SWIHA Student Blog: Finding The Pause

Posted by Johnie Kolzen on 11/23/21 4:00 PM

When I was a little girl, my parents got divorced. I was 6, my brother 9, my little sister just 5. We went to stay with my dad’s parents so he could continue on his job on the railroad. My grandfather was retired and had been in the navy. My grandmother was a rough and tough sort of woman that had been married five times, rodeo trick rider, sharecropper, all-around tough cookie. I share this with you because I had no pause, my family had no pause. The next steps my family took could have been changed or at the least given a pause, we as a family could see the purpose in our actions. When I was 9, I ran away from home. They called my mom (which I had been told was dead) and she flew to see me face to face to tell me, her daughter, she could not take me back to live with her. She got on a plane the next morning.


A deep breath, a slow walk in nature, dipping your toes in the cool water of a waterfall; a pause can give you clarity, give you reframing, and give you the power to release.

When I was 12 years old, my grandmother took my whole family and the dog to Texas, when I was at school and dad was working. Dad picked me up from school. He opened the door, the house was quiet, and he called everyone’s name as we made our way to the kitchen. A note, a single piece of paper sat on an empty table. The note read,” we come back when she’s gone”. My dad looked at the note in silence. Placed it on the table and in that split second he decided to take his oldest daughter to a children’s home an hour from the family home. If my dad would have known how to pause, or the purpose of a pause, or the importance of a pause our family might have had a very didn’t chapter. See, my dad didn’t know my grandmother would beat us, my dad didn’t know that I could only go to school two months of my fifth-grade year because of the beatings. My mom didn’t know she was leaving her children with people that had no pause.

As I was opening the curtains today to let the sunshine in, I could feel the warmth on my face. I held on to the curtains, raised my face to the sky, and gave pause. My home was quiet. The daily activities had not begun. I was still, listening to the silence, feeling calm, feeling I was in the presents of something bigger than myself, that I was safe, I was loved, I was enough. In that small pause of moments, I felt all I needed and all that I wanted to step into the day. Now, you probably are saying a few things to yourself about that image I just gave you. Wonderful! Let me share a few thoughts with you so we may begin together… You may be saying to yourself, I do that every day. I don’t feel that. Well, let me share the importance of “PAUSE”. The pause is so important. The pause allows us to stop.to gather our mindset. To find clarity in our intention. The pause can halt the emotions, halt distractions. The pause gives us the opportunity for grace.

Have I always appreciated the pause? I have to laugh out loud and say, oh my friends, no. No, I have not. I had lived 50 years on earth before I had even heard the word pause, much less had the word explained to me where my heart could hear it. The pause that our mind needs, our body needs, our spirit needs, is personal for our mental, emotional, and spiritual health. The pause is important to help us as human beings stay focused and positive in our walk and work in our purpose. Taking care of ourselves or self-care is personal steps we can take towards inward peace and love. We desperately need nourishment and recharging abilities so we may release what the world has tried to attach to us.

If you can find your breath…just breathe. On purpose. Remember when I opened the curtains? I held on to the curtains. I felt the fabric wrinkle in my hands. I held that moment. I stopped everything else, everything was on pause. Listen and be present in the breath, you can begin to feel the pause. I raised my face to the warmth of the sun. Step into your pause. Breathe, breathe into your pause. You have the power, the strength. You are breathing with purpose! Your mind, body, and spirit will feel the release of all that isn’t serving you. The pause is your secret weapon, your superpower. The pause is in you to serve you. Regain the energy, clarity, and intention to carry on in the present. Yes, we all breathe every second of our lives. I never gave breathing any thought until I breathed on purpose, with purpose, for a purpose. I was introduced to the word “pause” when I was going through my divorce, that’s right. I was working with a gentleman that was quiet and much respected. His life was no better than mine, he was no smarter than I was, he was just a man, a fellow human being that knew the purpose, and power of a pause. I had come to work as usual and my husband came a few hours into my shift and made a scene. That gentleman put his hand on my shoulder and said this will pass, you just need a pause. He was trying to tell me to breathe, breathe on purpose and remember my purpose, release what was not serving me anymore.

We know and are aware of our breath, let us give thought to a few areas we can bring honor to our pause as we breathe throughout our day. Remember me at the window? Okay, well that was a mindful pause. The day was just beginning. Everyone was still in their slumber. No one was asking anything from me. I hadn’t even looked at my emails or picked up the phone. That is why I called it a mindful pause. How can we honor our pause when the kids are yelling, the boss is yelling, the traffic is yelling? We can prepare a pause mindset. Our schedules and calendars fill the minutes and hours with appointments, soccer practice, meetings, and the list goes on and on. So, before we throw the covers back and jump up to fix a problem we had nothing to do with…PAUSE mindfully.

Plan your schedules and calendars with just as much care and room for the pause. In the evenings, schedule time for a lavender bath, in the morning plan ti-chi, when you’re making the lunches for the day make a bag to go in the car. The bag can have dark chocolate; essential oils that help you focus and reclaim your calm. Keep a relaxing meditation tape in the car for heavy traffic or the long pickup lines at the kid’s schools. We can also get into nature. Plan a walk at lunch; get on a trail you haven’t hiked before or that rafting craft you want to try on that lazy river. Go sailing and listen to the message in the breeze. Paint a room; take care of your vegetable garden. A pause can be anything that can bring joy to your spirit, calmness to your mind, and energy to your body. I want to remind you to breathe on purpose for your purpose. You are loved. You are safe. You are enough.

Study Mindfulness

Topics: self love, Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, spirituality, SWIHA, Mindfulness, Self-care, Guided meditation, Essential Oils, Meditation, Mind, yoga, Breath, Spiritual, mind-body wellness practitioner, Boundaries, Sacred Space, Holistic Education, Mindful Practices, Calmness, Pause, meditate, breathing

About the Author Johnie Kolzen

Johnie Kolzen is a Southwest Institute of Healing Arts great graduate of the Integrative Healing Arts Practitioner program. This beautiful piece on the concept of pausing/mindfulness was crafted in Johnie’s Grit for Influencers class. This was a part of Johnie’s big expression assignment. Johnie is passionate about sharing this message of being able to take care of ourselves and to breathe, on purpose.

Johnie Kolzen

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