Power Pausing: Honor the Progress + Impact You’ve Already Made this Year – 4 Inquiries

 In Burnout & Overwhelm, Cyclical Living, Making Changes & Navigating Uncertainty, Practices, Releasing Stress, Self-Care & Self-Sustainability, Success, Sustainable Change & Growth, Wellbeing, Wisdom Blog, Wisdom for Intense Times, Working Differently

Power Pausing. One of the wisest actions we can take at or near the mid-year point is to pause to consider where we have been, where we are, and what we are going to focus our life force, resources and time on the second half of the year.

This is true for how we run our work life – projects, goals, business, team, organization, career, connections, etc.

How we work with all parts of our personal life – wellbeing, wealth, family and home.

How we show up in our relationships.

And how we interact with all the things in life we give our energy to that we might not call “work,” but that very much take our energy and effort – such as care-giving, parenting, mentoring, and big changes in relationships or living situations.

The practice of reflecting, re-assessing and re-focusing at key points during the year is what I call a “Power Pause” or if we make  it a verb, Power Pausing.


I’d say power pauses are one of my top three personal, team, business and leadership best practices for creative innovation, strategic planning, smart decision making, and lasting wellbeing.

It’s one of the processes we can use to find and design paths of sustainable success for our projects, people, goals, personal lives and the planet.

I’ve been doing power pauses for myself, as well as leading individuals, groups and teams through them for over a decade. I continue year after year because the process works on so many levels in such simple yet significant ways. For example:


Taking a pause at the start, middle and end of the year prevents burnout & overwhelm (we trying to do it all like productivity machines vs. human beings), cultivates wellbeing & meaning (we feel our impact & progress), and gives us energy & focus for the months ahead (we remember why this all matters).


Most people I know, including myself, often suffer from what I call “Achievers Amnesia” and/or “Care-Giver Unconsciousness.”

See if any of this sounds familiar to you:

  • We do SO much, take care of so much, and show up for others in so many ways, yet we do not retain or remember all the ways we’ve given our time, energy, care, mind-share and resources.
  • We are likely to see all we have not done and focus on all the ways we have not reached our goals or things aren’t in harmony.
  • We rarely acknowledge how much we are handling (until we are burned out).
  • We find it hard to feel the impact we are making everyday in small but significant ways, that never make the news or get thousands of ‘likes’ or make the bottom money line — but that make all the difference in this world, and people’s real lives and lived experience. So no matter how much we do or give, it’s never enough, we never have enough, and we are never enough.


Then Consider How Power Pausing Can Change This:

Power Pausing Inquiry with Christine arylo

When we DON’T pause to recognize the progress we’ve made and the challenges we’ve faced…

  • Our body, brain and being don’t register them as real. So the stress persists and builds.
  • The sense we have to keep working hard to get things done or reach the goal, or keep taking care of everyone and everything or it will all fall apart stays.
  • Then we burnout – physically, mentally, emotionally, and energetically – and we end the year depleted, sick or worse, defeated.

When we DO pause, we can really see and feel all we have done and become, and we exhale…

  • We recognize the impact and progress our effort and care has made.
  • While there is always still more ‘to do’, we are able to savor the process, find joy even when things are challenging, give ourselves permission to relax and re-energize ourselves.
  • All because we recognize all we’ve already accomplished and how we’ve made a difference.
  • This shifts our experience from the unrelenting push to a more sustainable (and rewarding) pace.



power pausing mid year Christine Arylo

image: Gaetano Cessati


Power Pausing: Let’s Make this Practical and Relevant for You Now

To give you a taste of the practice of the Power Pause, I thought I would write a short series of articles, each one giving you a sense of one of the steps and the thinking, wisdom and strategy behind them. We will make it personal and applicable to your reality now by giving you a set of inquiries to use with for yourself to gain perspective, insight and clarity. I’ll also share an article or two on how you can use these with your team or business.

Step One of Power Pausing: Remember. Reflect. Recognize. Receive.

Let’s begin where all Power Pauses start – with remembering, reflecting and recognizing what has already happened, in this case in the first half of the year.

  • Think back to the beginning of the year and the months since.
  • Scroll through your photos.
  • Look through your calendar.
  • Recall each month and the things that happened both personally and professionally.
  • Consider the different parts of your life: Your Work in the World, job, career, vocation, self-expression, parenting & care-taking. Your Relationships, individual and community. Your Wellbeing, home, health & wealth. Your Personal Growth & Desires. And the things that just bring you joy and you do for creativity or connection without a need for productivity.


Use the 4 inquiries below to SEE what you have done, who you‘ve become, and how your choices are making an impact on your life, on others and in the world. Write your responses out vs. just mentally thinking about them. Only when we can see these things with our eyes does our brain register it’s all really happened. This alleviates the Acheivers and Care-Givers Amnesia and activates the feel goods and self-honoring.

1.    What have I already done or made progress on?

2.   How have I grown, stretched or shown up differently?

3.   How have I made a difference (think people, projects, presence)?

4.   How have I made choices to support & sustain me?


Recognize and acknowledge all you have achieved, given and grown so you FEEL this as real. Go back through all you wrote and one by one pause to feel the impact and the progress. You can use these sentence starters below to get to the feeling and emotion that takes this from a mental exercise that fades into an embodied experience that sticks.

·     I am proud that I accomplished / made progress on…

·     I acknowledge I have made an impact by …

·     I honor that I met the stretch or challenge of….

·     I celebrate that I experienced or created …


Power Pausing Podcast with Christine arylo POWER PAUSE: 6 Inquiries to Honor Your Progress & Reveal What’s Working (or Not) for You


To explore more, check out the Power Pause episode #215 on Feminine Power Time: “Honor Your Progress & Reveal What’s Working (or Not) for You” (on your podcast app, itunes or here on my website – episodes #203-205)


Ways to Go Deeper

Check out the Overwhelmed & Over It Book

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