Sometime ago I attended a course run by the College of Universal Medicine on exhaustion. It was very powerful and the honesty with which people shared their experiences was inspiring.
Part of the course focused on what were called Stop Moments, taking time in our busy day to stop, connect with our body and feel how we are in that moment.
So back to work I went, doing some potting up, moving things around the garden and tending to the worm farm, just going from one thing to another. By the end of it two and a half hours had passed. I suddenly noticed that I felt very tired and actually started to feel unwell.
I felt something like a grey cloud come over me, here I was learning about stop moments and here I am doing just the opposite. I remember anger coming up at me for not getting it right. I could feel the energy in my body as it hardened along with beating myself up.
As I was starting to feel unwell I decided it was time to lay myself down, as I lay there my thoughts subsided and I gave myself permission to just rest and feel all the tiredness and exhaustion that was there in my body.
During the course I came to learn more about stop moments and the word surrender, and what they could truly mean in caring for my body. I came to understand that what I thought was a stop moment was just a moment of relaxation and that my nervous system was still running on high. I had not really connected to how my body was feeling. I now know that when I do take a moment to stop while I am working I really need to feel and listen to how my body is feeling in that moment.
If I had known just how important it is to build stop moments into my working day I may not have worked for so long getting caught up in all the doing.
So when my body spoke loud and clear in its exhaustion, telling me how it was feeling, all I needed to do was to surrender to the feeling, without judgment or criticism, and let myself just feel, with no wanting to fix it or get it right - just surrendering and allowing the body to do its own amazing healing.
These days I am much more respectful to my seventy three year old body, though I feel a vitality I had not felt before, I am not pushing myself like I used to, and I am taking loving care with what I can and cannot do, and with that, graciously accepting the help when necessary.
With this new understanding of how to care for my body lovingly, I am finding a joy in life without the need to be always doing.
Jill S., Australia