(or is it really happening to you?)
As 2018 came to a close I found myself submerged. I had a lot of work that was paid, I had a lot of work that was planned and desired. I am at heart a story teller, so writing here and working with others through spiritual and practical methods had me neglecting certain things. Shopping for food and sleeping were not prioritised the way they probably could have been to be the most beneficial for me.
As I drive a very old car, it’s no surprise to learn that certain things started to go a little awry, back lights malfunctioning, a lock on one door seizing, a window mechanism breaking etc;. Couple that with the window in the bathroom that needed fixing, my phone which when I refreshed it lost all the data it had gathered this year, I mislaid my bank card and I was waiting on people to pay me. There were other things. Life just got very busy.
I fell ill. At first I though it was a cold, which turned into a fever. I told myself all was fine, I would be right as rain in a couple of days. I wasn’t. I ended up taking a week off work unable to function and unable to look after myself in any meaningful way. I didn’t however get frustrated. I was perhaps too ill.
In my past I would have panicked and fretted and stressed and no doubt made my situation a lot worse than it really was. What has worked for me is having people to talk to, meditating, and getting to meetings that are focused on addiction. All of these actions, of self care, enabled me to manage the complete lack of self care in other areas.
As I lay there on the sofa a fever raging, my body aching with cramp and unable to see straight, or think straight, I noticed that somehow through all the challenges, I felt okay. I felt more than okay. I could identify clearly a feeling of happiness. It was unusual. I asked myself how could I have all these things going awry around me, how could I be ill, and isolated, and alone, how could no one reach out and see if I was okay, and how with all of that could I still feel happy?
I realised that all these things that were happening were not happening to me. I wasn’t ill, my body was. I wasn’t broken my car was. Companies paying me late for a number of reasons were going to pay me, I just didn’t know when and I didn’t need to know when. People were not contacting me, not because of me, because they had their own stuff to go through. In short the universe had told me I was under slept undernourished and overworked and it was time to stop. So I did.
I didn’t put myself under pressure. I just waited till I felt capable of moving forward. It came slowly. A couple of days in I managed to find energy to go buy good food and make vitamin strong meals. A few more days, even though feeling exhausted I managed to get back to work and catch up the hours. It took me a full 8 weeks to get back in form and feel anything remotely like my energetic self and then I got the bad news my soul brother had died. It knocked me out of kilter again for a couple of weeks.
This new year of 2019 has seen me decide to pay more attention to nourishment. Nourishing myself. What do I need to do for me to feel my best self?. All these challenges and events were around me but they weren’t me and somehow I managed not to allow them define me. It’s taken me a lot of work to get to this sort of detachment and I don’t imagine it’s permanent yet. But I am constantly growing, learning, and observing. I put time aside to relax and have no obligations. I put time aside to do the basics like the cleaning the shopping, spending time with loved ones. I put time aside to prepare classes that I teach. Finally I am back in the groove, committed to writing on this site 4 times a month and hoping that my words can always help someone out there who might read them.
So remember how you feel, and who you are, and what is happening are all different. You are not your experiences or your feelings. You are you precious, unique with something to offer someone else.
I guess if I sum it up, Life is a river in which I find myself, but I am not the river. My resolution is to not swim against the current, nor go with the flow, but to strike out gently and swim forward and see where this beautiful year takes me. Getting into the groove, swimming gently with the current and using life to support me in my journey.