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A Powerful Way to Change your Day: The Check-In and The Pause

Written by Jenna Bell, Continuing Education Director + Yoga in the Schools Instructor

“Practicing [the] check-in is perhaps one of the most critical components in effective living. Over time, check-in can become a powerful tool for emotional awareness and can also help us build upon our relationships.” - Dr. Liza Johnson, Ed. D. from her curriculum Know. Choose. Give.

Here at Challenge to Change, we love a good check-in.

Our organization uses the ‘Check-In’ at the beginning of every meeting.

We take the time to ‘Check-In’ with how we are feeling at that moment.

We do this in a variety of ways, but the ultimate goal is to become more aware of the thoughts and feelings that are occurring within ourselves, in those around us, and build our language of the different feelings.

Once we are able to identify how we are feeling at a given moment, we can use that feeling to inform our decisions about our actions, similar to “the pause”.

At the beginning of one of our Continuing Education classes, I decided to have the students ‘Check-In’ virtually using Mentimeter with how they were feeling.

If you have never experienced Mentimeter before, this specific app is designed to give real-time feedback and polling anonymously.

If there happens to be more than one of the same responses, the word (or response) will get bigger.

This picture was taken before the 5 minute Guided Meditation (above).

You can see the biggest word below is ‘excited’, meaning more than two or three people checked in with this feeling.

You will also notice there are some other less pleasant feelings such as overwhelmed (also more than one person wrote this), rushed, busy, tired and unsettled.

The 'after' image feedback after a 5 minute meditation

I asked the participants to check-in again with how they were feeling at this moment.

As you can see, after the meditation, zero less pleasant feelings were indicated and the largest feeling listed was calm.

I was able to witness two powerful tools being used in this simple exercise: the power of the ‘check-in’ AND the power of meditation!!

It was exhilarating to see them both in action simultaneously.

As someone who practices yoga regularly and often practices meditation, I personally know the positive effects of meditation and mindfulness practices on myself.

And because I'm an educator of yoga and mindfulness, I also know the science behind meditation and its benefits.

Oftentimes, I can even feel the energy shift when I am with a group of people, but there was something profound in seeing these words pop up on the screen in real time right after our guided meditation.

The words provided tangible results and ‘proof’ that a shift can occur in such a short time when given the opportunity to pause and check in.

Just imagine if we had started the class session without using the Check In or The Pause.

Would those participants be giving their full attention to the content and engage in a positive way with the other participants?

After the class session, how would the participants be feeling?

Most likely, their entire experience would have been less than pleasant.

So now, I invite you to take a moment to check in and pause.

I am sure your day, like so many of us, is full of distractions, decisions and complications.

But for right now, settle into a comfortable position, close your eyes or come to a soft gaze, and hit the play button below for one of my favorite guided meditations, Be Here.

It takes just two or three minutes and can profoundly shift your day!!

How do you feel now? Leave a comment below!

I’d love to hear from you!

- Jenna

Meditation with Meaning Challenge - Only on the C2C Hub!!

Do you want to experience the peace and calm that comes with with a daily practice of pausing and checking in?

It consists of a daily video/meditation practice with me, a digital journal and a private Facebook group - PLUS an immense amount of gained peace :)

You can find that our entire library of meditations, yoga and fitness on our ONLINE WELLNESS PLATFORM, the C2C Hub. Get a free 2-week trial!

Additional Resources


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