Take Time Out to Contemplate

Cynthia James by Cynthia James | September 24th, 2009 | 2 Comments
topic: Personal Growth

When my children were small, I would give them “time outs” to contemplate their behavior after a challenging experience. The intention was to support them in having time to gain clarity on the consequences of their actions. It didn’t always work, but it did support all of us in stopping for a short time to gain composure.

I have just returned from leading a spiritual retreat to Chartres, France, where two groups of people took time out to deepen their spiritual practice and contemplate the life experience that is calling them forward. Each group had its own personality and bonded in different and beautiful ways. The level of support that emerged was incredible. Every individual had chosen to be on this pilgrimage for various reasons. Some were asking for guidance; some grieving personal loss; and some wanted to open to a deeper understanding of their own spiritual nature. Whatever called them seemed irrelevant in the end because individually and collectively, we all grew.

Chartres Cathedral has the largest in-door labyrinth in the world. Each aspect of the trip was designed to support the ritual of our “walk” on that labyrinth. I designed the seminar curriculum to support opening and listening to our higher call. However, each person was invited to do their own personal and deep work. What transpired was miraculous. People experienced breakthroughs and revelations that allowed them to release old patterns and behaviors that had been non-supportive. It was incredible to witness the willingness and transformations.

I am wondering if you have taken a “time out” lately? Have you slowed down and contemplated your life? Have you stopped to examine your thoughts, your choices, or your responses to life challenges? If you have not, I suggest you set an intention to “get apart” and open to the stillness within you. It is here your questions will be answered. It is here you will have the opportunity to move beyond incessant, unproductive patterns and move to a place to reveal your unique power and gifts.

4 questions to contemplate

Please remember that your life is filled with amazing possibilities. Take some time to become still and ask the following questions:

1. How can I stand in gratitude for all of my life experiences?

2. What seeds am I planting every day?

3. How can I serve and make a difference in this world?

4. What is calling me to go deeper?

Take some time to activate a place of receptivity within you. Contemplate these questions, meditate and journal. This “time out” will give you the opportunity to listen without the bombardment of outside distractions. Taking this time can only support your freedom.

Take a moment to remember this:

Today, I commit to taking time out to listen to my inner wisdom. I deserve the best that life has to offer, and I am willing to open and receive.


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  2. [...] Historically, being “put in a corner” means “time out.” After practicing this pose once or twice, you will be running to a corner to make your own “time out.” [...]

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