• Brenda Kress

Finding the Pause: Let's PURR

Recently I was invited to speak at an executive retreat in Prescott, AZ where the topic was about finding the balance in life. As I thought about how I wanted to incorporate my practice of contemplation and dialogue, I realized an important first step is in finding a way to pause; pause from the chaos around us, from the pressures that seem to come from all sides and even from our own thoughts.

In preparing my presentation I was also thinking about the friend who arranged for my speaking engagement. She has nine (yes, 9) cats (and is still married and is not a crazy cat lady!). I thought about what it would sound like when they were all happy and purring. Purrrrrrrrrr. Such a calming sound.

That was it! To find a pause, we must learn to purr. From this I came up with four steps you (and I) can take:

PPresence: check in with how we are showing up in any given instance. Are we stressed, hungry, upset or calm, relaxed and feeling good? These all affect how we bring ourselves to any engagement – from a simple conversation (or not so simple!) to the boardroom to being with our significant other when we need to talk about the important matters.

U Understand: do I understand what is important to me and what my own personal values are? Until I know more about what drives me, I may end up getting upset or anxious and not even know why.

R Reflect: when I look in the mirror who do I see (not what do I see, like the purple in my hair or that I need to lose weight!)? Do I see a mom, daughter, sister, executive director, writer, etc? And what do those roles mean to me? Answering these questions can also help when we’re engaging with others as we realize they have their own versions of those roles that might be quite different than mine.

RRespond: If I check in, understand and reflect about myself and the situation that has come up, can I choose a response that will support me versus reacting in a way that may cause more stress?

So, next time you’re in a situation where you’re getting pushed, pulled, upset - instead of growling you can purr!

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