The Inner Workings of Self Care

I’m on day 9 of a rather nasty cold, and to be quite honest I’m losing patience with it.  It’s been a massive interruption in my life, I feel like hell and I’m quite annoyed because every natural remedy I’ve tried doesn’t seem to have made or be making, any difference. I realize on some level that probably isn’t entirely true, but it isn’t happening fast enough for me. Seriously. 9 days?? Enough already!

Part of the issue is I don’t get sick very often, and I think I take pride in being able to say “oh don’t worry, I don’t get those bugs that are going around or if I do, they only last a day or two”. Yes, I was one of those people. Somehow inferring that I have a super immune system or suggesting that I’m somehow stronger than those that get frequent colds.

And then this hit me from out of the blue and I’ve been trying to understand why. I eat well, I wash my hands frequently…I do all the right things and I don’t deserve this!  What I failed to pay attention to however, is the biggest immune weakener of all. Stress. Negative stress to be exact, combined with prolonged worry, fear and more fear. The perfect recipe for wreaking havoc on a healthy immune system which is then a red carpet invitation for pretty much anything.

Being rather holistic in nature, I don’t believe in accidents and given I usually am very healthy, I started wondering what in the wild world of sports brought all this on, now ~ at this time. Know what I came up with?  Self care and receiving.

The more stress, fear and worry I engaged in, the less I took care of myself. And as the worry compounded itself, the more panic I felt about getting everything done. I stopped working out, didn’t make time to create good meals, ate on the run or at while working, and completely stopped my morning routine of centering and grounding myself. I stopped engaging in pretty much everything I knew that would keep me focussed and strong, thereby  allowing the crazy making to take hold and take over. That’s why my immune system was down and allowed this little bug to take hold.

I stopped taking care of me; of taking the actions I knew to keep me strong and healthy in body mind and spirit.  The body-mind connection is real! According to BodyTalk, every thought we have can be detected on a cellular level in the body and everything that happens in the body is reflected in the brain.  When we don’t look after one, the other is always affected. It can’t not be.

In this case, I neglected everything; my body, mind and spirit. And why? Because I didn’t think I had enough time and I panicked. I let fear and worry take hold,  and tried to make things happen. Have you ever tried to force a square peg into a round hold? I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had much success with that, and yet it’s where I go. Trying to force something.

Unless I catch myself, take a moment, get centered, breathe through the fear and ask what’s next. Obviously, I’m still learning this.

I heard a lovely  story about when the Dahli Lama was asked how long he meditated each day. He replied that he usually meditates for an hour each day. Unless he’s very  busy. Then he meditates 2 hours.

I think it captures beautifully how the health of our mindset affects everything and that the most important self care is an inside job. If we do the work to take care of our inner self, where our real power lives, the outer will take care of itself.

So in the end, I am grateful for this cold and the deeper understanding it has brought about my self care.







Finding “It”

Part of my daily routine involves reading. Now, if I’m completely honest here it’s not actually daily – although that’s my goal. So lets call it (for now) my 4 – 5 times-a-week routine, with the intention of having it become daily.  Yes, I’m still a work in progress.

Anyway, the point is, I read. I read because I find it helps quiet the chatter in my mind; it helps me to keep my attention on what I want (instead of running a muck on what I don’t want) and it keeps me in the frequency of I can, I am and I will. Because left to my own devices, my mind will take me out of the game before I know it.

So one of the books I read is The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. It’s a beautifully poetic book of daily inspirational readings that uplift, inspire and are deeply thought provoking. A recent passage that stood out for me is called Our Sense of Calling. It  says in part …”in every living thing there is an inner necessity that out weighs all consequence,…we truly have no choice but to live out what we are born with, to find and work our path.”

It stands out for me because I’ve been on the hunt my whole life for that thing that I’m here to do, to contribute.  The age old question’s of why am I here? Whats my purpose? And what is my gift? have been a part of me for as long as I can remember.  I’ve been up and down many a path in search of it and have even been completely derailed a couple of times, but that burning desire, that incessant drive to know it, and name it was never quiet for long.

So how do you know when you’ve found it? What if you’ve already stumbled across it, and didn’t recognize it? What if….the what if’s are endless.

This is what I know to be true for me.  It is the thing I could discuss all day, every day. It’s as natural and comfortable as breathing. And once the skill set is down (if learned skills are required) your natural intuitive way with it just flows and enhances the learned skills. The it is something you are so naturally drawn to, you research it on your own time, you educate yourself on your own time because that’s how interesting and even necessary it is to you. And that’s why it doesn’t feel like “work”. You are it and it is you.

I came across a quote the other day which summed this up beautifully for me.

You are that which you are seeking.  ~ Saint Francis.

When I understood this for myself, I let go of some of the desperate struggle. I let go and got on with the business of being.