Speaking of time-outs, during the latest intense discussion with my mate, a pretty cool thing happened.

I started responding, well, more like reacting. I could tell I was agitated and as I started to speak, really unskillful words were coming out of my mouth.

And almost automatically I closed my eyes, and just said “I can tell I’m not in a good place anymore and I don’t know, maybe we should take a break.”

It was bizarre because this one part of me totally wanted to keep hashing out the subject and keep reacting with my rightness and this other, wiser, part of me was totally into taking care of our couple by taking a mini mental time out where space was put between the words I was speaking.

Even just that intention and verbalizing it helped. Immediately the intense emotion washed away and we were kind of back on track. I even got some focused clarity on what the real issue was.

S.N. Goenka says all the time, “Dhamma works.” And you know something, it really really does!

And I’ll also go with the old saying…”Practice makes perfect!” Of course, we’re nowhere near perfect but when time-outs become semi-effortless, man that’s money!