I take time out

When the kids were little, we didn't suffer a lot of temper tantrums. I'm not saying that to brag, we just could feel when they couldn't take something anymore and offered a timeout instead. Timeouts, back then and I suspect now, were/are used as a punishment. I remember saying to my husband, taking a timeout when we were growing up wasn't a punishment; it was a pause; literally, a time out. So, that's how we decided to approach things - press pause, take a time out.

We approached this differently with each child because they were so different in personality. Our daughter sat in a big comfy chair and we counted backwards from 5. Then when she was calm enough, we'd give her words - "I feel frustrated, angry, tired, hungry, sad..." Then we'd ask what that feeling made her want to do - "Hit, scream, kick (and she'd do the action with the word) ..." Then we'd ask for a calmer substitute - "Think of a solution, eat something, take a nap..." For our son, it was very different. He watched his sister go through the exercise and learned what time out was in our home. So when he got overwhelmed, he'd yell, "I take time out!" and then run to the stairs. He'd sit right in the middle of them, close his eyes and breathe. If you tried to talk to him, he'd open his eyes and say, "I take time out." For him it was a pause on life, not just the situation.

Mother Nature has given us a time out. She's pressed pause to give us time to reflect and grow. Let's all breathe and recognize that it's our love for our families, for the elderly, for humanity that keeps us in our homes. We are not stuck inside. We are being given a time to reflect and grow - reflect on what is most precious in our lives, where are our priorities; grow with this knowledge and make changes going forward. Value our time together, value family meals, games and bike rides. Value all of nature that has been paying the price for our behavior. We are being given an opportunity to slow down and be present to appreciate all the details in our life. Washing our hands is now appreciated - an act of kindness and generosity to not just ourselves, but to others.

We're in a time out and that can be very stressful. The disruption to our regular schedule is frightening and disorienting. Breathe, count backwards, close your eyes - do whatever you need to first, calm the nervous system so you can think clearly; second, calm your body with movement, meditation or whatever works for you; third, take action by doing things that improve your situation, actively change your thoughts to those of gratitude instead of fear, clean your home, play games, take walks - be active. Know that by practicing social distancing, you are actively working to make change in the world. Know that even by just staying in your home, you are actively working to save lives.

People always ask me why I teach Gyrotonic, what I want to accomplish. I want to change the world, I want to heal the world, one body at a time. That change, that healing, started with me. I work on myself so I can work with others. I work with others so they smile and feel better and go out into the world to be kind, loving and generous with others. Now, even separated, we can change the world.

As always, I wish you health and happiness. I send my love to you wherever you are and I can not wait to be back in the studio with each of you. But for now, I take time out. ❤️ 🌀♾

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