Permission to Pause

Updated: Mar 28

Surprise ‘New Year’ Greetings! I hope this note finds you ready to jump into the New Year with intention and optimism!


While it was always my intention to kick off a regular-“ish” newsletter in 2020, well...some things just didn’t happen. And, not by chance, either.


It can be so hard and yet so wise, at the very same time, to give yourself (or others) permission to pause. It’s a very conscious thing - deciding where to dial-it-down in one area in your life or work, in service of dialing-it-up somewhere else. One of my favorite coaches taught me that downshifting is not bad - that’s just the label we give it, thinking we need to go a million miles an hour in every area of our life, all of the time. You can’t change lanes going 100mph. When you want to make meaningful change, it’s best to slow down, and say no to some things SO THAT you can say yes to other things.

The irony is that in our own way, we are all waiting for that permission slip from the principal’s office to press pause on something. There’s a very healthy tension that exists in-between the guilt of stopping something, and the giddy excitement of starting something new! We are so good at guilt tripping ourselves - way too good. Let’s press pause on THAT! Leadership is full of healthy tension, don’t shy away. Lead powerfully(!): show up in your life, make intentional choices, mess up, recover quickly, and try again. And, do it in full permission, no apologies. The principal will get over it!

I am shaking it up in 2021, and unpausing some of the things I had on hold in 2020! Namely, ME. I am pressing the pause button on unending laundry and the home- cooked everything and rushing around to make it seem like everything is just so, in order to get down to business and tackle my bigger agenda of what brings me purpose and joy. A little mess is my new bar of a job well done!

My best reminder to pause? As recently as a few days ago, I was running around on a holiday ski trip when my 5-year-old son asked me to climb up on top of a loft space with him. I almost said no! Then I took an intentional pause. We climbed up, sat down, and he said with a big smile, “wanna snorf?” Apparently, that means to kiss and hug, with a few oinks in there, a million times over. We snorfed, and we laughed so hard we cried. The snorf of a lifetime!

If 2021 was going to be the year of your dreams, what would you need to pause? What’s the snorf of a lifetime, waiting around the corner for you?