Time Out

by Jill Sockman

timeoutEven if, like me, you weren’t put into “Time Out” as a kid, we are all aware of the philosophy behind the discipline: you’re not behaving right, so now you’re going to take a little time by yourself to think about what you’ve done, get clear, and come back with a better attitude.

I have no idea if it works with children, but I can now tell you definitively that it works well for adults. Last Sunday, The Universe put me into a Time Out.

It was early afternoon, and I actually had a couple of hours just to play before heading to the blue for L2. Shall I go in early and catch Carrington’s class? Go for a bike ride? Well, before I do anything, let me tidy up… I walked out onto the second floor balcony with one of Padma’s fur-covered blankets, closed the door behind me and gave it a good shaking over the railing. I paused and looked to the blooming trees, the blue sky, took a moment to consider the row I’d created earlier in the day, and promptly turned around to go back into the house and on with my day. (Insert The Universe Here)

I’d locked myself out.

Nobody was home, nor was anyone going to BE home until late in the evening. I had no phone, clock, sweatshirt, sunglasses, water, book, magazine, journal, shoes, rope, ladder, implements for creating smoke signals… All I had was a dog, staring at me from the other side of the glass with a most confused expression. Oh Heck.

It’s funny how the mind works. I wasn’t worried, angry, afraid, frustrated (Insert Benefits of The Practice Here) my mind went immediately to: “at some point I’m going to have to pee…” Anyway, I spent some time hanging over the side looking for someone passing by (not sure how they were going to help since I no longer know anyone’s phone number except my mom’s), staring at the sky, explaining to Padma why she couldn’t come out and I wasn’t coming in, curled up, stretched out… I had no idea how much time had passed.

Fast forward four hours later, I was found and freed from my Time Out. And it’s interesting, because while I wasn’t actively trying to sort anything out or solve the world’s (or even my own) problems, I felt great. Some time and space without anything or anyone it provided a much needed attitude adjustment. So what’s the point of all this rambling? Just a suggestion. Next time you find yourself in A Way about Things, I recommend you put yourself in a Time Out. No entertainment, no technology, no company. Just you and you. See what happens. And do it before the Universe does it for you. Just saying.