In our fast-paced modern world, busyness has become a badge of honour. For proof, just look at all the articles and books that promise to make us more productive. With the phrase “time is money” ringing in our ears, we try to squeeze more and more out of our days. And what do we do when we finally have a free moment? We rush to fill it, of course. It doesn’t matter if we’re making calls, sending emails, or setting new goals for ourselves, anything seems better than wasting time.

The importance of pausing applies to many areas of life. I used to equate stopping and stillness to laziness; I generally thought it was a big waste of time. But really, it’s a way to recharge and reset your energy, which can actually help you be more productive.

All excellent listeners are masters of the pause. They are comfortable with silences. When the other person finishes speaking, they take a breath, relax and smile before saying anything. They know that the pause is a key part of good communications.

Deep within ourselves, there is a knowing that that we are at peace, that we are worthy of loving ourselves fully, warts and all, that life is worthy of feeling joyful about even with all of the sad moments, and precious moments right in front of us are waiting to be embraced. The pauses are what will lead us to that knowing.

Pausing is a necessity. It’s not a luxury, much less a whim or a sign of laziness. Think of it as a vitamin supplement your body needs to remain healthy and strong. Mind the importance of timely pausing, as otherwise you might end up not being able to restore your strength on your own terms. Meditation happens to be a great way to pause.