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A Moment Of Pause At The Edge Of The Titisee Lake

Written by: Rasha Afifi-Talleh, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Have you ever experienced a moment in time where you felt complete stillness, calm, and serenity? Where you felt so vividly alive and fully immersed in the now. A moment, a pause, where all your thoughts and senses belonged to the present.

I was 19 years old, on a trip to Germany with my sister and a friend. It was a beautiful fall day on a hike around the Titisee Lake in the heart of the southern Black Forest. Late morning, we saw this long wooden dock extending into the water. I remember having this strong overpowering need to go to the edge of the dock and sit in silence. Back then, I had no way of knowing how much this one moment would anchor me for years to come. I remember it as a magical moment of stillness, serenity, and clarity. The water was smooth, like a mirror reflecting the tall, dark forest, while the sky was clear blue.

Then there was the silence. That serene, comforting silence made that moment in time so special. I couldn’t put into words the level of calmness and quiet surrounding me as I was nearing the edge. It took me a few minutes to still my racing mind to match the calm around me. I remember taking a deep first breath, filling my lungs with fresh air, and with that, I exhaled and let go of every racing thought or worry that I had. At that moment, I was at peace. I realized then the calming powers of choosing to pause and how available it is to us whenever we need it. If only we remember to seek it.

Ready for change

Years later, I found myself at a time in life when I was somewhat lost. I am naturally a person that seeks alone time to process life and make sense of things. Yet, I stopped carving out that alone time over the years and didn’t make it a priority. I was going with the flow of living life without taking enough necessary moments of pause; this took a tremendous toll on me. Eventually, I felt like I am on a treadmill running at high speed, unable to stop on the verge of falling off. That is when I stumbled upon the world of coaching. Without much thinking, I took a leap of faith and started my training in the Co-Active Coaching model through CTI. I didn’t know where it would lead or what would come out of it, but I knew it was the first step to finding answers for my curious, hungry mind searching for serenity and clarity. Little by little, I was solving my puzzle, getting to know who I am as a person, who I want to become, and the impact I want to create.

Lessons along the way

My biggest lesson over the years has been to be patient. I had to learn to appreciate the little lessons and trust that even if it feels like it’s not a big enough gesture or change, over the long run, these little steps and small daily lessons are the seeds that grow into giant, resilient, strong trees. This process takes years, it’s an ongoing journey of self-discovery and growth, and it’s supposed to be, so I had to remind myself to trust the process and be patient.

I also had to learn to pause and sit with the uncomfortable. When we sit still, we allow our feelings to run their course, we allow for the storm to wind down and for the dust to settle, and with that comes clarity. Only then can we choose our response and the actions that can help create our desired outcome.

A world of distractions

It’s important to remember that these moments of pause and reflection are available to us whenever and however many times we need them. The question is, are we ready for them? In life, we get caught up and don’t always make it a priority to sit and reflect. However, it is essential to notice if we are purposefully avoiding it. It could be because we are not ready to face the thoughts that come up or the feelings that surface. Other times we are not prepared to face our truth or answer our questions. So, what do we do instead? We avoid, run, get busy, and fill our silent moments with distractions.

Unfortunately for all of us, we live at a time where distractions are so readily available to us with a press of a button. We can go through our lives distracted running on that treadmill, either away from our problems and feelings or towards one goal after the other, with no downtime to sit and realize if these are the lives we want to live.

In this fast-paced, distracting world, it will take a lot more intention and willpower from us to choose these moments of stillness to pause for self-reflection, awareness, and ultimately growth.

The anchor

That moment back in Titisee on the lake years ago where I felt a calm wash over me like a waterfall is a moment I often revisit in my memory. I use it as a reminder of how wonderful it feels to pause, breathe, let go, and sit with what’s present. I use it to find calm within the chaos when things get hectic. That one moment in time became my anchor.

What about you? What is your moment of calm and stillness? What anchors you and calms your storm when life gets too overwhelming? What helps you pause?

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Rasha Afifi-Talleh, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Rasha Afifi-Talleh is an Executive Coach, a Team Coach, and a Workshop Facilitator. Rasha’s core belief is that our shared humanity is the moving force for creating real change and impact in our organizations, communities, and the world. Her passion is to work with leaders and organizations looking to create impactful change in the world and their communities. Her mission is to help build awareness of the value of creating human-centered organizations and putting the focus back on the people. Rasha helps leaders and executives better understand who they are as leaders, connect with their purpose, and develop their leadership skills to create the desired impact in their lives, teams, and organizations.



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