Rachael O’Meara is a transformational leadership and executive 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 sites including the Huffington Post and leads workshops and speaks on the practice of pausing. She has a certificate in Transformational Coaching from the Wright Graduate University for the Realization of Human Potential, and has an MBA from Fordham University.
Your Personal or Professional Goals:
Personal: Have a fulfilling relationship beyond my wildest dreams with my husband, Sarab.
Complete my current Transformation Lab and finish my masters in Transformational Leadership & Coaching from Wright Graduate University.
Professional: Work full time in helping others reach their potential – currently it’s a part-time business for me.
What’s your offering to the world:
I wrote Pause: Harnessing the Life Changing Power of Giving Yourself a Break based on my burnout of Google and not being more self-aware to notice the signs that something needed to shift before I reached a breaking point. I learned so much from my three month unpaid break and it profoundly changed my life. As a result, I wrote this book and want to help others intentionally shift their behavior, or what I call a pause, to lead a more satisfying and fulfilling life.
Who/What Inspires You:
Transformational leaders Buckminster Fuller, Martin Luther King, and Abraham Maslow. Dr. Bob & Judith Wright, my mentors. I am inspired every day by people I meet who move me in some way or help me glean insights on my own life to move forward.
I am an agent of change who helps people transform through knowing themselves better and feeling more emotionally connected so they can lead more satisfying and fulfilling lives and make a difference to themselves and others in this world. Pausing is a movement that I am creating to help others intentionally shift their behavior to be more self-aware so they can feel more alive, make a difference, and lead more fulfilling lives and recognize the signs of burnout and course correct.
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. – Dr. Victor Frankl
Any other relevant information you think our readers would love about you! Goals are especially popular and it helps our followers to really reach for something more and improve themselves hearing about inspirational people:
What’s a pause?
I define 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. A few examples are taking a long deep breath, not checking your phone for a set period of time, or doing something outside of your comfort zone that you are interested in. Taking a pause isn’t so that you can think more. It’s to 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.
Why would you want to know more about pausing?
Pausing can be life changing and lead to a more conscious, fulfilling and satisfying life. Anyone can pause – it’s about finding what works for you. Pausing can become a way of life and help prevent continuing going down a path of burnout, reduce stress, and lead to new discoveries about oneself. Pausing is a choice that isn’t conventional (yet), but is a powerful way to re-align and check in from time to time. Pausing requires courage and facing the unknown, which is both exciting and outside most of our comfort zones. Gift yourself the permission to pause or intentionally shift your behavior so that you can tune in and align to be your best self.
What are the steps to actually taking the pause plunge? What are the important factors that need to be considered?
Deciding to take a pause, whether it is part of your day or a long epic journey is an act of courage and self-care. The point is that it works for you. You can set yourself up for success by strategizing how and what you plan to do in a big-picture kind of way and leave room for the unknown.
There are three main steps for planning a pause. The first is to write your rough draft distilled into a few bullet points on your story, your emotions, your beliefs and actions you want to take. The second step is to set an intention on how you want to act and to add meaning to your actions. It may include your vision for how you want to be and feel during or after pausing. The third step is to create your plan for how you want to spend your time. It’s ok to leave things vague and open to leave room for your pause to unfold as you enter the unknown.
A pause can be big or small – what are a few ways that a pause can be incorporated throughout someone’s day?
Daily pauses are a great way to start and in many cases are free of charge. Here are a few one-minute pauses that I like and highlight in the book. I recommend picking one that appeals to you and give it a try in the next 24 hours.
– Belly breath pause: sit or stand with both feet firmly on the ground and close your eyes if you are comfortable doing so. Place one hand on your diaphragm and slowly inhale, hold your breath, and slowly exhale. Count each inhale until you get to ten breaths.
– Digital device pause: create a rule to limit or not engage with your devices – it can mean pausing to not be with your phone or Internet for a day, allowing yourself a limited time to be on email or social media, or not using any devices while with other family members, like at a meal or in the car.
– The nature pause or a walk around the block pause: go outside for any length of time or find a color photo or inspiring image of nature. Focus on a section of what you see, and zone in. If you’re outside, you can start looking at the ground and ask yourself, “What color is the ground? What is the texture like?” You can kneel down, and feel the ground, or a signpost or tree.
– Take a course or class pause: it can become your custom pause laboratory for setting intention and shifting your thoughts or behaviors as you develop your skills. It can even include going back to school at whatever level you are at.
If you already have a daily pause practice, take the next step and journal about your experience or add more time to your existing practice this week.
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