Friday, May 22, 2009

enCouragingBliss: What Would it Take to Force You to Slow Down?

This week has been difficult for me.

As I wrote about a while ago, I have recently realized that my body is now ready to heal. I have worked through so much emotional trauma; I have a spiritual practice; I am walking my path of bliss by writing every day.

But my physical health has taken a back seat and has been ignored. It may appear as though this is not the case: I eat organic; I do yoga, and yet...

I find myself, at the age of 40, beyond exhausted. Wait. That is a bit of a story. The reality is that I have spent much of my life exhausted.

Time for that to change.

At the end of that post linked to above, I told you I went to my chiropractor, a woman whom I consider to be so much more -- a healer.

I have been going to her since that first appointment, and just this past week, we took a few more steps in my healing, and then...


I was down for the count. I won't go into gruesome details, but let me say, I have just barely gotten my blogging done this week, much less anything else.

For the first time in my life, I have been forced -- and I mean forced -- to listen to my body's cries for healing and rest. Normally, in the past, I would have told my body, "Don't be such a wimp! I have things to do! THINGS TO DO!!"

But this week, I had no choice.

Today, I am finally coming out of it. With a lot of extra care and support from my healer, I can now see that there is a sort of Wonderful awaiting me and this body.

As parts of my body switch on that have long been suffering, I am, for the first time (one example), truly aware of adrenaline when it surges through me, and wow! It feels pretty awful. So I am learning all about stress and how dangerous it really is and how very important balance and calm are to our health.

I always said that I understood that, but now I really do.

For this week's enCouragingBliss, let's take some time listening to our body's needs for more slow, more calm, more care, more balance.

Let's do this before someone throws some sort of brick at our heads.

What would it take to slow you down to a more human speed? Can you think of ways to start doing it right now?


Anonymous said...

Oh, this is a good one. For me, it took understanding how the glandular system needs to recover from EVERY DAY and how that alone affects the rest of the body's health.

I bought this women's book of yoga book that's from the kundalini tradition, and it recommended 2 naps for 11 mins every day. I haven't come close to this yet, but I am aware and adding in naps when I can, and it has made a difference. I am drinking less coffee. And finally, it hit me ... I didn't get what you meant that your body was still acting anxious even when you weren't. I do that at times, and I'm thankful to be aware now, and conscious enough to sllllooooowwww down.

I am thankful you see the wonderful waiting for you! Enjoy your weekend :)


positively present said...

Oh man -- I think it would take a LOT to slow me down! I need to work on this... all the time... Thanks for the reminder!

Raine-Lee said...

Great timing, I was actually thinking about this very subject last night! I'm not quite sure what it would take for me slow down but I've noticed we are living on a society that thrives on "instant gratification." Everything must happen now, there's no taking your time or letting things develop naturally. Many people don't want to "plant a seed," nurture it, take care of it and watch it grow. Everything must be instant and at high speed.

Where are we all running too? I can't answer this question right now but this post has got me thinking. Thanks Blisschick!

Ann said...

I no longer watch "the news" on TV in the morning. I found that the prurient junk the networks throw out after hard news, jump-started me in a negative way: Seeing kids beat on each other on YouTube, Lindsey passed out in a SUV, etc. I listen to classical or "yoga" type music to ease in my day. Or maybe I just drink coffee and listen to birdsong.

Lisa said...

Mmmmm. Good post.

Have you read "Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome"? It's been my bible for the past few years.

I was forced to slow down a couple of years ago in order to save my life, literally. Stress was killing me. I do not regret a single moment of that change ~ and the subsequent improvements I've seen are incredible!

Slowing down is so liberating! I'm not caught up in so much busy-ness anymore ~ and life is now authentically wonderful. Living from the inside out instead of the outside in.

I highly recommend taking back ownership of your schedule and your life. :-)

Ty-Anna said...

that was a toughy but a very good one I will have to think on this more I think I rambled a bit at my blog, :-)

Hibiscus Moon said...

Wonderful to read yoru blog. I wished I could visit yoru chiro. She sounds so great. Are you in Florida by any chance? I've never had a hard time listening to my body (except for getting to bed earlier at times) or ignoring my need for relaxation. Its one of my favorite things to do. I wish you the best on your path.

Claudia Olivos and Sergio OlivosM said...

Oh God..ness!
Yes. Indeed. Same everything here- I HEAR you!
Visited three chiros and one massage therapist this week. Something happened two weeks ago (casuing back pain)-and boy has it slowed me down!
This is the reason I started my blog... getting ready to slow down on our teaching (after July) and focus on art making more soulFULL BlisFULL things... but yikes! DOING is always so tempting!
Rest, Relax, Relieve, Rejuvenate, Regenerate: REJOICE!

Emma said...

A beautifully timed reminder! I have been struggling through this week wondering what it was going to take for me to slow down, pay attention, and become aware of what I needed to do for me, not just others. It is learning from shared experiences, discovering support and encouragement from other people's comments and insights that has been so helpful. There is not quite such a sense of isolation.

Tess said...

I'm doing much better on the slowing down, partly because of my current sabbatical.

The word "wimp": isn't it increasingly part of our culture that we are encouraged to ignore out bodies? Advertisements tell us that if we take Max-strength medicines, we can work during 'flu. Women are discouraged from showing any weakness around the major rhythms of our lives - menstruation, pregnancy, menopause. Men are encouraged to "soldier on" (there's a telling phrase) through physical and emotional turmoil.

And I noticed this morning in the supermarket that there's a whole aisle devoted to "energy drinks". What the hell is that all about?

Anyway, rant over. I'm sorry that you've had a bad week, and glad you listened to your body. Sending a virtual hug your way.

Jaliya said...

I've been slowed down, perhaps permanently. A lifetime of excessive stress (which I believe is the norm, anyway) has profoundly affected everything from my blood component counts to memory, appetite, sleep/wake cycle, etc.

I first got an unmistakeable "SLOW DOWN!" illness twenty years ago ... and my body's been weakening ever since. ... Maybe not weakening, now that I think on it ... More like insisting on its primacy, its *need* for rest and restoration ...

If we don't tune in and listen, the consequences can be dire.

My #1 slow-down act is to BREATHE. It's the simplest, most basic, most obvious way to immediately shift biochemistry ... and it's the thing we so often forget to do!

Brandi said...

to be honest, it usually takes an illness to get me to slow down. However, your post has reminded me that my body tells me in less extreme ways what is good for me and what isn't.

thank you for the reminder. I think I'll get started today. :-)

tinkerbell the bipolar faery said...

I am not sure how I missed this post in my following window. Anyways ... good post. Sorry to hear you had a bad week. God sometimes whispers loudly in our ears. I have learned the very hardest ways to listen to my body. A week in the hospital with pneumonia gives one lots of time to reflect.

And it has taken three years away from nursing, and any other form of employment to recover from burnout. Not denying myself sleep, meals, and time for myself ... not ignoring the painful impact of my job upon my body and mind ... saying NO to overtime. These are just a few ways I will look after myself, when nursing demands more of my time and energy and spirit.

And writing. Photography. Creating. This has been and continues to be essential to getting and/or maintaining balance.

Devpriya said...

A wonderful technique to know what our body really needs. To slow down and listen to the body, and than to work on healing it. I have a attraction to colors and even suggest symbols and colors to people for healing. So what does the body need is understood by me in the sense of what frequency of vibrations is the body lacking in and which form of energy does it need to heal itself. Thank you

C. Engeron said...

Apparently I need to spend more time reading through your posts. This one hit me like a ton of bricks. I am approaching 40 and feel very much like my body is about to break and I don't know what to do about it. As a full-time working, commuting wife and mother of an 8-year-old who does freelance writing projects in addition to working on fiction projects I can't slow down. I can't quit my job because we have bills to pay. I wouldn't dream of NOT being a mother and wife. I think I would die if I stopped writing. So I, at times, feel like the proverbial hamster on the wheel. Unfortunately, I have felt like this before and when I don't listen to what my body is telling me I end up in the hospital with some random affliction such as a heart virus, or a huge kidney stone that must be surgically removed. So, to answer your question "What would it take to fore you to slow down?" the answer is usually that my body MAKES me slow down with these medical problems that keep me in a hospital bed.

Madeline said...

I found my fatigue was related to low thyroid AND lifestyle.

I recently used the book by Leo Baubata, "THE POWER OF LESS" and it is changing my life! No more multi tasking, no more hurry hurry. It really works.

Hugs and blessings and good luck!