I woke up this morning to a gentle rain falling. My husband is out of town, and the animals are extra-loving and the house is quiet. So I took time to sleep-in, meditate, and relax.
The past couple of weeks have been powerful and full of opportunities, and I’ve experienced a lot of change and growth. I also have a lot on my to-do list—much of it things I really want to do and all of it I want done right now.
One of my biggest opportunities has been to practice what I preach about self-care. And a big part of self-care is listening to your body.
It’s easy for me to get caught around the axil of being goal-driven, eating prescribed meals at certain times, and doing my planned intense exercise—no matter what.
While that serves me most of the time, and I think is generally good practice, there are times when what my body (and mind!) really needs is a little kindness, to be treated gently, to be allowed to rest.
After all, if you are driving your car under wet or difficult conditions, the solution for more control is to ease up on the gas pedal, not slam your foot down.
When I don’t listen and ease up, my body will usually alert me to the need with increasing pain, which I’ve been experiencing in my knees and shoulder. If I continue to not listen, I’ll very likely wind up with an injury that will force me to rest.
Having experienced this in the past, I’m working on being more mindful and listening to my body before it gets to that breaking point.
This week, that’s looked like more sleep, easy and gentle movement, and still healthy but less rigid eating.
While my body is experiencing some relief that is letting me know this week of rest was needed, there is a part of me that is afraid if I let up on the intensity at all I will slide back into old patterns, lose the progress that I have made, and once again struggle with my weight.
It is the fear that by easing up at all, I will lose all control and before I know it, I’ll be back at square one.
Just articulating that fear feels like relief.
So I’ll ask myself what I might ask a client.
How reasonable is that fear?
I am a different person now than I even was yesterday, much less two to three years ago. I’ve come a long way, baby! Over the past three years, I’ve not only released the weight, I’ve maintained my new svelte figure. That is evidence of a new and different me.
While there is always the chance that I could fall back into old patterns, it’s not very likely. I know more. I am more. If my weight started creeping up, I would know exactly what to do about it and have lots more emotional and spiritual tools in my toolbox that would help. Plus, I’m learning more every day.
And let’s say the worst did happen, and I didn’t get back on track and I refound the weight. Looking back, I now see that my struggles with my weight were perfect for me and were important to helping me get where I am now. It has been key to my ability to relate to so many other women, to find the missing link that causes 90 percent of diets to fail, and to fully see the beauty and magnificence inside every woman.
If I were to go through the up and down again, wouldn’t there be an amazing opportunity for me to grow and become even more, and to be of even greater service to others?
So today, I’m going to continue my self-care. I will do gentle and easy movement. I will reach for foods that feel like my body is asking for. I will do work if that feels fun, or I will rest or read if that feels more needed. I will meet up with friends at a book signing and for dinner tonight, and I will be present and loving, and allow us all to be exactly where we are.
And tomorrow, I will evaluate where I am and what my body feels like it needs. And I’ll look forward to continuing to feel strong, fit, and lean.
What do you need to do for your own self-care today? How can you balance your goals with the messages you are getting from your body? What are your indications that it’s time to push and move forward, or that it’s time to ease up and rest? What difference does that make to living the life of your dreams?
Together we can do it!
Photo from www.freedigitalphotos.net
I can completely relate to that fear of letting up turning into a cycle. But in my case, that has been a patters. I will push hard to reach a goal and then fall into a heap at the end of it for a while. My goal for a while has been to just exercise for the fun of exercise, but I realized that I usually do need a goal. So I have started doing sprint triathlons, which is a doable distance so I don’t have to kill myself, but keeps me motivated to get out the door on a regular basis. Good to know I am not alone…
I agree, fun exercise and goals are vital for this reason. But I am trying to better find the balance of striving to meet goals, but also listening to my body and doing what is best in the moment. You are definitely not alone! Thanks for commenting!
Does it not all boil down to following one’s passion? As we deepen our commitment, we distance ourselves from our fears and doubts.
Does it not all boil down to following our passion? As we do this, we deepen our commitment and distance ourselves from our fears….
Beautifully and perfectly said, my friend! Thanks for commenting!
Really connected with this post today, seeing as you ‘liked’ my post this week I guess you can see some similarities between your story and mine. My story is centered around my fear of psychological issues and past sufferings, Yet my focus now is on mental stability and lessons learned. I have also taken time to be kind to my mind and body this week. To rest, relax, meditate and give my self permission to not have to meet all my own high expectations. I also notice that this is a period of growth, change and learning a new perspective. How much more good can come our way when we are open to it? God Bless. Enjoy your rest.
Absolutely see the similarities between your story and mine! Letting go of the need for other’s approval has been a huge issue in my life. This was at the root of my issues with depression and low self-esteem. It was only when I began giving myself the love I needed and allowing myself to receive it from All-There-Is (God), did I begin to figure out who I was, what I wanted, and begin to let my light shine as it is meant to. Seeing these same issues in your beautiful daughter must be very challenging. I am glad you are being kind to your body and mind. It is what you need. It is what you deserve. All the good in the world is waiting for us–if we will just open up to it. Thanks so much for commenting! Much love and appreciation. Hanna