Pause: Harnessing the Life-Changing Power of Giving Yourself A Break with Rachael O’Meara Episode #119

Aaron McHugh


I met Rachael O’Meara in 2013 on a boat ride on the Columbia River in Portland, OR. We were both attending Chris Guillebeau’s WDS event. We share a similar story of pushing the pause button on our lives to find a new and improved path. You’re going to love her story.

Rachael O’Meara-Pause

Rachael O’Meara was a customer support manager at Google when she realized she was burned out and needed to reassess her path. The best way to do this was to take a “pause”—a time-out to create space for her inner voice to be heard and to align her actions to lead a more fulfilled life. Pause: Harnessing the Life- Changing Power of Giving Yourself a Break is her new book, serving as a GPS for others looking to slow down before speeding up again.

Download the 1st 2 chapters of Pause free at

So what is a “pause”?

Rachael defines a pause as any intentional shift in behavior that allows you the space to experience a mental shift in attitude, thoughts, or emotions that otherwise wouldn’t have occurred.

Pausing can be as simple as a five- minute walk outside, or a day spent unplugged from digital devices. A pause is about taking a time-out to create the space for your inner voice to be heard and to align your actions with that voice in order lead a more meaningful, fulfilled life. Pausing offers you a chance to remember what “lights you up,” and allows you to identify your yearnings, shift your limiting beliefs, recognize and better understand what’s called “amygdala hijacks,” and discover how your relationships with others affect you.

photo credit: Cave Henricks

About Rachael O’Meara

Rachael O’Meara is a transformational leadership coach, assisting others to fulfill their potential. She is a sales executive at Google and also hosts authors who have meaningful messages about mindfulness and emotional intelligence for the TalksAtGoogle YouTube channel. She writes regularly for the Huffington Post and has been featured in the New York Times and on She leads workshops and speaks on the practice of pausing. She is certified in Transformational Coaching from the Wright Graduate University for the Realization of Human Potential (ICF certified) and has an MBA from Fordham University.


SIGN 1: You Used to Love Your Job; Now You Loathe It
Do you no longer enjoy what you do despite having been excited and invested in your job previously? Does it feel like you are no longer fulfilled by what you do or you’re experiencing burnout? If your responsibilities have not changed but suddenly the perception of your performance at work has deteriorated, clearly something isn’t working. Taking a pause, or intentionally shifting your behavior, is one way you can help yourself enjoy what you do again.

SIGN 2: The Boss Tells You It’s Not Working Out
Many times this message comes with the proverbial pink slip and a personal escort from your desk to the closest exit. But it may appear as a subtle note in a performance review, a seemingly casual meeting with your boss, or feedback from someone who sees (or hears the writing on the wall). Pausing is a gift. When you can shift your behavior, your passions and strengths will emerge and help you align with what would be a more suitable environment for you.

SIGN 3: An Intervention Separates You from Your Technology
You most likely engage with technology in some aspect for your work or personal life and, like most people nowadays, you might be getting a little too much “screen time.” However you receive your wake-up call about technology, it’s important to realize the motives underneath your actions. Many people use surface-level means to connect and feel “plugged in” with others to meet deeper hunger, or yearnings. Pausing is a great way to shift to align to your true yearnings.

SIGN 4: A Major Life Event, Challenge, or Change Happens
Take inventory of your last twelve to eighteen months. Did a significant event happen? Did it affect anyone else in your life? Choose to be in the present moment and express how it has affected you. Let it sink in without rushing off to the next activity, event, or responsibility. Avoid going through the motions and getting on with life as if nothing had happened. Life is handing you an opportunity to recalibrate.

SIGN 5: A New Opportunity Reveals Itself
Is there an opportunity you’re thinking about but hesitating to act on, like taking a big trip, changing careers, or starting a project? A pause allows you to live in the present and make better choices. It can also be a time when you check in with your emotions. Do you primarily feel fear, sadness, joy, anger, or hurt when you think about this opportunity? What yearnings do you think are behind your motivation to seize it? You can create a pause to check in on a deeper level and evaluate.

Each one of these opportunities is a paradox. Is taking a pause really meant to be time spent to think? Or is it time to stop thinking so the wisdom and answers have ample room to surface? How often have you stressed out about a specific situation or were stuck in the decision-making process because you didn’t make up your mind? Overthinking can kill just about everything.

Taking a pause isn’t so that you can think more. It’s the exact opposite. It’s the perfect excuse for you to step away from your everyday life and not focus on what is ruling your thoughts.

Rachael’s Aquatic Pause

Aquatic Pause‘ is author Rachael O’Meara’s voyage to a place of peace and inner solace. Through this experiential narrative, you will be guided to a remote setting, composed and designed to achieve effortless tranquility and put a ‘pause’ in your day.

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3 thoughts on “Pause: Harnessing the Life-Changing Power of Giving Yourself A Break with Rachael O’Meara Episode #119

  1. This episode hit home for me – finishing Rachel’s book now and planning my Pause. Excited to see where I end up on the other side.

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