A coaching client recently said to me, “I just want to check out of my life for a while! Is that wrong?”
From my perspective the only thing wrong with this is calling it a “check out.”
When someone feels the need to get away from the demands of life it most often indicates that s/he is experiencing heightened stress, confusion, overwhelm, fatigue or a thundering cloud of all of these, which means it’s actually time to “check in” with life, not out of it!
Not only are the words “check in” more positive, they offer a prescription for evaluating what is truly happening in one’s life that are causing difficulties.
Here are some “check in” steps to help you re-center when life feels out of control:
- Find a quiet, comfortable place to be alone for a couple of hours, a half-day or entire day, if you can manage it.
- Leave your technology behind except for a playlist of relaxing music.
- Have journal or pad of paper and your favorite writing instrument nearby.
- Begin your check in with closed eyes and deep, easy, belly breathing.
- Locate the tension points in your body, and one by one, envision each releasing with your out-breath.
- When you feel that you have released at least some of the tension, start writing your thoughts, concerns and feelings in your journal. Release them to the page, just as you have released your body tension into the air. Don’t worry about what you say or how any of it sounds, just write until you feel ready to stop.
- Now, rest, listen to music or the silence around you. Allow yourself to just “be.”
- When you feel ready, start breathing and releasing the tension points from your body again.
- Write again.
- Rest again.
- Repeat these steps until there are no more tension points to release.
Now, go back to all that you have written, read it out loud, slowly and with care, listening with the kind of attention you would give to the person you love most in this world.
What has s/he revealed to you about your life?
I suspect you will discover a thing or two about what is truly challenging you. The insights you learn from your writing can help you make changes – small or large – to bring you back or forward to a place of balance, and “checked in” to your life.