We live in a society where if you aren’t “doing” something, you’re wasting your time. I think it’s malarkey, but that’s for another post. We’re now headed into that time of year when people DO DO DO, way beyond their human capacity. How many people do you know that say,
“I really wish the holidays would last another month.” NO ONE. Why? Because not only are most of us DOers in our normal every day lives the rest of the year, we push ourselves into OVER-DO’ER-DOME for the last 8 weeks of it. Then we end up exhausted, sick, and entering the New Year with glazed eyes, thankful the holidays are just freaking over.
The key to regaining some balance is knowing when you have too much going on and gently re-aligning your life. A good friend of mine uses this metaphor when she knows she’s trying to do way too much and feels overwhelmed. Picture driving your car on a 2-lane road. If you get too close to the left side you may run into another car head on. If you get too close to the right you might run off the road altogether. You’ve got to stay somewhere in the middle of your lane to keep you safe.
How do you do this in your life? By tuning into that physical body of yours.
Some possible signs of too much doing include your head feels like it’s going to spin off your neck, you feel overwhelmed and your brain feels like mush, your heart pounds, your breathing is fast and shallow, you are rushing from one thing to the next trying to get it all done, or, you think there aren’t enough hours in the day and it makes your head hurt or your stomach knot up. Any bells ringing here?
The wisdom of our body is much greater than that of our minds. How do I know? Tell me the last time you were in bed with the flu and whether you could get up and do all of your normal activities with full energy. I’m pretty sure your answer is NO. When your body has had enough (and your mind will push it to its limits) it will shut itself down to force you to rest or make a change. It’s talking to you, all-the-time. But most of us don’t listen. Because our minds are trying to run the show. Everything MUST get done. NOW.
And the truth is, it doesn’t. If you were in a car accident one hour from now and ended up in the ICU with a punctured lung and 12 broken bones, and those cookies you planned to have baked by 4pm didn’t get baked, how important would that be?
And if you weren’t in a car accident one hour from now and those cookies didn’t get baked by 4pm? Actually. Not important either. Because if they didn’t get baked, so what?
That’s the point. Our brains give everything red alert, high importance meaning.
And how important are most things?
That’s of course for you to decide, but I’m going to bet that if you made a list of what was really important to DO by the end of the year, your list could be cut by 2/3’s. How do you know what’s important? Check with your physical body. The things that feel light, airy, and open are important. The stuff that feels heavy, closed, and dark, isn’t. Try it out.
Do you know what that would leave time for? BEing. Nurturing yourself in ways that feel really good to you. You already know what those ways are. We all do.
The important things get done, you feel more rested and relaxed, AND you don’t end up in bed with the flu because your body forced your mind to listen when it wouldn’t. Maybe you’ll actually enjoy the holidays.
Extra bonus! You might just carry this through into the next year.
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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life