Practice the pause

Cats take a message and get back to you (as opposed to dogs, who at least in this old saying, come when called). I’m beginning to think they have the right idea.

My work with animals has taught me to slow down long enough to respond, rather than react, to what is happening. A pause of even a few seconds can stop me from reacting — say, rushing to fix something that may not be mine to fix or just going along to get along. It buys me time to think about what’s being said and how I actually feel about it. Then I can respond in a way that brings better results.

That’s one of those things I always knew, but it took my Reiki practice (and of course, years of living) to bring it home.

Don’t get me wrong; reaction can be good. If my dog is in a dangerous situation, coming when called could save her life. If a 6-foot stock tank is rolling down the hill toward me during an animal Reiki session, you can bet I’m going to react by getting the heck out of the way. (Yes, that happened.)

Pausing and saying “I will give this some thought and get back to you,” “I need a minute,” or some variation thereof buys time to do better. Or, like the cats, to take a good stretch in the sun.

If the other person tries to pressure you, pin your ears back and walk away.