Originally Posted 6/12/16
Time out Pronunciation: /ˌtīm ˈout
- Time for rest or recreation away from one’s usual work or studies.
- A short interruption in a regular period of play during which a referee or other official stops the clock so that the players may rest, deliberate, make substitutions, etc.
Definition # 1 — Fruits of my time “out”: Place Matters!
In our busy lives, it isn’t often when we get time away from our daily routine (derisively known as the “grind”). When we do, we not only refresh ourselves by getting rest, we open ourselves to new ideas and new ways of thinking.
This weekend, Katie, myself and our dog, Star, took an overnight camping trip just off of Highway 180 near Snowbowl Road. This was our first time “out” in several weeks. It was great! I’m so grateful that we have an abundance of at-large camping only 10 minutes from our home near Downtown Flagstaff.
Getting “out” allowed me to do some thinking about life and about work. This thinking brought clarity about the important of “place” to the work I do. I am here in Flagstaff doing work to make Flagstaff a better place. I have deep affinity for the forested wonderland surrounding us and for the people who call this place home. I’m committed to being here as a resident and business owner.
With this new awareness, I made a few commitments to honor and include this place in my work and life:
- On my morning dog walks. Starting tomorrow, I will take Star into the forest before we head to the dog park to get her some exercise.
- In my training locations. I intend to bring people out into nature to learn Compassionate Communication. I believe compassion is our nature so being in “nature” is a fitting place to learn the process.
- In my website/blog. I’m in the process of a major website renovation. I intend to use pictures of our wonderful surrounding on my pages and posts. This blog post is one example.
Definition # 2 — Timeouts are Powerful Tools
In trainings and life coaching sessions, I emphasize the important of using timeouts to create breaks in the action when a dialogue is not proceeding as hoped. When both parties are triggered or upset, a timeout provides space for each to access other resources to get re-connected to themselves. A timeout is a way of caring for the other party — a means of acknowledging that if I keep speaking I may say something that may further trigger the other person. After re-connecting, the parties can come back together to listen to each other and share their own needs. The “other resources” may be oneself (by providing self-empathy) or another person (by requesting empathy).
During a period of time several years ago when my father and I were experiencing “challenging” interactions, I would employ the timeout with great success. I remember one time when we were talking on the phone and the conversation was not going as I’d like. As I got more and more frustrated with jackal judgments about my dad clouding my mind, I felt concerned that I was heading toward a “blow-up”. At this point, I told my dad “I gotta go” and I hung up the phone. Then I dove into self-empathy.
I got out my journal to determine what the jackals were telling me — what needs were unmet. After about 10 minutes, the jackals has stopped howling and I called my dad back. He was upset that I had ended the call abruptly. I empathized with his desire for an unbroken conversation. Then I said, “Dad, I hung up the phone because I was concerned that If I kept talking I would say something that I would immediately regret.” Having witnessed my “blow-ups” before, I think he understood.