PAUSE. NOTICE. CHOOSE. ™
Mindfulness made easy.
A while back I attended training at the Whole Health Institute and was introduced to a life changing tool made up of 3 words. Pause. Notice. Choose.™ (PNC)
Since then I’ve used this tool daily and taught many others how to use it. Here’s what I love about it.
- It’s simple
- It’s empowering
- It works
We get wrapped up in the experience of life with information processing both consciously and subconsciously. As thoughts and beliefs circle through, we repeat the cycle over and over all the while trying to break free from our monkey mind and the habits that seem to keep us comfortably stuck in familiarity. We know there’s more. We know there’s different, but autopilot is just so easy, and it becomes our default.
So, here’s where the power of PNC comes in:
PAUSE – When you pause you are bringing your attention to the moment. In the pause we cut out noise and create focus. Similar to pausing what’s playing on TV so you can hear what someone just said from another room. In the pause, you’ve taken action to pay attention in the moment.
NOTICE – Now that you’ve paused you can notice what’s going on. It’s in the notice that you get to observe, feel and acknowledge. You become more aware of what’s happening in the moment. This can be internally (emotion, breath, tension...), externally (smells, temperature, sounds...) or both. In the example above, pausing the TV to hear what someone said creates focus which provides you with an opportunity to receive information. This information can be used to help you determine what to do next.
CHOOSE – You’ve paused, you’ve become aware of what is going on in the moment – now you get to choose what to do. Following through with the example above, you’ve paused the TV, noticed that there was a question being asked and you chose to respond by politely telling your child that regardless of the ingredients cake is not a healthy breakfast option.
Ok, this example is an oversimplification but it creates a great visual to help bring clarity to the concept. Now we can dig a little deeper.
PNC is something that can be used quickly or for an extended period of time. Here’s an example: If I’m getting angry, I’ll often process through PNC quickly. Pausing to recognize I’m reacting in anger, noticing how I feel and what’s really making me angry and deciding what I want to do about it. Honestly, sometimes I choose to be angry even after I’ve paused and noticed. That may sound negative but it’s my truth. There are times when we just need to feel what we feel and that’s ok. Part of the power in PNC is you get to choose – no guilt, no shame, no should, just the freedom to be in the moment and make a choice.
So how does Pause. Notice. Choose.™ = Mindfulness Made Easy? Mindfulness isn’t as complicated as it may sound. It’s simply about bringing your awareness to the moment. Pause and Notice empower you to become aware. These steps serve as a prompt to mindfulness. And Choose, well it’s a bonus. It’s what puts you in the driver’s seat. We really do have choices. Some are more appealing than others, but they’re still choices.
Well there you have it, a simple tool to help you on your journey of mindfulness. Take what you’ve learned here, put it into action and find what works for you. For more info about Pause. Notice. Choose. ™ check out Whole Health Institute.