My First Step is Not to Step

The first and most vital step for a person to take each day is not to step. The first step is to Pause.

Be quick, but don’t hurry.

~John Wooden

After He had sent them away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone. -Matthew 14:23

Being Appreciative with Goodness because people and situations can move very quickly throughout a day – I can get caught off guard as soon as a few seconds if I do not prepare my mind for action. My emotions may control me instead of me controlling them.

Like many of you, I have been in many leadership roles throughout my lifetime, some not always by choice. For me, in many ways, I embraced my role, and it gave me a lot of energy and joy. However, there have been times when I did not want to have to carry the baton, and I resisted it. Similar to what Jonah had done to God, I too had run away or tried to change my circumstances. I am not proud of this, nor had I even fully realized my doing so until I took the time to slow down and reflect – Pause.

There are multiple ways when Being Appreciative with Goodness to Pausing has positively impacted my life. Below are a few ways how:

  1. Pausing felt like I was trying to slow down a rollercoaster. Put on the breaks, put away phones, computers, podcasts, T.V., and slow my mind down. It used to be and still can be at times very difficult. I have to focus, dial-in, appreciating the outcome and health benefits of clearing space, and emptying my mind of so much nattering.
  2. Pausing has helped me to enjoy doing less, in actuality, enjoying being bored. It has made my life more purposeful, interrupting my thoughts, stopping my actions, and the speed I was moving throughout the day. Decreasing fear and anxiety and enjoying the day more. Emotion coaching our children, friends, family, co-workers on being bored can feel counter-cultural, yet vital to our self-care and living a flourishing life.
  3. Pausing helped me examine carefully, discern my purpose – My ‘Why I do what I do,’ ‘Why do I exist,’ and ‘What do I enjoy every day that gets me out of bed energized.’

Jesus models the power of pausing throughout the bible. One time was on the day of the death of John the Baptist. Not only was Jesus grieving John the Baptist’s death, but the crowds also continued to follow him, surround him and he did not push them away. Instead, Jesus was Appreciative with Goodness to His Father. He began healing the sick and feeding the five thousand. Then, afterward, Jesus took time to pause: ‘And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.’ -Matthew 14:23

By Pausing, consciously slowing down, with self-reflection, a person can become more focused and energized.

Taking the time to invest in my Extreme Self-Care is one of the best investments I have made!

Blessings on observing how you step, and your Pausing today!



Sara Thingvold
Sara Thingvold
Sara Thingvold, MCLC, ACC, is an Executive and Life Coach, Trainer, and Consultant, sought out to partner with executive leaders and leadership teams, individuals, couples, and groups. She is the founder and owner of Sara Thingvold Professional Services, and a collaborative business partner with Triune Leadership Services. She began coaching and training others when she was a sophomore in high school and started her own company in 2009. She is passionate about encouraging and walking alongside others. Sara and her husband have been married for 29 years They have two wonderful young adult children, a lovely daughter-in-law, and an adorable grandson. Sara is a University of Nebraska – Lincoln graduate and Husker Volleyball player Alumni. She enjoys the outdoors, cooking with her husband and family, gardening, hiking, running, crafting, and various other activities and hobbies, especially exercising her mind, body, and spirit, and being intentional about deepening her own well-being. You can learn more about Sara, coaching, and the online training programs she offers on her website at Sara Thingvold.

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  1. Fill every moment without ever taking breaks is a trend that affects all ages and that often has to do with the fear of being alone with one’s thoughts and emotions. Yet the ability to stop, to allow yourself a space of time between periods or situations of life is fundamental to give new meaning to our existence and to agree with our inner rhythm.