S1E9 19 August 2020

In the Room

This week I'm asking you to observe who's in the room with you and make some conscious decisions about who you let in and when.


The alarm goes off at 7am. By 7:05 there's a party happening in my bed.

The boys came straight from Mykonos. Their bodies dripping salt water on my bedroom floor. My niece is dancing the candy floss. And my boss is angry, screaming at me.

Look at that puppy, isn't she cute? Love. And just like yesterday, there's always a friend bringing me homemade sourdough.

My uncle is trying to get everyone's attention. "Did you know Covid is caused by 5G?!" he shouts. But nobody is listening.

The cats stopped purring and are now demanding food. Time to get up. Meanwhile people I don't know are doing handstands in my kitchen.

Welcome to a quick pause. A weekly podcast offering a moment of reflection, a chance to care for ourselves and to show up for each other.

Each week I'll offer you an inspiration and a practice to try.

With more and more of our lives happening online, it's hard to draw boundaries. The same technology that connects us to the outside when we're working from home - or sheltering in place - is also disconnecting us from our selves and our bodies.

So this week I'm asking you to observe who's in the room with you and make some conscious decisions about who you let in and when.

Let's unpack this.

People can be physically in the room with you. Your partner, kids, pets, or the people you see when you're back outside sitting in your favorite cafe.

People can be virtually in the room. Through your favorite video call platform, on TV, emails or social media.

Just take a moment to notice who's in the room with you right now. Physically and virtually.

If you said no-one, think again. There's at least one other person there with you. It's me, I'm in your ears.

It's getting difficult to find time to be truly by yourself.

Which brings us to the second distinction. People can be in the room on purpose. Think of the people you call family, the people you make dinner plans with or meet for exercise.

People can be in the room uninvited. Think about your phone buzzing with a work email just after you started dinner. Or another notification telling you about some insta live stream that just started.

take another moment to notice who was in the room with you today that you chose to invite? And who joined you uninvited? Maybe pause the show for a moment, I'll be here when you're ready to press play again.

And last, but not least, when we're talking about who's in the room, we also have to talk about who's locked out. All of the above applies to the people who are missing in the room, too. The voices you consciously decided to block from your newsfeed and the ones you're accidentally missing out on. Think about who's missing from your work meeting, and who you consciously haven't invited to your birthday party.

So for the next week, notice who's in the room with you and who's missing.

That's it. If you want to dive deeper, take out your notebook and draw four big boxes. Title them physically-invited, virtually-invited, physically-uninvited and virtually-uninvited. Then fill the boxes with all the people, brands and voices that are present or missing in your life. Chances are that you have a lot of virtual trespassers.

Thanks for coming on this journey with me. Now, go on, notice who's in the room with you.

Until next week,

I'm Jonas Haefele and this was a Quick Pause.

Words and Sounds by Jonas Haefele

A Quick Pause is a production by slow.works

Music used: Monday Meditation by Wayne Kinos