The Magic of the Pause

The Pause

One magical aspect that comes from mediation is the ability to take a longer pause. A longer pause between experience and reaction. That means when someone is irritating or distressing to you, you can have a little bit longer between what just happened and the time that you respond. That pause gives the opportunity to consider a different outcome. Instead of jumping to conclusions, you can listen. Instead of getting angry, you can breathe. Instead of making a rash decision, you can think it through.

You Can Have It Every Single Day

Daily meditation teaches you to pause. Not the kind of teaching where you suddenly realize, “Ah yes, now I must pause.” Rather, this kind of teaching is by simply doing it. Not thinking about it, but actually doing it. Actually pausing. Daily meditation is a chance to put the world on hold, on pause. So many times I have heard people express the wish to press a pause button and just be able to catch their breath. Well, here it is. It is accessible for you, within your grasp, within your control. You get to have it, Every Single Day, if you want it.

Immediate Demands

The pause that comes from meditation is what allows you to be slower to react to situations. You know the ones I am talking about. The various situations that come up a million times a day. Someone makes an immediate demand from you. You are square in the middle of something else and they want their needs met Right Now, damn it! Even if you are working for a demanding boss, you may still need to drop what you are doing to take on a new project, but the pause gives you a moment to let go of the manic energy that has been thrust your way. The pause gives you a chance to make your move from a place of being grounded instead of being off balance.

With The Pause You Have Choices

Your co-worker, spouse, in-law, or a friend makes a comment that gets you completely off guard. Maybe they something that was embarrassing to you, a small mean unkind word. Maybe they accused you or blamed you for something, maybe they insulted you. You might feel humiliated, defensive, angry, indignant. The red light goes on inside.

But instead of reacting, you can pause. Pause. Breathe. Gather yourself up. You can decide as to whether you want to respond, articulate your opinion, make yourself known, object or simply walk away. With the pause, you have choices. And instead of stuffing down your feelings or acting out your impulses, you have a moment of pause. During this time you become empowered with the opportunity for a clear head.

Train Your Body

The Pause comes directly from daily meditation, from taking time to train your body and your mind to pause. The lesson and experience of the pause is visceral and direct. If you practice it through daily meditation, you will experience it in your interactions with others. That pause may be the best thing to save your life in that moment. The practice of meditation is a pause, a deeper sense of awareness. A moment of grace. Meditate Every Day to get The Pause.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes.


The Magic of the Pause

Stop, wait a minute…

How do you use your intuition when you are busy? When you are in the heat of a moment trying to make a decision or trying to make choices that are thrust on you?

Well, the answer is to stop. Take a minute to say OK, let me just think about this, or let me just look at this, or let me just listen to myself for a minute.

The main thing is to stop what you are doing, turn off the music, close down the computer or at least turn your back on it for a few minutes and just listen.

This process of listening to yourself does several things right off the bat. First it gives you a moment to catch your breath and not be stuck with reacting to a situation.

It also puts you in control of the situation because you are setting the boundaries – you are saying, OK, my terms, I am going to take a breath and collect myself.

The stopping to listen to yourself also gives you a subconscious message that you trust yourself.

You are taking time and effort and intention to seek council from the one you respect and consider wise in the matter – your inner self, your deepest self.

And when you trust yourself and listen to your inner wisdom, you will find that you will be able to tap into your intuition easily and have confidence knowing what to do.



3 tips for keeping your boundaries

Every day we are bombarded with a staggering amount of information, pressures and demands. Keeping your boundaries is key to staying grounded and centered.

Here are three quick tips to help you do this.

1. Say No

No to taking on that additional task that you do not have time to do.
No to trying to make sure everything is perfectly perfect.
No to unnecessary meetings.

2. Five Minute Meditation

Nothing says “I am holding my boundaries now” quite like taking time out to give yourself a much needed break. It will refresh you and revitalize it. It is a good way to clear your head and keep your space.

Stop. Sit. Set your cell phone timer for 5 minutes. Close your eyes. Breathe.

3. Have compassion for yourself

Let go of the guilt for saying no or not getting everything done.
Acknowledge and congratulate yourself for what you have accomplished!
Appreciate how amazing and vibrant you are!

Use these simple ideas to hold your space and keep your boundaries. You will have more time and energy for what is truly important to you.


Five Minute Meditation
3 tips for keeping your boundaries

Monkey Mind and Distractions in Meditation

What to do when Monkey Mind and distractions arise during meditation.


Monkey Mind is that endless chatter that sends you round and round with thoughts that go nowhere.You know what I am talking about:

~I have seriously got to make that dentist appointment…

~Remember to pick up apples, milk and yogurt at Trader Joe’s on the way home…

~Hmmm, maybe if I moved the couch to the other side of the room and put the two chairs…

It can go on and on and on. There is no use trying to stop Monkey Mind, it will only escalate.
Instead see if one of these ideas helps you.

3 Tips You Can Try With Monkey Mind


1. Focus on your breath. When you feel the distractions interrupting your quietness, gently return your awareness back to your breath. No need to change how you are breathing, just take a moment to notice it.
Breathe in…breathe out. Repeat.

2. Imagine your mind to be like a river and each thought that comes up can become a fallen leaf that flows down the river. When a new distracting thought comes into your mind, allow it to become another leaf gently moving down the river, away from your place of stillness. As you practice this, don’t try to force the thoughts to leave, just guide them towards the ever flowing river.

3. Do nothing. Yup, that’s right. Do nothing. Eventually, the thoughts may just spin out and quiet down. Allowing them ramble on a while is a great way to practice letting go of having control of everything that comes up in life. Just sit there and do nothing.

Don’t fight it.


The key thing is to not try to fight it. Distractions are part of life and Monkey Mind is part of any meditation practice. Remember to be compassionate with yourself and your practice.

Daily meditation means that sometimes stillness comes to you right away and other times not at all. Just be present for it and keep at it.


How to keep from falling asleep during meditation

Falling asleep during meditation?


Here are 3 ideas to help you out with that.

1. Meditate first thing in the morning, the earlier the better. Maybe even try 4:30 in the morning. This sounds rough going, but you will be surprised at how quickly you get used to it and in fact begin to love it. At this time of the morning, there are no phone calls, texts, emails to answer. No delivery packages to sign, no errands to run. Just sit. I like to make tea first and bring the hot cup into my office where I meditate. Once you get used to it, you are going to be delighted with this meditation time.

2. If you are falling asleep during meditation, you may be overly tired. Get more sleep. Go to bed earlier. Turn off the TV and the computer. Put down the book, the Kindle, the iPad, the Nook. Turn out the light and relish the sound your head makes as it hits that soft pillow. Ahhh.

Sometimes you might find that you can’t fall asleep at night, tossing and turning. Or that you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep, subsequently creating a cycle of not enough sleep. I have a perfect remedy for that…get out of your bed and meditate. Trust me, you will fall asleep soon enough!

3. Make sure that the room where you are sitting is not too warm. There is nothing like a warm cozy room to persuade the body to fall into a slumber. Find the right temperature that allows you to be comfortable, but not so much that you want to nap.

Let me know how it goes and feel free to share if you have some tips or ideas that work for you.


How to keep from falling asleep during meditation

How to enjoy your meditation

Learn to let go

When you feel you are struggling with meditation, let go of your expectations of what it should be.

Often we may have an idea of what meditation should feel like. We can start to think that we are not doing it the right way. I know, I’ve had plenty of times when I thought I was doing it wrong.

But over the years I’ve realized that daily meditation practice is exceptionally personal. Your meditation is yours. No one else’s. Do it for yourself.

This is just for you

You have your reasons for meditating every day. Maybe it is for increased health and well being. Maybe it is part of your spiritual practice. Maybe you just want a break from the demands and distractions of the noisy world.

What ever your reason, it is your personal preference and your personal journey. That is one of the things I love about mediation. It’s just you and your practice.

So really, really let go of other peoples expectations of how it should be. Let go of even your own expectations.


When you let go of expectations, you can begin to settle deeply into a sense of ease. The pressure is gone and you are free to enjoy the benefits that brought you to meditation in the first place.

Stop. Sit. Breathe. Enjoy.

Best blessings,

How to enjoy your meditation

Can You Hear Yourself?

Can you hear yourself?

Or are there too many people, ideas, opinions and agendas roaming around in your head. I bet some are pretty loud. Even the ones that are not loud can be so persistent that it hurts.

So turn them all off.

Yup, every one of them. Your family, your work associates, your boss, your partner, your parents and your kids. Don’t forget to turn off the TV, the computer, the radio, the iPod, iPad, iPhone and iDistractions.

Are you with me? I thought so!

OK, so how do you do it?

Here is how: Stop. Sit. Breathe.

Do not be fooled by the simplicity. And do not be worried if all the noises don’t turn off right away.

But if you keep doing this, a little bit every day, one day without any effort or pressure or difficulty, you will find a moment of stillness. No noise, no one else.

And in that moment you will be able to truly, deeply hear yourself.

Start now.



Keep It Simple

Sometimes the best way to proceed is to stick to the basics. Nothin’ Fancy Here.

So in a clear effort to keep it simple, let me give you this for thought:

Meditate Every Day + Follow Your Intuition

The Meditate Every Day part of this equation can be as short and easy as a 5 Minute Meditation.

The Follow Your Intuition is as simple as a pause. When you hear that small voice, take a breath and pause for a moment. Listen to it, trust it and give yourself permission to follow it

That’s it. Enjoy!

Best to you,

3 Ways To Help You Stick With Your Meditation

It ain’t easy doin’ nothin’!

Finding time to stop and sit and “do nothing” can be daunting and at times frustrating, I know. So here are 3 quick and easy things you can do to find meditation time and stick with it.

1. When your meditation doesn’t happen in it’s scheduled time, put it on your “to do” list for the day – it can be quite satisfying to mark that one off afterwards.

2. Break up the time into smaller increments. If you do a 5 Minute Meditation, go ahead and stick with that. If your regular meditation is longer, try a couple of 5-10 minute meditations during different times of the day. Morning, lunch, night time…all good times to stop and take a breather.

3. Set a timer. Sometimes when I remember something I need to do later, I set an alarm on my cell phone so I am sure to do it when I hear the beeping. Right in the middle of things if you hear that alarm going off, it is a good way to take a 5 Minute Meditation break.



Sleeping In Is Delicious

These last few days I have been crazy tired and decided to sleep in a bit. It has been delicious!

Yet, I have to admit,  when I skip my regular meditation to stay in bed it takes me so much longer to get my bearings for the day and that sleepy daze takes a little longer to shake and get my focus going.

When I sleep in, I still have a meditation later in the day. But for me and my schedule and my personal needs, it is just not the same as the first-thing-in-the-morning meditation that I have cultivated.

So here is my new adjustment – keep my date with myself and stick to my regular scheduled early, early morning meditation time and then if I need to slip in a quick nap, I do.

Right now my minivan is my rockin’ nap machine. I grab a few winks while I am waiting to pick up the kids either at the bus stop or in the school parking lot before class gets out. (I’ve been a mom for over 16 years now and I assure you no one even looks twice if they see me napping in the minivan for ten minutes!!)

The discipline of sticking to my meditation plan is so so so worth it! But to be honest, I have to keep reminding myself that this is what I need to do.

A million more comfortable options present themselves. Actually, at 4:30 in the morning, only one comfortable option presents itself!

And if I get off track for a couple of days I can really feel it and every other aspect of my life is eager for the benefits of that early morning stillness.

So I tell you this because I need to remind myself. We all need encouragement and I am here to heartily encourage you to find the meditation time that best works for you and stick with it. And sharing this with you is an encouragement for me as well.

Having the support of others makes a huge difference – really it does! So thanks for helping me stay on track and let me know if I can help you, too!

Here are 3 good ideas to help you stick to your meditation plan:

1. Find a friend to help keep you on task. You do the same for your friend and each of you benefit from the support.

2. You can post your meditation plan right here (A little secret, once you make it public, there is a bit of accountability to stick to it.)

3. Schedule it in your planner – keep the appointment just like you would any other.

Give them a try and see what works best for you! Let me know how it goes…


Sometimes The Best Way To Teach Is To Get Out Of The Way

People often ask me to teach them how to meditate and so I always prefer to give simply the most basic instruction necessary.

In my classes, what I am doing instead of teaching how to meditate is giving you the opportunity to experience it. Holding the space to make it easier or even possible. And I think that counts for a lot.

It happened today when I was leading an Aikido class where a third of the class was made up of black belts who have been training for many years longer than me (talk about intimidating!)

Instead of trying to “teach” them something, I demonstrated a series of familiar techniques and created the opportunity for the experience of vigorous training.

All the students trained according to their own capabilities and the result was a tremendously satisfying class.

Often times when we are in charge of a situation, we feel inclined to instruct to such an extent that our words become a mandate.

This is especially true for me if the person that I am instructing happens to be my teenage daughter. I really really want her to get the information I am giving her so she can learn it already!

But just like the meditation classes and the Aikido class, my best teaching is not teaching at all. It is a thousand times more effective if I give her a few guidelines and hold the space for her to safely experience it on her own.

This is an exceptionally ripe opportunity for paying careful attention to what my intuition is telling me – often it is telling me to Stop Talking!

It can seem unproductive to only give the slightest amount of instruction, but in reality all the words in the world are not nearly as valuable as just doing it.

So maybe you have a situation in your life like that – a child, an employee, a co-worker or a student. Maybe instead of teaching them how to do something, just give them a few choice guidelines and lots and lots of space to safely explore, experiment and experience it for themselves.

Give it a try.


(daily meditation)

handle whatever comes up

take practical steps towards goals

have ideas that are clear and focused

be light hearted and enjoyable

be inspired to help others

(Daily Meditation)

struggle to get things done

goals seem unmanageable

ideas are muddled

cranky and difficult

too overwhelmed to help anyone else or do anything extra


What separates the first group from the second?

Daily Meditation

So, how about it…

get started with a 5 Minute Meditation today.



5 Minutes Sitting At A Stop Light

Every once in a while I miss the light at a huge intersection with many lanes and turn lanes and road construction and just a lot of traffic.

And sometimes, I sit at the traffic light for more than 5 minutes. That is annoying. Do I have extra time in my day to sit at a single traffic light for 5 minutes?

I do not! And yet, not much to be done about it – sometimes it just happens.

What could I do with those 5 minutes if I had not got caught in traffic?

I could watch some extra commercials on TV. Stand in a long line at the grocery store. Look for a parking spot in a busy part of town. Wait for a new software update to download. I could even spend those 5 minutes on the toll bridge plaza!

Hmm, I really don’t have any extra time for those things either, but they seem to creep into my life none-the-less.

So how about it – how about a 5 Minute Meditation. You know which one I am talking about:

Sit down.

Set your cell phone timer for 5 minutes.

Close your eyes.


(pretty simple)

It is a huge gift that you give yourself when you spend a little time in stillness. Getting to a place of stillness is not adding one more thing to your frantic schedule. It is making room for your breath, your well being, yourself. This is putting on your oxygen mask.

Ahhh, that sounds so much better to spend those 5 minutes breathing and bringing a moment of stillness into your life. It will assist you with making clear decisions and help you to be calm and centered.

Maybe it seems like you don’t have time for meditation, but what the heck – give it a try. (It is better than waiting for a traffic light!)



PS. Go here to get a FREE app for The Meditation Project meditation posts. They are great reminders and inspiration to help out your daily meditation. Created by Anne Grothaus.


Meditating this morning in the wee early darkness was the perfect opportunity to “find my space.”
No one else.
No other agenda, information, demands, requirements.
Just me and my thoughts.
And even those eventually drifted off.
When we make this commitment to find this stillness, this quietness, then we create the chance for more internal mental, emotional, spiritual space.
This is freedom.

Get A Quickie

Busy? Tired? Harried? Here is a simple way to add a little bit of peace and calm into your life.

The 5 Minute Meditation. If you already meditate every day, it is a good mid-day refresher or a bookmark for those super hectic days. If you are new to meditation, this is a great way to start.Try it now and see how good it feels (and it is super easy!)



Meditate In The World – London

Did you “Meditate In The World!” today?

My public meditation, out in the world, was in London at Paddington Station right at noon. One of the pleasures of meditating in a public place is the surprise of how easy it is to do. And paradoxically, one of the busiest train stations around, London’s Paddington, is an ideal place for a meditation.

Wait a minute Kathleen! Did you just say that a loud, noisy, rushing, chaotic, busy train station is IDEAL for meditation??

OK! Let me qualify that a bit…not for everyday.

But the truth is that I bet your life is loud, noisy, rushing, chaotic, and busy – at least some of the time. So what better than to have an external experience to mirror the internal experience.

A reminder of how wild the inner mind and daily demands can be.
And a reminder of the necessity for a “time-out” every day.

Also, the train station is superficial. None of the noise and demand is for you. It is just in the background.

Consider this: how much of the chaos, noise, demand, distraction in your life is really and truly yours? How much of it is superficial and can be ignored? Not all of it, I know. But some of it.

So, my Meditation In The World was quite invigorating. I am always get excited before I meditate in public – and I do it a lot – cafes, coffee shops, bookstore, parks, beaches, city plazas, sidewalk, airports, and now train station!

How will it go? Will I be able to find quietness? Are people staring at me? Ignoring me?

And of course “why?”

Well, each time I learn something new. I notice something else. I experience another place of quiet and calm amidst the swirl that otherwise never presents itself.

Public Meditation is a wonderful treat to experience and just a little adventure that you can have wherever you may be. Give it a try.

Please remember SAFETY. I often have someone else with me who is the “keeper” and keeps an eye on me, any others participating, and the belongings. Use common sense…and Enjoy!



Good Morning Dan!

Good Morning Dan!

This post is for my brother Dan. And for all of us…

Ah, the crazy busy life ~ so much to do, so many places to be, demands, requirements, distractions. So many things that have to get done Right Now!

How am I ever going to get from this spot in front of my computer over to my meditation spot. It is only 2 and half feet away. And yet…

OK, I’m going to do it!

I know it I make it over there and just sit for a minute, I will stay for 5 minutes.
I know if I make it over there and just sit for 5 minutes, I will stay for 10 minutes.
I know that once I settle in for 20 minutes, a full hour is easy.

And then everything is easier, smoother, better.

When I meditate every day, I am more efficient, effective, positive, disciplined, patient.
I am more kind.

Meditate Every Day.

Blessings to you Dan, and to each of us.

Meditate. Every Day.