I was a pretty good kid, so I never got a “time-out.” But secretly, I always wanted one. It just sounded like a good idea to have some quality, adult-approved quiet time to take care of just me.
As adults, taking a time-out is an important part of practicing radical self-care. It is a chance to upgrade our relationship with ourselves. (And we really should upgrade our personal relationship at least as often as we upgrade our I-tunes). More importantly, making space for personal growth keeps us from getting stuck in our habits and allows us to discover new ways of experiencing life. This helps us expand our range and stay inspired about life.
How are you taking care of yourself?
Lately, how have you been taking care of you? It's easy to get too "busy" and lose track of the importance of practical self-care. But nurturing ourselves is not a luxury; it is a necessity. It one step toward achieving peace and happiness. The first time I took a radical 30-day sabbatical, it changed my life. I attended an incredible yoga teacher training, went on a yoga retreat and practiced all sorts of styles of yoga with diverse teachers. I spent time in quiet contemplation, meditating in nature and—most important—I consistently practiced taking care of me. It was glorious and life-changing!
I went into this personal sabbatical with many questions and I was looking for answers. I found answers, and returned with a key insight: Making ourselves important and setting aside time to design our intentions is not easy—but it is vital. It is what Elizabeth Gilbert writes about in her book Eat, Pray, Love, "You cannot see your reflection in running water, only still water." Only a time-out can provide this. Now I can see better who I am and what I want in my life. As a result I am asking myself better questions.
Why should we invest this time in us?
Because we should want to keep evolving our happiness. Yoga teaches that if you aren’t happier today than you were a year ago, then you are stopping your personal evolution. A little happiness is not enough. We deserve to have the best day of our live today. And we can take this to a new edge tomorrow. From taking a time-out for radical self-care, we begin to realize that our happiness remains stunted if we keep repeating old patterns. As Gilbert writes, "Take care of the problems now, or else you'll just have to suffer again later when you screw everything up the next time. And that repetition of suffering – that's hell. Moving out of that endless repetition to a new level of understanding – there's where you'll find heaven."
Fundamentally this is where Yoga holds our hands and encourages us to be happier than we ever thought we could be. By quieting our minds, we can see the old problems and move beyond them to our best lives ever. So admit to your desire for personal growth and evolution. You will find the answers you seek. Love yourself, love your day, love your life!