Time Out!

Cynthia James by Cynthia James | February 25th, 2011 | 1 Comment
topic: Personal Growth

Take time out to rechargeI 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.


  1. What you write about time outs is exactly right. We adults need to listen to our own bodies and to our inner voices to see when a ‘time out” is needed. In order to foster this ability in our children I have found that this way of doing “time outs” is most truly helpful; When your child is not behaving the way you want her to, say something like – “I see you are having a hard time following my directions. Listen to your body. Do you need a time out? Why don’t you go over and sit in that chair for a few minutes. Let yourself calm down” I use this technique with my children and they will often put themselves in the quiet spot. I also give them the opportunity to tell me when they are ready to come back. Of course, they may think they are “ready” before they actually are! Then I say “Oh, you’re not ready yet. Go back and sit down and we can try again in a few minutes.” This way of doing “time outs” reduces the power struggle between parent and child, can help the child learn to identify when her body or mind is feeling overwhelmed and encourages her to take the quiet break she needs without feeling punished.

    Amy Goddard Smith | February 28th, 2011 | Comment Permalink

Post a Comment

If you want to show your picture with your comment, go get a gravatar!