When we really want to react from our old habitual patterns, take a pause.
We all have our triggers and they all look different. A cat might trigger me exactly the same way as a spider would trigger you. And a cat might comfort you in the same way what cotton candy would do to me.
Behind those triggers, there is always super juicy stuff for us to explore. We can always discover old patterns, conditionings that are charged with energy. We can free up plenty of life force if we are able to take down those fixations and patterns for transformation.
The first step is to stop reacting. And the best way to lead to that is to slow down.
Let’s say we are furious. Our old way is to punch someone on the face, yell, and then punch some more. When we are possessed with anger, it is not quite possible to switch into the space of loving-kindness right away. The best we can do is to become "rock", do not act out, just pause, step back a little to give space.
Allow space. Breathe.
And we can take pause at any point even we have already made the punch, it’s still important to pause as soon as we become aware of the situation, of our own emotions.
As we pay attention to our emotions and reactions more often, our awareness starts to sharpen. We would be able to see a situation and foresee what’s coming, we would know that if we don’t give space right away, we would react and be angry, and that may be too late.
Train our mind to be like a sheriff, a detective. This awareness, in Tibetan, is called "sheshin". It is the “presently knowing” aspect of our mind. It is where the mind is aware of itself. It is the awareness that recognizes thoughts before they even happen.
In meditation, our sheshin is the watcher, we can detect the pattern of thoughts, and let them go before they appear.
And all that starts with allowing a pause, before we react and project outward.