Miracles News

April-June, 2019

Pause for Humility

by Rev. Mary Gerard Lenihan, O.M.C.

What does humility mean to you? I could pull some good sounding words out my cubicle mind/me-character hat to answer this question, but I won’t.Instead I will share how confused I was about humility most of my life. Probably like many of us I once thought to be humble was to hide behind the curtain, let people step all over you, don’t speak up or loudly enough so anyone can hear you, and don’t stir the pot. Turns out this is not what it is to practice humility. Yes, I am seeing that humility, like Pause for Inspiration, is a practice. A practice in letting go of who I think I am in exchange for who I am truly.

One way to see humility. Notice I did not say “understand humility.” I am uncovering that my understanding is highly overrated! So, instead I am opening to truly seeing humility. Well, I saw humility abounding two weeks ago where we were sharing the Pause for Inspiration free materials and I was speaking on “Pause for Your Inner Resources” at the Missouri Rehabilitation Conference in Lake of the Ozarks.

The conference began with a Sunday evening awards banquet. Now, I don’t know about you, but I generally have no interest in receiving awards myself much less sitting for hours and watching other people receive awards. No offense please. However, this awards banquet struck me in a way that I am still finding myself lingering in — the experience of true humility! I found a new “inner resource.”

One by one the award winners were recognized and moseyed on up to the stage. I was truly humbled watching all this happen. There were no long speeches, no taking in the spotlight, not at all. Rather each person was clearly deeply touched in being recognized, yet clearly not at all in need of recognition, approval or a round of applause. It seemed to me that each person simply saw themselves as doing their job, loving the people they serve, and showing up moment-to-moment to do whatever needed to be done. I didn’t perceive any false humility or grandiosity. Most of them simply quietly and hesitantly approached the microphone and said, “Thank you” and walked away. One person said, “I have nothing to say.” Another didn’t even speak.

Then there was Mr. Humble himself. The speaker told the story of this young man challenged with learning disabilities, had recently lost his job of eight years washing dishes in a local restaurant. He got an interview with the local Bandana’s.

As the manager was interviewing him, asking questions, this young man saw a server carrying lots of plates of food and struggling to manage it all. So, he said to the manager in the middle of the interview, “Excuse me, she needs some help.”

He proceeded to get up and go over and help the server! He got the job. I see this as humility. He was less concerned about impressing the manager with stories about himself and instead became a demonstration of customer service.

As I watched these people, they moved me on the inside. I became humbled in their presence. I shifted from being tired after a long day of driving, unpacking, rushing around and looking forward to my pajamas and bed, to becoming absolutely still on the inside. My own ego sense of what it is to be humble, crumbled. What I am finding in humility is strength and enthusiasm. “Thank you.”


Some days I need the basics — the basic pause. Today I am busy harassing myself about all kinds of things; what I am ordering myself to get done, what to eat, when am I going to find time to move this body, what to write for this article etc. A stagnant fog is taking up residence in my mind and no amount of caffeine seems to be changing the atmosphere. I pause. I give up harassing myself long enough to reach into my purse for a KIDS CAN PAUSE practice card. “Ah, this will do the trick,” I sigh with the thought of relief coming in the not so distant future.

Instead of leaping out my car like superwoman dashing back into the Pause studio, I flip over the KIDS CAN PAUSE practice card. I remember something on it about slowing down. I begin to Practice The Pause.

Pause:  I choose to slow down. I am willing to feel calm and safe. My choice flips the switch and here I find myself, slowing down. So easy. I stop harassing myself immediately.

Step Back:  I choose to take a deep breath. I read this but notice resistance to actually taking the deep breath. So, I slow down again and take a deep breath. Good choice. I was holding my breath, so now I am actually breathing! Always a good idea. I am willing to get out of my own way. When I am feeling upset, I can Pause for Help. If I step back, my Helpful Self will step in and help me.

Step Aside: I choose to pause, be still, and listen to my Helpful Self. Hmm. I share with the kids and youth how they have a Helpful Self, but now I am realizing within, hey, I have a Helpful Self too. Practicing on: I am willing to get Help with my thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. I ask my Helpful Self, “What is Safe, Kind, and Helpful in this moment?” So, I listen to my Helpful Self who points me in the right direction. Wow, my Helpful Self can do all that? I could really use right now to be pointed away from wrestling with myself and towards loving myself.

Let My Helpful Self Guide: I choose to follow my Helpful Self who leads me to be SAFE, KIND, CALM, and HELPFUL. I am worthy of My Helpful Self who encourages me with what to say and do and is my True Friend. As I practice what these words suggest, I notice the word “encourage” and I pause to receive encouragement from my Helpful Self. The practice closes with I choose to remember…MY HELPFUL SELF LOVES ME!

I slowly get out of my car, open the Pause studio door, return to my desk, and wonder, “How am I worthy? What does it mean to be worthy?” In my pausing I have this experience: 

Imagine that living within me is a boundless balloon of LOVE. Now imagine that this LOVE balloon is extending a LOVE balloon to me — this is how I am worthy; because LOVE is always giving Love to me, to everyone.

Everyone is worthy. You can ask your Helpful Self “How am I worthy?” and have your own experience. KIDS CAN PAUSE cards, for adults too, are free at: PauseForInspiration.org

Rev. Mary Gerard Lenihan is a Pathways of Light minister living in St. Louis, MO.
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Visit our website: http://www.PauseForInspiration.org  The Pause is expanding — we now have The 4 Decisions pocket-sized cards: Kids Can Pause, Parents Can Pause, Teachers Can Pause and Prisoners Can Pause.

© 2019, Pathways of Light. https://www.pathwaysoflight.org
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