause.  It was more like a stop.  When talking to everyone during that period of time I heard some amazing stories of families coming together spending time playing games and going on walks.  I heard of scores of people getting organized doing all those projects around the house that there never was time to do.  I heard of many people dreaming of what their life should look like in the next chapter.  Now, many of you are back at work although it might look very different.  Perhaps you are working full time but still at home.  Maybe your job was terminated during this time and you are figuring out your next step. Kids are gearing up to go back to school in some sort of capacity which has created a lot of extra stress on figuring out their schedules (especially if you have young children).  Everything seems to be escalating into another pre-COVID life frenzy of go-go-go.  Anxiety and depression are increasing.  Child abuse and sexual abuse are increasing.  Drug and alcohol use are increasing.  I know you have a lot on your plate and a lot on your mind.  However, before we go thru one more day let’s PAUSE.

Now take a deep breath.  Not the kind that comes from your shoulders but the kind that pushes the belly way out counting slowly to 6 on the inhale and just as slowly to 6 on the exhale.

It is during these difficult times we learn some important lessons.

  1. What matters most in our lives (our health, our family & loved ones)
  2. How much control we think we have in our lives (not much)
  3. How important social interaction is to us (some more than others)

I want to share with you a book that has been an important influence on my daily morning routine to help me stay focused on being present, right here and right now.  The book is called The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.  Get it!  Basically, he says everyone should start their day with 6 key steps to set the day in motion on the right foot.  His acronym SAVERS is a great way to remember each step.  READ ON for these great steps to start your day – we all need these!

S – silence – just sit in silence.  You can meditate if you like but just being still with your body and your mind is key.  I sit outside on my back patio every morning and eat breakfast outside.  I make sure to just sit for a few minutes listening to the birds chirping, hearing the wind rustle the trees and watching how the trees sway or the animals start their day.  While I am sitting, I am breathing.  Slow, deliberate breaths.

     A– Affirmations – pick a few affirmations that align with your purpose. Don’t choose something that you don’t think will come true then it has become a negative affirmation.  A simple I am lovable will often do and if you don’t believe that then you really need this exercise

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V-Visualize – Visualize yourself achieving your goals.  Not the goal itself but how you would FEEL if you accomplished it.  I make a vision board every year and when I glance back at my boards over the past several years there is a picture of a women expressing full joy, welcoming the day & having the freedom to accept love, prosperity and the freedom to travel.  How would you FEEL if you accomplished your goal?  Focus on the feeling and you have just created a path to attract it!

E-Exercise – even a few sit ups or push ups in the morning gets this started.  Ideally it would be more but I get it, I am in the same boat.  I make a point to do a one minute plank.  I am now holding this longer but if I am in a hurry I make sure I get my minute in.  What a difference that small act has made!

R– Read – this can be anything but I hope it will be something that helps you toward your goals.  There are tons of self-help books out there so choose one and just read a short snippit.  Read the bible or do a bible study.  Just read for a few minutes.  It makes you focus on being present and that is an incredible gift to start your day.

S-he has S for scribe because I don’t think he could find a pneumonic that fit “write”.  Clear your head about whatever is clanging around in your brain by getting it out on paper.  If you like journaling then now is the time.  Perhaps you are working on a book – do it!  Personally, I might do a few paragraphs of whatever I’ve been thinking and then rip up that paper and throw it away.  You are welcome to keep yours because I am told it is often nice to reflect back on what you’ve written in the past.  I find I am more honest with myself when I don’t have the opportunity to go back and read it.

Hal Elrod does a much better job explaining each step so I would encourage you to read his book.  Ideally, you would spend 20 minutes or more on each step.  He recommends getting up an hour early to start your day.  If that’s too long and overwhelming for you do what I do, the SAVERS fast track – takes me 10 minutes tops.  I have found the longer I have been doing this the longer I am doing each step.  I enjoy it.  I miss it if I don’t do it and I have realized that my day isn’t as good if I skip something.

Today is the day.  PAUSE right now and do a quick SAVERS reset.  You won’t regret it!

To your health,