I was recently around a parent who was teaching their child discipline. When the child would become disruptive and disobedient, the parent would say, “Do you want a time out?” If the child continued, the parent would say, “All right, if you keep this up, you will take a time out.” The child continued and the parent said, “Okay, that’s it! Time out!” They then made the child sit in a place that they were not allowed to get out of until the parent gave permission. Of course, the child was upset even though they were clearly testing the boundaries.
This interaction brought me to thinking about how often I test the boundaries of my life and my body. I am blessed to have a wonderful, full and rich life. Sometimes that means not getting enough rest or taking care of myself in the way that I should. During these times, the universe gives me little warnings in the form of quiet thoughts. “You should take some time to rest.” “Don’t let go of your workouts.” “Stop! You are pushing the envelope.” If I don’t listen, I get to have universal “time outs.” It comes in different forms but often looks like complete fatigue, inability to think clearly or even becoming sick.
I have been participating in a working retreat the last two weeks and it has been amazing. We work for a couple of days and then take another two off. It has shown me the power of scheduled rest times. After the breaks, I return to the meetings clear-headed, rested and extremely creative. These little mini rejuvenation days actually feed me and allow me to be more productive and insightful.
How are you doing with “time outs” in your life? Are you listening to your body when it invites you to rest? Are you taking time out to eat healthy and vibrant foods? Are you committed to taking time for yourself in order to replenish your soul? If the answer to any of these questions is “No,” I invite you to pause for your life. Resist pushing through the boundaries of your mind and body and move into a place of stillness and quietude. The truth is that these moments will give you more energy, more joy and more expanded awareness. Don’t wait for the Universal “time out!” Honor yourself today.
Please affirm with me: Today, I love myself enough to take time to rest and renew my mind, body and spirit.