Pause Blog On Overload, Overwhelm & Life In General

PAUSE – 15.25 – It Only Take A Spark

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My Thoughts: “It only takes a spark to get a fire going; and soon all those around will warm up to its glowing.” That’s the opening line of a tune by Kurt Kaiser that may be familiar to many.

Once upon a time, in a life long ago, I adapted those lyrics in the form of a friendship song for a summer camp that I directed. From time to time, that tune still shows up as an earworm in my brain. I don’t mind. The words still ring as true today as they did back then.

When you are excited about something in your world, when you have a light in your eyes and even a most modest fire in your belly, the impact (on you and others around you) is both positive and contagious.


Your Thoughts: What’s lighting up your life these days? And if things are feeling just a tad dark and chilly, where and how might you find a way to strike a spark? Read More…

Posted under Appreciation, Life in General, Pause Poster Message, Wellness

PAUSE – 15.23 – Small Things Can Be Big Deals

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My Thoughts:  Do you resist breaking into your happy dance – or cracking a big old toothy grin – until something REALLY important and UBER COOL happens?

If so, you’re missing out on a host of everyday opportunities to celebrate life’s good stuff as it marches on by.

So much is easily overlooked; but once noticed, it’s just as easily appreciated. I noticed these beauties perched on a shelf while waiting for lunch in Café Arabe in Marrakech. BUT, you don’t have to go halfway around the world to get the point or the picture.


Your Thoughts:  Why not get on it today? Right where you are!

Train your mind and your eye to catch and celebrate life’s small and beautiful – actions, things and experiences. They’re right here – right under your nose.

Now go ahead. Don’t be shy! Let loose your grin and your happy dance! Read More…

Posted under Appreciation, Life in General, Pause Poster Message

PAUSE – 15.21 – What Does Wishing You The Best Really Mean?

Best Things In life-wMy Thoughts: As you close a written message, perhaps you (like me) occasionally use the phrase: All the Best.

I recently looked at those words as I typed them on my screen and paused to consider what they really meant.

I know the phrase expresses my good intentions and positive wishes.

I also know that ‘best’ doesn’t refer to designer clothes, high-end cars, or big time paychecks.

The quote expressed in the image above does a pretty decent job of capturing the meaning: “The best things in life are the people we love, the places we’ve been, and the memories we’ve made along the way.”


Your Thoughts: As we move through the halfway point of summer, how can you best use your time and your resources to appreciate the people you love, enjoy the places you visit, and make more memories along the way?


News Notes: Read More…

Posted under Appreciation, Communication, Life in General, Pause Poster Message

PAUSE – 15.20 – A Little Distance Makes A Big Difference

Reflection: What do you see when you look around? Burdens and responsibilities or delights and opportunities? And how much of a difference might it make if you could put a little distance between yourself and those everyday demands?

Vacations and time out matter. Not only for the richness of adventure and creation of new memories, but also for the perspective that comes with distance. Re-entry, after a time away, brings with it the opportunity to appreciate everyday life anew.

In our recent weeks of adventuring, we discovered that the Hermitage in St Petersburg holds some amazing artistic treasures. The fields of lavender and sunflowers in Provence are every bit as compelling in person as they are in pictures. The sounds of Paris are like nowhere else in the world – with the wha-wha of police sirens overlaying the bells of Notre Dame.

And now that we’re back, we’re finding that our time away changes our experience of being here. Read More…

Posted under Appreciation, Life Balance, Life in General, Pause E-zines, Travel

PAUSE – 15.19 – Take Advantage Of Those Everyday Opportunities For Joy

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My Thoughts:

Much energy is given to contemplating the idea of a bucket list – the aspirations we have for those once-in-a-lifetime experiences (like sky-diving, canoeing the Amazon, or visiting the pyramids).

There’s nothing wrong with thinking and dreaming big. The challenge is that so much of our everyday life plays out on a much smaller scale.

Because of this, Jennifer Louden recommends writing yourself a Thimble List. That’s a list of tiny thrills and joys that you want to experience often – things like:

  • surprising a client with an unexpected kindness
  • savoring a bowl of juicy strawberries
  • sharing laughs and adventures with a two year old
  • reading a great novel while stretched out in the shade

Ticking items off the bucket list is great; and engaging in small pleasures can be every bit as satisfying.


Your Thoughts:

Pause for a few minutes this week with pen and paper in hand.

Start your very own Thimble List. Post it somewhere to prompt you to take advantage of those everyday opportunities for joy.


News Notes:

Travel Plans – Most years, my husband and I usually plan our travel adventures for ‘off season’. This year, we’re trying something different and adventuring across the pond to experience the height of summer in points European. While we travel, I’ll be taking a month-long hiatus from creating these messages. Look for your next Pause ezine in your mailbox on July 22.

Malaise News – Thanks to all who offered their opinions on possible titles for programs on the topic of malaise. These phrases were amongst the top runners:

  • From Bored to Restored
  • Engagement Is An Inside Job
  • Spark A New Journey
  • Moving Through & Moving On
  • From Tired To Inspired
  • From Deflated to Elated

Although I haven’t yet settled on the final title, your feedback was very helpful in sorting the list and advancing the cause. Much appreciated!

Posted under Appreciation, Life Balance, Life in General, Pause Poster Message, Wellness

This post was written by Pat Katz on June 10, 2015

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PAUSE – 15.14 – He Didn’t Have to Do That

Abstract #10 - Pausegarden Props-wReflection: It’s nine o-clock on a Saturday. (Sounds a little Billy Joel-esque, doesn’t it?) However, it’s morning – not evening – and there’s not a piano in sight.

I pull into the parking lot behind the building where I’ll be attending a meeting scheduled to run till 3:30 that afternoon.

A commissionaire is already on hand writing a parking ticket for some poor soul. As I step out of my car to feed the meter for the day, he calls across the lot asking, “Are you staying long?” “About six hours,” is my reply.

He stops writing the ticket, and crosses over to tell me that there are a couple of meters in the lot that aren’t working. If I park at one of those, I can do so all day long for free.

He suggests I get back in the car, and he’ll guide me to one of the freebies. I do, and he does.

I express my thanks. His reply, “Glad I was here to help you out!” And off he goes.

As I turn the corner from the parking lot headed for my meeting, Billy (not his real name) approaches. Read More…

Posted under Appreciation, Life in General, Pause E-zines, Wellness

PAUSE – 15.13 – Get Out There And Play

Outside & Play-wMy Thoughts: 

At one time or another, I’m sure that every parent has ordered a child to ‘Go Outside and Play’.

Translation: stop whining, get some fresh air, and work off some of that misdirected energy.

What if we took that advice to heart ourselves? What if outside meant more than just outdoors?

Suppose outside meant outside our cares, outside our concerns, outside our everyday habits of life and work.

And what if play meant more than riding a bike or kicking a ball?

What if play meant entertaining new ideas, connecting with new people, or trying new things?


Your Thoughts:

Go ahead. Give yourself permission to go outside and play this week!

  • What threshold will you step over?
  • What world will you explore?
  • What difference could it make to your well-being?


News Notes: Big thanks to the 425 of you who have invested the time and responded to the Survey On Malaise. I’ve taken a peak at a few of the early comments and am excited about analyzing the results.

If you’ve been meaning to weigh in, but you’ve been suffering a bit of malaise or overload in your world, there is still time to express your opinions. Survey closes April 30th. So hop on over today and share your views.

PS – You are most welcome to share the link with colleagues or friends whom you think might also have some valuable input or appreciate a chance for some guided reflection on the concept of malaise.


Mom’s Day Special:

PPPOCover-100wKatz-PPTA-100wLooking for a Mother’s Day gift to honor a mom in your world? Books last longer than flowers.

Gift her with copies of Press Pause…Press On and Press Pause…Think Again. She’ll appreciate the inspiration and remember your thoughtfulness as she makes her way through the easy reading pages. Each book features 64 of the most impactful Pause messages interspersed with quotes, anecdotes and
sketches as well.

This link will take you to more complete info on the books, including sample excerpts. On the info page, the Duo Deal#1 link will let you place your order for the twins.

PS – For every order placed before May 10th, I’ll toss in a complimentary copy of the booklet, Take A Break.


Posted under Appreciation, Life in General, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines, Pause Poster Message, Wellness

PAUSE – 15.11- Can You See It Now?



My Thoughts:

Kazantzakis suggests we already have at hand what we need to create a more ideal future.

Could it be that our own lack of vision or lack of action are all that may be holding us back?


Your Thoughts:

What’s your vision of Paradise? What’s already at hand that could move you in that direction?

What’s your next step? And, when will you take it?


News Notes:

Uninspired. Unsettled. Uneasy. Lifeless. Restless. Joyless. Stuck. Have you been there?

I’m talking about malaise – that generalized feeling of being ‘out of sorts’. It grinds away and wears us down, robbing our lives of spirit, energy and joy.

As I mentioned in last week’s Pause, I’m doing some writing and programming on the subject of malaise.

Experience tells me that the more deeply I understand a phenomenon, the stronger my work, and the more helpful it will be to others.

To that end, I’m inviting you to weigh in with your thoughts and experiences. This link will take you to an online Survey on Malaise that will take 5-10 minutes to complete.

I’m most grateful for your help. A thousand thanks for sharing your insights and wisdom.

Posted under Life Balance, Life in General, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines, Pause Poster Message, Wellness

Pause – 15.07 – Will You Leave Them Smiling?

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My Thoughts:

So many of our everyday exchanges are predictable, dull and matter of fact.

What if we made it our business to add a bit more warmth or life to our conversations?

A smile. A compliment. A light hearted remark. A genuine expression of concern.

Each effort on our part could make a huge difference to someone else.


Your Thoughts:

What could you do or say that might leave someone smiling today?

What will you do?

And who are those people with the goofy grins on their faces as you walk out the door?


News Notes:

One of the reasons that I write these weekly Pause messages is that I know they bring a touch of sanity to an overwhelming world.

Many of you tell me how much you value Pause as a breath of fresh air in the middle of your week.

I’m eager to extend the impact of Pause, and would appreciate your help in growing the list of subscribers. Read More…

Posted under Appreciation, Life in General, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines, Wellness

PAUSE – 15.05 – What’s Waiting For You?

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My Thoughts: This week I’m saying goodbye to the self-created expectation (and 14 year practice) of publishing a ‘full featured’ Pause message every single week.

Every second week, I’ll be alternating the traditional version with a simpler more visual message like this. Makes me wonder what’s around the corner waiting to greet me.


Your Thoughts:

What do you think about Coelho’s observation?

To what might you be ready to say goodbye? 

What might be lingering around the corner waiting for you to make more space for it in your life?


News Notes: I’ve had a couple of clients ask me recently, “Pat, with all the traveling and painting that you are doing these days, are you still speaking?” Read More…

Posted under Appreciation, Life Balance, Life in General, Pause E-zines, Pause Poster Message