Every morning when I wake up I say a little prayer.
First I say thank you for waking up to another day. Second of all, I ask that I be given the grace and strength to get through the day and do good work.
I pull my body from my soft, warm bed, and wonder at the rhythm of my crazy life, and how much my mind and body have endured.
Years ago I received the best piece of health care advice I think I’ll ever receive in my life, ” Our body’s natural state is one of health.”
I decided then and there that this was one sure truth in life, and that I would never forget it.
But stress is a curious beast isn’t it? Sometimes serpent like, it can twist and turn and wind itself along every peaceful neural pathway of your body and seize up the works. Your body recognizes bullshit, and when it has enough of you trying to be Superwoman, it will let you know. It will succumb to the constricting nature of stress in order to get your attention.
Quite often my stress level reaches the emergency state without me ever even noticing. My life has been a series of struggles to get by, and enjoying everything that I can on the way. It’s a fine balance really, this being independent, but it seems to have been worth it.
Every once in a while I realize that my life is out of balance. I’m stretched too thin in every way, trying to be everything to everybody, somehow losing myself in the mix. The things that I do to relax, and that energize me fall by the wayside; writing, running, stitching, coffee and girl-talking.
Usually by the time I admit that I’m feeling fatigued, my body is one-step ahead, fully in the gnarled grip of stress. And when that happens darlings, I simply don’t half-ass it. Nope. My body completely raises the white flag of surrender and stops me in my tracks. It basically calls bullshit on my nonsense priorities.
When our ego pushes us too far, our bodies are a great barometer for forecasting our limits. Our bodies refuse us in order to maintain that natural state of health.
I had a wake-up call this week, and now I need to pay attention. Once again I will straddle the great teeter-tauter of adult life, and try to balance my physical, spiritual, creative and emotional needs again. All of this while trying to keep a single income household going. Yes, life can be circus like around here. It’s nothing if not entertaining.
No one ever said that life was easy, but I’m telling you right now, when you can slow down to appreciate all that you have, each day is a little celebration of joy.
If you share in my struggle to find a bit of balance, I’ll let you in on a secret. Each week I try to make time for the elements of my life that bring me joy and replenish my energy; spiritual practice, creative pursuits, physical exercise, social interaction with people who do not zap my energy, and rest.
Set these things in your calendar. Make time. Breathe. Get lost in the things that bring you energy and joy. I promise, just like your body, life will balance itself out, and it will be good.