S.O.B.E.R, also known as the sacred pause around these parts, stands for: Stop – Observe – Breathe (or be) – Expand – Respond.
Sober is a mindfulness-based relapse prevention technique. I am unsure of the original creator of this practice, as it was somewhat subconsciously originally introduced to me by a horse during an equine therapy session!
STOP: Stopping what we are doing. Disengage. Taking a “sacred pause”.
OBSERVE: Notice what is happening or arising in your body and mind. Perhaps you might notice a racing heart, tightness in the chest, thoughts of frustration or not being clear, feelings of fear/joy/anger/excitement.
BREATHE / BE: If you can, taking a moment to breathe as an intervention to self-regulate. You can also practice being with what thoughts or feelings that are arising if the invitation to breathe feels unhelpful.
EXPAND: Then perhaps you are in a space where you can expand your awareness so you can look at the situation in a more objective or curious way – either with yourself or others. Sometimes we may come to find that our “reaction” is actually in alignment with how we would like to “respond” and sometimes this is an opportunity to shift our actions.
RESPOND: As a result of this practice, we may now be in a place where we are better equipped to respond from a place that is integrated with what our bodies/hearts/minds/relationships need.
Want to try it out? A S.O.B.E.R practice meditation by Catherine Lewis can be found here.
For a longer sacred pause check out my guided meditation on Insight Timer that focuses on using vocal toning and the power of the voice to self-regulate and remove stories of “don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel” and stuck energy from the body. It is about 20 minutes in length.
A fav MBRP Coach of mine—and creator of ‘Mindfulness-Based Addiction Recovery, Dr. Valerie (Vimalasara) Mason-John is also great resource if you wish to learn more about mindfulness-based relapse prevention.