Pause, Rest, Be: Stillness Practices for Courage in Times of Change (Paperback)

Pause, Rest, Be: Stillness Practices for Courage in Times of Change By Octavia F. Raheem Cover Image
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Restoring your body, mind, and spirit amid change is an act of courage, empowerment, and hope. This warm, powerful guide will help you honor the changes and spaces in your life with purposeful rest and reflection.

If you're trying to push your way through endings, beginnings, and places of uncertainty, only to find yourself more confused, disconnected, tired, and uncertain, this book will hold and fortify you. Yoga teacher and activist Octavia Raheem offers us the motivation and guidance we need to restore ourselves in the midst of all sorts of change. Change in our lives--whether it be welcome, joyful, challenging, or more subtle—presents us with the opportunity to pause and gather our energy to work with whatever lies ahead.   
  Drawing wisdom from yoga philosophy and her many years of teaching experience, Raheem offers us the motivation and guidance we need to restore ourselves in the midst of all types of change.  She gives us three simple restorative yoga poses (savasana, side lying pose, and child’s pose), and offers short teachings, reflections, and practices to see us through times of ending, beginning, and liminal/transitional space. She shows us how slowing down, stillness, and deeper connection to our own transitions empower us to move through collective shifts with more grace--and what it means to navigate shifts and change with presence and courage.

About the Author

OCTAVIA RAHEEM is a mother, author, yoga teacher and practitioner, and activist. She has received national attention for her work training yoga teachers and diversifying the yoga and wellness industry. Her work as a yoga professional focuses on practical tools to teach individuals how to manage stress, anxiety, and fatigue through yoga and meditation in a way that is accessible to all levels/abilities, and restorative to the nervous system. Her work has been featured in Yoga Journal, Mantra magazine, Well + Good, CNN, WXIA, and Atlanta Magazine.

Praise For…

“Octavia Raheem has the authentic, searing voice of a teacher who is intimate with the mercurial nature of transformation. Pause, Rest, Be contains powerful stories, expertly guided restorative postures, and anchors for self-study and reflection. Radical, meaningful, and practical medicine for a volatile, rapidly changing world.”—Bo Forbes, Psy.D., E-RYT, C-IAYT author of Yoga for Emotional Balance

“In need of an inner reset? Look no further than Pause, Rest, Be. Octavia’s wise and honest teachings put the reader at ease and give us permission to embrace more of our true self than we ever thought possible.”—Light Watkins, author of Knowing Where to Look
“It's not an exaggeration to say that Pause, Rest, Be is life changing. Like a restorative backward bend, our heart opens and heals with the support of Octavia Raheem's words. This book is like a song, and could be called ‘Octavia's Gita.’ How lucky we are to hear her siren song, drawing us back to the truth of our essential self.”—Jivana Heyman, author of Accessible Yoga and Yoga Revolution

Pause, Rest, Be emerged from an old, wise, ancestral place. It contains prayers, musings, teachings, and practices that coax us into allowing ourselves to slow down, develop a more intimate relationship with ourselves, and most importantly, rest. It is clear Octavia Raheem channeled Spirit as she was writing the gift that is Pause, Rest, Be because each section, prayer, practice, and word feels as if it is infused with Spirit. Raheem offers a different way for us to see endings, the between space, and beginnings. It is the reframe we need at this time. It is the medicine, the spell, the potent potion that will heal us all.”—Michelle C. Johnson, author of Skill in Action and Finding Refuge

“This book is a prayer that invites us all to be still enough to notice that each transition is a portal to healing, remembering, and knowing. Octavia Raheem weaves practices and sacred wisdom in practical ways that honor where we are at any given moment on our journey.”—Tracee Stanley, author of Radiant Rest
“A sacred call inward—home to yourself. Pause, Rest, Be is a poetic prayer of real-life wisdom, and the depth of stillness is felt on the page. Octavia's words are a soothing invitation for us to courageously do what most of us fiercely resist: slowing down, letting go, and listening. Whether you are mourning the loss of an old life, in the midst of vast uncertainty, or beginning a new chapter, this book will support you to soften, feel, rest, and move closer to the truth of who you are.”—Shannon Algeo, author of Trust Your Truth
“Place this book on your nightstand or altar. But wherever you place it, keep it close at hand. It is a banquet, a feast for the soul. Turn to any page and be fed by the wisdom of the ages. Inspired and inspiring, this is a brilliant offering from Octavia Raheem.”—Gail Parker, PhD, author of Restorative Yoga for Ethnic and Race-Based Stress and Trauma, and Transforming Ethnic and Race-Based Trauma with Yoga.

“Part practice, part poetry, this book will feed your soul. Octavia is a magnificent voice of truth. In a sea of overachievement, Octavia reminds us that rest is just as powerful as action, and that through rest, we can align to an even greater sense truth.”—Justin Michael Williams, author of Stay Woke

“For those of us who carry the weight of the world on our shoulder and in our hearts, Octavia Raheem's words offer a call to rest that is not about denial or selfishness, but instead is about the rest that is required if we are to live fully and embrace the complexity of our shared humanity. Pause, Rest, Be is an antidote to a culture of speed and burnout (often rooted in trauma), and a call to remember who we really are and can be.”—Hala Khouri, M.A., SEP, E-RYT author of Peace from Anxiety

“This inspiring guide helps readers honor life’s detours with hope, reflection, and renewed joy.”—Woman’s World

“Through the lens of three restorative yoga postures, she offers poetic and compassionately grounded reflections on endings (Corpse Pose), the space in-between (Side-Lying Pose), and new beginnings (Child’s Pose). Raheem encourages us to slow down and be present with the emotions and stress that arise during times of transition and transformation. Detailed instructions and photos guide us into each pose, and her personal stories and prompts invite us to root deeply into our own insight and courage within the storminess of change.”—Mindful Magazine
Product Details
ISBN: 9781611809855
ISBN-10: 1611809851
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: February 1st, 2022
Pages: 160
Language: English

How to read more
( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.


And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.


15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.


50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.


Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.


Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.


Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.



Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.


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