Please – take a time out!  We all need it more than you know.

From past conditioning, the words, “Time Out” always represented something bad to me. I still remember a gradeschool classmate who was given a “time out.” The teacher put him in the corner with a dunce hat, and his chair had to face the wall. How humiliating! (He had committed the grave error of pulling up his shirt to get a laugh by exposing his stomach.)

As parents, we’re taught to give children a “time out” when their negative behavior requires a punishment.  But why is “time out” supposed to be terrible? Have you considered that we need a time out regularly from this world?

My husband Joel and I just returned from a wonderful “time out” vacation in Santa Barbara, California. We had been feeling frazzled and needed rest badly! I booked overnight stays in three different Airbnb homes, and the last one was truly a heavenly gift.

We discovered an amazing getaway, at the end of a hidden street with no traffic. Our wonderful host, Janet, showed us to our private apartment, connected to her ranch home. We walked on paths, shaded by towering trees, through a “Garden of Eden” that was situated on at least an acre of property. Surrounding us were lemon, lime, orange and plum trees. Even stately bamboo trees! A profusion of red, yellow, and white roses swept across this magical scene, framed by the Santa Ynez mountains.

A side path led to a meditation circle with a carved Buddha statue. At a corner, the Tibetan flag fluttered in the breeze.  The aura of peace was palpable. Our large space included a sleeping area, living room, kitchen space, private bathroom and patio. Each morning, we’d open our doors to the patio and backyard with its vegetable plots, hearing the birds singing joyfully. The stillness of this retreat was incredibly uplifting!  I have to admit – it was hard to leave!

Indeed, the stresses of life get to all of us. We’re bombarded daily by negative news. Our energy fields are affected by words, by people, by even noises. Every sound carries a vibration. When we’re around too many negative vibrations – whatever they may be – I believe our souls need a “time out!”

Without hopping on a plane and booking yourself on a remote, tropical island, I’d like to share a few easy ways for you to care for your inner self. Being healthy starts from the inside out!

Tips for an inner renewal

1.      Start With Conscious Breathing

Breathe in deeply and feel your lower abdomen fill with air.  Hold your breath for a count of three. Exhale slo-o-o-wly through your mouth. Now, do that deep breathing at least three times.  (Here are a few instructions from the book, A Year To Live, by Stephen Levine.)

“Feel the body expanding and contracting with each breath…

“Focus on the rising and falling of the abdomen…

“Note the constantly changing flow of sensation in each inhalation, in each exhalation…

“Let thoughts come and go, floating like bubbles… Let the healing in, let the pain go…”

Do you feel any different?

2.     Quiet Time Every Day – Set aside at least 15-20 minutes. Learn to meditate, read a spiritual book, walk your dog around the black. Even sitting quietly, closing your eyes, and listening to the birds will give you a positive feeling.

3.     Connect With Nature – Did you know that trees have feelings and communicate with each other? (See:  The Hidden Life Of Trees by Peter Wohlleben).  Take time to walk among these wise beings, touch their bark, and offer your gratitude. Recognize the loving energy you receive.

4.     Explore Something New – It’s rejuvenating to do something different. How about taking some time on your weekend for just fun? Perhaps it’s taking your dog to a new park. Or driving to a beach and squishing sand between your toes. Even moving your computer and working at a library or coffee shop can give you a boost from staying at your desk, day after day.

5.     Spend Time With A Good Friend – Being around a good friend will naturally lift your spirits. That’s because your energies are vibrating together in a high frequency. Feel the joy of hanging out with someone you care about. You’ll both get an inner glow that can last all day.

6.     Share Your Love – “All you need is love,” are profound lyrics. We’re all hungry for loving kindness. A smile, a hug, a pat on the back. Take a moment to let someone know you love them. Make a call. Write a note. Hold a door open. Say, “thank you.”

“When we stop protecting ourselves from life, each moment takes on new significance. We come to treasure our being even more than our becoming.”  A Year To Live, by Stephen Levine

Thank YOU for taking this “time out” with me!

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