The Power of Time Off

Posted in Authenticity, Emotional Processing, Empowerment, Feminine Power, Grief + Loss, Inner Power, Inspiration, Jungian Psychology, Keepin' It Real, Meditation, Psychotherapy, Relationships, Self Development, Self-Confidence, Spirituality, Stress Relief, Taoism, Truth, v-logs, videos, Yoga for Emotions, Yoga Psychology

Tears. Low tide. Empty. Ebbing. Quietude and space for the deeper waters to rise. The power of time off.

In September, heartache drew my life to a sublime halt.

“Stop. Do nothing. Slow down. Be. Feel. Cry. Breathe…Breathe in this pain.”, it beckoned.

Somedays the sadness was overwhelming. I would ask myself, “What must be done?” Do only that. Then, back to bed (or yoga, massage, walk on the beach, write).

Be quiet…listen: The soul is speaking.

No weekly vlogs for four months. Minimal social interaction. Minimal social media interaction. All creative projects paused.

My tender, brave heart needed my full attention and energy – much like a wounded animal or small child. Feelings so big and raw – it took all my reserve to feel, deal and process them.

External production ends. Inner transformation begins.

This is healing. Soul time. The ancient Greeks called this aspect of time:

Chairos: a time of transcendence, time of the Soul, right-brained  - when something magical happens.

The opposite of this is:

Chronos: left-brained, chronological, sequential time based on an outer metric, goal-oriented.

Our culture is rooted in Chronos, so it’s easy to feel as if our value is inextricably linked to our ‘outer’ productivity. But, watch the lead turn into gold when you truly unplug and create the space necessary to transmute the difficulties you experience. The only way out is through.

When we go through a time of deep personal transformation, grief, heartache or reinvention – it’s time to stop, drop and roll. The fires of purification are upon us. Only one option remains – pause + turn inward.

Chairos (soul time) corresponds to the first stage of Carl Jung’s psychological alchemy, called Calcination.  It represents a burning within of energies repressed due to trauma, projection, ego, feelings or emotions.  Calcination allows us to bring these energies or feelings to the surface, experience them fully so the fires of calcination burn them away.  Once this step is complete, the process leaves us with a feeling of lightness, renewal and freedom from the heavier energy.

If we don’t take this crucial time off (Chairos) to halt outer production (at least to the degree you can) – we don’t fully burn off the necessary growing pains of hurt, sadness, resentment, anger, attachment or fear. We get caught in the labyrinth of subtle blame, denial, distraction or disassociation.

We attempt to fill ourselves up from the outside to avert the raw tenderness of our wounded heart. Therefore, we deny its value. We fail to recognize the precious cargo of ‘sitting in the red lotus of pain’ as Ram Dass calls it. The remaining residue haunts our next relationship or circumstance – casting a warped shadow of unresolved emotion and repeated patterns.

This week’s vlog is about the difference between Chairos and Chronos, the importance of giving yourself permission to DO LESS (or NOTHING at all) and the power of taking time off.

Take your time. It may take longer than you think. The Soul doesn’t wear a watch!

Please leave a comment below with what you do (or don’t do) when you’re taking time off and how you give yourself permission to do less and simply be.

xo,

Ashley

 

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11 Responses to “The Power of Time Off”

  1. [...] Allow yourself to be fully disappointed, sad or depressed [...]

  2. [...] are certain issues that reveal my wavering doubt and occasional lack of trust in Spirit’s timing. Will I find my perfectly compatible life partner? Will I get married? Will I have children? Will [...]

  3. [...] 1-3 days each month around the time of the New Moon to schedule space for yourself with permission to do less and just be. (Also, known as “radical self [...]

  4. [...] Allow yourself to be fully disappointed, sad or depressed [...]

  5. [...] 4. LET GO Fully letting go of a past transgression and completely forgiving may take many months or years (see example above). Imagine the process of letting go like a labyrinth or a mandala – spiraling around and around a center point. You may have a phase of feeling better and then realize that you are still grieving or angry. This is natural. The soul does not heal on linear time. [...]

  6. Sheila says:

    I am very grateful for your open sharing. Heartache found me over the holidays and I haven’t really allowed myself to grieve – instead I threw myself into “moving on.” I don’t regret the steps I made in looking to the future, but I am now going to give myself permission to be where I am. Fortuitously, I have 10 days off from teaching starting Saturday. Inspired by you, I am going to put myself on pause. No striving, no taking care of others, no “projects.” I’m going to let myself flow from moment to moment, loving myself enough to stop and do what feels good each day. For me that will probably include lots of sleep, exercise, reading, movies, meditation and taking advantage of the sun, beach and fresh air which are currently part of my environment. Love to you, Ashley.

  7. Rachel says:

    Thank you for this timely and meaningful vlog. I also just returned from my first retreat to India. I was studying the sutras in the mountains of Coorg. During the retreat I got word that my dear grandmother passed away unexpectedly. What an unexpected, yet beautiful turn of events. I was able to process this loss in such a deeply meditative way, and truly experienced how important it is to slow down, unplug, and just be with myself in quietude. I had the space to honor her in a way that would not have been if I had been home in the chaos of the states.

    Thank you for always being to transparent and open. I look forward to seeing you again in Chicago this spring. namaste, sister.

  8. Monica says:

    I’m happy you gave yourself what you needed! If I were to say that you “took the time…”, that wouldn’t even feel accurate. As you described, it’s a letting go of time completey, and with it, all of the move-forward-energy and the urge toward “outer production” (thank you for that language!) that is part of the convention of time. I love this vision! I felt this personally(again) when I returned to Jamaica, where I rarely looked at a clock or any measure or mechanism of time, and just clicked into the natural flow. Sunlight. Moonlight. Fatigue. Energy. In that space, I found what I needed. I hope to see you soon! And I hope you are feeling as wonderful as you are!

  9. Monica says:

    I’m happy you gave yourself what you needed! If I were to say that you “took the time…”, that wouldn’t even feel accurate. As you described, it’s a letting go of time completey, and with it, all of the move-forward-energy and the urge toward “outer production” (thank you for that language!) that is part of the convention of time. I love how thisvision! I felt this personally(again) when I returned to Jamaica, where I rarely looked at a clock or any measure or mechanism of time, and just clicked into the natural flow. Sunlight. Moonlight. Fatigue. Energy. In that space, I found what I needed. I hope to see you soon! And I hope you are feeling as wonderful as you are!

  10. Valeria says:

    Thank you for your wise words, Ashley. After 3 years of running our business through this recession I feel exhausted, emotionally and mentally. At the start of 2013 I took some wonderful steps toward releasing the disappointment and feelings of failure by ‘letting go’ but still seem to be blocked. I know that I need to take some time for reflection and healing, but have felt guilty about taking that time. Your words have shown me that my instincts were right, it is imperative to make this time for my self to heal, instead of always feeling the need to achieve ‘something concrete’. Namaste

  11. Laura says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I feel so stuck but I know I need the ebbs to go with the flows! Xo