October 6, 2011

Learn to take care of yourself

Kaspa writes: A few days ago I spent more hours asleep than I spent awake. I’d been struggling to get out of bed in the morning for a few days, feeling vaguely unwell and not sleeping properly at night. But most mornings I’d managed to stumble downstairs and face the day at some point.

Yesterday, after mumbling good morning to Fiona, I realised that I didn’t have anything that had to be done. With that thought a wave of tiredness engulfed me and I crawled back under the duvet.

I was feverish. Boiling hot, but shivering with cold at the same time. I fell into a deep sleep and wild, strange, dreams.

Today I feel much better. For days my body had been telling me to rest, but I’m not always that good at listening to it. I wasn’t ill enough to not go into work (I work away from home three days a week) and when I was at home I didn’t allow myself to rest properly. As soon as I was able to stop, the illness rushed in.

In my experience, if I am able to rest as soon as my body starts sending me that message, the virus doesn’t take hold in the same way as when I keep holding it at bay. If I keep putting energy into being well, not only does that sap my energy and enthusiasm for everything else, but when the bug gets me… it really gets me.

There are two lessons to be learnt here. The first is that I can still do better in listening to the messages my body is telling me, and in learning to rest properly when I’m not working.

When one is one’s own boss, if you don’t work it doesn’t get done. But it’s also true that once the work is done it’s easy to keep sitting at my desk and not working, in the false belief that the longer I’m in the office, the more successful I’ll be.

The second lesson is that I can learn to work and rest better, to work when I am working, and to stop and rest properly when I’ve finished what needs to be done.

If you want to learn to pay more attention to yourself, I’m running our flagship e-course The Art of Paying Attention in November, which includes learning to pay attention to the world, to ourselves, in our relationships and to spirit. Click here to join us.

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