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The Importance of Taking a Time Out

Posted May 12 2009 3:09pm

My oh my -- has it been a week since my last post? It goes to show that a regular ole yogini like me (who has years of practice under her fold-over yoga pants) can lose track of time and...well, lose her presence. One minute you think you're here, now and then poof -- you're off in la-la land far away from true presence. I find myself doing what I would do during meditation -- acknowledging my absence and coming back.

Yet I realize that I'm a little slow in the acknowledgment this time around. Or perhaps it's the acceptance rather than the acknowledgment. I was well aware of my lack of presence last week but I was resisting it a bit. And as we all know -- resisting gets you more or what you're not wanting. So resistance coupled with a void in the presence department has me feeling a bit "off."

I could take a lesson from some of my yoga teachings, yet I find that my lesson this week comes from a 2.5 year old (yes, sometimes sages come in small packages). Yesterday I watched as a little cutie get upset over not getting her way (sound familiar?). The situation escalated as someone tried to force the toddler to do something. It looked as though a meltdown (complete with kicking, screaming, and lots of tears) was imminent. Magically, the situation was diffused when I literally called a halt to the situation, took a breath, and gave us all a time-out from our previous situation. Yes, folks, time-outs aren't just for the toddler set. We could all use a time-out, especially when things start escalating into panic, anxiety, negative self-talk, etc.

So my simple toddler-inspired yogic advice for you when time seems to be slipping on by and you're feeling like you're along for the ride rather than being present:

  • Hold up! (yes, literally say that to yourself)
  • Take a deep inhale and a deep, slow, smooth exhale. Repeat 5-6 more times.
  • Ask yourself what's happening now?
  • Say "thanks for sharing."
  • Give yourself a healthy dose of compassion and acceptance for where you are right now (even if you want to change it)

Viola! Simple, yet effective. Right now I'm working on the compassion and acceptance part. I'm here even though I want to be "there." That's the way it is. No big deal. I won't always be here. But for right now, I'm here. And I'm going to indulge myself in a little time-out. I hope that you allow yourself the same luxury.

Before I sign off, I want to share a few cool links with you that I think you'll enjoy:

That's it for today. Here's to staying present and to having compassion for ourselves for those times when we're not.


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