Have you ever wondered why we have a yellow light on our traffic light system of green-yellow-red? It is because we humans are not computers or light switches that can stop or shift gears on a dime. We need that “in between time” to adjust and connect. Interestingly the “in-between time” is also considered by the ancients as the magical space. For instance the space of a doorway between one room and the next, or the moment between sun-up and sun-set or the entrance step into the forest from the meadow. Transition is magic and if we can stop and pause in the transition phase we can access the magic of life and the magic we each hold inside of ourselves. Yet we humans don’t seem to have time for such nonsense as doing “nothing” or pausing.
I find this curious because is would seem by our actions that we treat our tools better than we do our bodies. For instance would you expect your car to run without gas or oil? What about running your car for hours at high speed and it overheats would you just shame it and scold it and call it a wimp and tell it to “man up” and keep going? Nope. You would stop and cool your engine and take care of your cars’ needs …in fact you wouldn’t let it get that bad unless it was an emergency to do so. But does your life run on emergencies? I don’t’ think so but we act as if it does by pushing the envelope day after day and never giving ourselves time to rest, regroup and stop in the “between” work and sleep moment. Now I am not knocking sleep but sleep is a separate function and in fact if you don’t spend time in the rest phase, sleep can end up being not as reviving as you need.
Even your computer will need time to boot up (a between moment) and time to shut down ( a between moment) and in these moments what is it doing? It’s accessing and organizing all the knowledge and wisdom it has stored inside. Shouldn’t we do the same for ourselves?
Tips for an Adult Time-Out
- Give yourself regular “time outs” and pause frequently during your day to reassess how your day is going. Set your watch or phone alarm to remind you to take a break and walk away from your work for 5-15 minutes. Go outside if you can; fresh air always enhances our energy.
- Consider other options for the plans ahead and adjust if needed. If you feel overwhelmed ask yourself for each item on your to-do list… “Does this need to be done today?”If not, make a list and choose a day for doing it and put it away until that day.
- Stop the runway train energy in its tracks by staying aware of when it surfaces. I have been known to walk to the furthers bathroom in my office building just to give myself an extra moment to decompress. Others I know will take a break in the stairwell since no one uses them.
- If at the end of your day you realize you stayed in stress mode and ran like a runaway train stop and notice how your evening evolves… how are you feeling …do you have energy for fun after work or on the weekends or are you too tired to relax and have fun? These answers will motivate you to take charge and stop being an adrenaline junkie at work.
I remember one year we went on a two week family vacation…or we tried to. My husband at the time was working 60 hour weeks and he just couldn’t relax and enjoy his time off and we ended up cutting the trip short. Did he have to work like that? Well he told himself he did so he did. But in Truth did he? No, but what we tell ourselves ends up being true for us and since he never stopped to rest in between work and sleep he couldn’t access his wisdom. Addictions result when we avoid our personal magic. This happens because sometimes we don’t want to uncover the pain that is blocking our magic. But the funny things is all we have to do is confront the pain once and its gone – poof forever! Yet our magic and wisdom just grows and enhances the more we honor it by giving it time and space.
Every day on the road as you travel you see yellow lights…let them be a reminded to yourself to take a Time Out and reboot and refresh during your day…you will find you have more energy for life and joy if you do.
’till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach