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screamfree peace begins with pause
February 10, 2016

Peace Begins with Pause

“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as
effective as a rightly timed pause.”
(Mark Twain)

“Don’t push my buttons.”

We’ve all said it, hoping our kids, or our spouse, or our coworkers will get the message: “Don’t you dare press my emotional buttons.” I’ve even heard it around the world, in different languages and different cultures.

What I haven’t heard, however, is people asking a simple question of themselves:

How did I give these people access to my remote control in the first place? How have I made it so easy for someone else to easily push my emotional buttons? Here’s how: we forgot to push our own. In particular, we each forgot to press our own pause button.

Whenever we need other people to manage our own emotional reactivity for us, we usually don’t realize we’re actually handing them our own remote control. And then we complain about how they use it. This is not a path to personal peace.

When we press our own pause button, however, we take back our own emotional controls. When we learn to press pause, we give our brilliant human brains the chance to consider what our hearts want most: personal, practical, peace.

So, how do we press our own pause exactly? Truth is, I don’t know. I am learning how to press mine, but I am not you. I’m hearing from people all over the world how they press theirs, but they, again, are not you.

How you press your pause button is unique to you. Is it prayer? Deep breathing? Meditation? Exercise? Those certainly seem to be common elements throughout human history. As are reading, time in nature, and the beautiful experience of agenda-free time with your closest family and friends.

We at ScreamFree want to help you discover the right combination of elements that clearly reveal your own personal pause button. In many ways that is the key to our entire mission: to help people pause, so they can learn to respond more, and react less.

To that end, today we have launched an entirely new website, along with a new logo and a new, daily message to replace our popular eQuips. So today is the first edition of The ScreamFree Daily Pause—just a moment for you to focus on you, to the benefit of all those who surround you and love you.

Of course, these messages are free, as are so many of our blog and videos and articles at All I ask for in return is feedback. I want to get to know you. Comment on the blog. Criticize the articles and videos. Email us at and let us know anything we can do to make your own pause button easier to access, and make our mission easier to share with others.

As you’ll see, we are going all-in on the idea of pause. We believe the world is desperately searching for a timeless peace for our 21st century chaos, and we believe such peace begins with pause.

You in?


4 thoughts on “Peace Begins with Pause

  1. I am in a leadership group with other women business owners. The last 2 years we have selected one word (based on the book One Word that will change your life). My word for 2016 is pause. I have enjoyed your daily quips for several years. My children are grown and have children of their own. I find reading your thoughts help me in my business dealings, marriage, children, and grandchildren. I appreciate what you do and that you help us to see both the lighter side of life and the inside of ourselves. Thank you for reminding me to pause today.

  2. Dear Hal,

    I get so much out of all your daily posts, but today’s was dead on and a true eye opener! How can I complain about the way my children and my mother-in-law press my buttons, when it was I who handed them my remote control!! I haven’t had an ‘Aha!’ moment like this in a long time!

    Thank you so much for sharing your insights and helping us become better people, better Christians. May the Lord bless you and keep you always,


  3. The simple sentence “Let me think about that and get back to you” has an automatic pause. It allows the speaker to get out of their reactive brain and into their adult brain. It’s a good statement to keep in your pocket.

    Of course the biggie with that is that you actually do have to get back to the person.

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