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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.