Key Takeaways:

Australian Guide Natalie Cossar helps older adult learners understand that by simply pausing for 10 seconds, people can bring about change such as relaxation, slowing down, patience, calm, peace, and clarity. See these and other great ways that 10 seconds can change your life.

It doesn’t sound like a long time  - 10 seconds - but it can feel like an eternity. GetSetUp Guide Natalie Cossar from Melbourne, Australia is using 10 seconds to empower older adults around the globe.

“10 seconds empowers us to pause and practice calm and presence, one breath at a time,” said Natalie.

By simply pausing for 10 seconds, people can bring about change such as relaxation, slowing down, patience, calm, peace, and clarity.

Christina said that “during the practice, I am so relaxed and I feel good about myself”. 

Natalie’s live class on 10 Seconds of Presence is a practical approach to reducing stress, anxiety and suffering. She initially got the idea from her first book published in 2015 entitled 10 Seconds of Courage, where she shares smartquick tips for public speaking. As the youngest Australian female instructor for Dale Carnegie Training Leaders in the 80s, Natalie has had a rich history of assisting clients and worked extensively to help others reduce their stress and get past one of the #1 fears in the world: public speaking.

These days she takes delight in offering simple and gentle practices toward peace, calm, bliss, and the present moment. She encourages you to “pause and take a slow, deep and comfortable breath” even as you are reading these words right now. Go on, give it a go! 

A Practical Approach To Calm In 10 Seconds

Natalie believes that 10 seconds can be used anywhere, anytime and as Earl and Pamela say, “nobody knows you’re doing it”. It’s the entry point that  gives everyone a chance to gather courage, make a choice and truly be in the moment. It is as simple as A - B - C.

  1. Awareness - Pause In Your Tracks - Stop whatever you are doing and be still (eyes open or even better - closed). If the mind wanders, be aware of it and without judgement, criticism or adding any more to the mind’s stories.
  2. Breathing - Bring Awareness To Your Breath - Take a slow, comfortable and deep breath - in and out, make the exhale last a little longer each time. If the mind wanders, redirect your awareness back to your breathing (the most important gift you have right now)
  3. Calm - As you breathe in and out, imagine the following three words.

“I am calm” 

Just breaking down this simple statement gives us a chance to really focus on the now:

  • “I” - (you own it)
  • “am” - is in the now (it’s a done deal because it’s not “I can”, “I will” or “I might”)
  • “calm” (state of mind)

This mantra redirects your mind and brings you back to the present moment. ”It’s like giving your mind something to do” she said.

Natalie recommends tapping into this practice throughout the day, especially when things are difficult. But imagine doing this when things are ok, imagine doing this enough times so it becomes automatic just like brushing your teeth. You will find you automatically tap into this presence.

“Find pockets in your day to practice Pause and ABC. When you wake up in the morning. Before ‘doing’ something. It is even easier to practice this when you are stressed and tense. It will then come naturally. If it helps to have a schedule; give yourself cues like Earl’s 9am, 2pm, and 6pm or Pamela’s Pause and Breathe words on her mirror.”

Is it possible to find 10 seconds or a total of 30 seconds in your day?

Is it doable to practice this for just 10 seconds?

Would you like to be and feel more calm as a way of life?

Give this practice a go and see what happens.

Natalie has been teaching this class now since January and each time, learners come back to share how they have used their 10 seconds of presence.

“I truly get inspired by the wisdom of learners.” 

One learner talked about how she hates vacuuming so she used this activity to practice presence. Now she’s enjoying vacuuming because she is present in that moment, said Natalie. Other learners have used this practice of being calm while giving blood.

Cheryl says, “Breathing is my superpower, I do it even before attending this class.”

Sharon used it in a stressful situation. “I had a stressful job interview. I hit the pause button. I took 10 seconds to deal with the stress and I felt better.” 

Rebecca says “the practice feels like a mental massage.”

For more inspiration follow Natalie on Instagram at @10secondsofcourage and @10secondsof_ movement 

Wisdom Carried Across Oceans

Natalie’s family immigrated from Jerusalem to Australia when she was a teenager, where the perspective on older adults was much different from Australia.

“In my culture older adults are highly regarded and respected. Everyone is auntie and uncle, even if we are not related. That has always been my attraction to older adults. Now I am an auntie.”

These days Natalie is supporting her aging parents and parenting two daughters with her husband. She enjoys having her own business and working as a Guide, but always has time for herself, her family, and her responsibilities. She's not the only one in her family on the GetSetUp platform; she's even gotten her dad involved.

Natalie hosts Coffee Chat and Connections with her 89-year-old father. Maurice retired early in his 60s when his department at ethnic affairs closed. As an intellectual, he found himself craving conversations and reading. Age and macular degeneration (eye disease) have made it harder and harder to read but the gift of technology allows him to enjoy virtual conversations. Together, Natalie and Maurice join a lively social hour connecting with people from around the globe to talk about coffee, food, culture and beyond.

“With every cup, there is a story. - GetSetUp is a wonderful platform because it brings people together from all around the world in one place and that is amazing - the possibilities of connections are endless. When I think back to when we immigrated in the 70s it was such a sad and unsettling time. To stay connected we wrote letters that often didn’t arrive and a phone call cost $2-$3 per minute which we couldn’t afford. Now we have this instant rapport and connection online. It doesn’t matter where we are. We know for that hour we are engaging and having fun.”

During this hour Natalie and Maurice might show a different style of coffee-making to food preparation and recipe sharing. The hour goes by quickly.

“I enjoy hanging out with my GetSetUp friends and getting to know everyone. I see them on a regular basis like I see friends in real life. We have been able to form great connections. I'm not just sharing information alone. Learners show up and we are helping one another. Twenty to thirty years ago older adults were my mentors and now as the age gap is becoming smaller, they have become friends.”

Older adults are not finished but just getting started! They are refining the core life practices like breathing, exploring new areas, and sharing their insights and wisdom with others. Not only are they practicing 10 seconds but they are also sharing it with their grandchildren, neighbors, friends and colleagues. I bow to each of them for practising to breathe in peace because it’s helping them and everyone around them.

Natalie invites you to join her and mature adult peers and see where 10 seconds can take you!

May 16, 2022
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Liz Miller

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