Give Yourself a Time-Out
Updated: Jan 29, 2020
It can all start when you stop. That’s what happened for me and I've seen it with so many of my clients.
I was in perpetual motion - like a successful person should be. In order to prove to myself and others that I had worth, I followed the rules and did everything according to plan.
Graduated from high school.
Earned a bachelor's degree.
Earned a master's degree.
Lived and worked abroad.
Obtained a full-time job in my field.
Purchased a home.
Had a baby.
...then what? I did everything I was supposed to do. But I felt off. I had always worked toward the next step. What happens when you’ve reached your goals and there’s nothing in front of you? AND why did I feel like I hadn’t arrived? What was next?
I looked around me and saw everything that I had meticulously created and planned out. But it didn’t feel like mine. It felt like someone else’s life - unfamiliar and boring, and ironically overwhelming. That feeling of strangeness wasn’t strong. It was a mild, quiet stirring that I hadn’t felt until I took the time to.
So I put a screeching halt on the perpetual motion and gave myself a time-out. I stopped and looked around me. It was the first time I had stopped. Quieted. Observed. Listened. Stayed in place.
The pause was uncomfortable. It felt odd and I constantly had to fight the urge to move and to do. But the time out gave me the chance to realize that I am not a product of what I do. I exist because I am. The universe keeps weaving its magic regardless of what state I’m in.
The same applies to you.
You work hard. Because you’ve worked hard, you’ve achieved a lot and have a lot to show for it. But what’s on display for others to see feels empty to you. You feel overwhelmed, disconnected, stuck, or confused. You feel like you constantly have to go-go-go, but you don’t know why or what for.
I invite you to stop and give yourself a time-out. Get out of your state of doing and just be - even for just a moment. Stop what you’re doing and stay where you are. Even if a minute is all you have. Nothing will be lost and you have clarity, space, and ease to gain.
Some of you may ask, but how? What does being look like? Aren’t we constantly doing something? It is as simple as it sounds. Just be. Sit, stand, or lie down and just breathe. No need to change your breath or force it or even to focus on it. Just breathe and be a little bit every day. By doing so, you disrupt your patterns of doing.
Is it really that easy? Yes, it is. My guess is that if this sounds particularly ridiculous to you, then you’re definitely in need of it. Give yourself a damn time-out and see what happens.