I’ve managed to avoid it for the last couple of winters. A few sniffles here and there, a few bouts of being ‘run down’, but with slowing down a bit it never came to much. This is an area that my yoga practice has really helped with – the awareness to know when I’m not feeling right and to listen to it. To be able to say ‘I am not well’ and know that doesn’t have to mean I am dying! If I am simply not feeling ‘well’, it needs to be listened to, I need to slow down for a day or two in order to feel well again.
Alas, this winter here I am, on the 4th January, feeling yucky. All the usual things that come with a stinking cold have arrived, and I am finally giving in to it. I realised that despite what I have stated above, my relationship with being unwell was not as healthy as I thought. The last couple of days I have felt frustrated and guilty. It’s my brothers 40th this weekend and I am supposed to be on my way to see him in Brighton. I’m not. I was due to be back at Samsara today after two weeks off, (the Yoga studio where I work doing marketing, teaching Yoga and a bunch of other things!). I’m not. And earlier I felt guilty about both of these things.
Since Wednesday night, each day I have felt a little worse. This morning I felt like my head might blow off and I didn’t have the energy to do a thing. Yet all I could keep thinking was ‘there’s so much I SHOULD be doing’ and ‘next week I am back into things in a full on way and I MUST be well’. Hello alarm bells!
Over the course of today I have started to give in. I feel like s$!t and that is that. I heard this voice saying ‘Just rest. Do nothing.’ So I spent most of today in bed.
I teach self-care for a living, and realised how ridiculous it was that I wasn’t taking my own medicine! It’s different being aware enough to slow down for a day here and there, which I’ve got good at, but stopping altogether, that seemed to be a different ball game. Hmmm…I sensed there was a lesson to be learnt here.
I have done a lot of soul searching over the past few years, and towards the end of 2013 I was getting a new wave of clarity, and with this came planning and excitement for the year ahead. So why get sick now when I am ready and raring to go? For that exact reason! Excitement has the ability (and often the tendency) to move me into overdrive and overwhelm. And quite frankly, I am done with those feelings. I crave more peace. I see how I could very easily get swept up into 2014 and before I know it be back in territories I am not interested in visiting. I need to proceed with care.
This realisation left me feeling a little more energised, and with this energy, I decided to make a juice to nourish myself, and then do a bit of work for Samsara, something I had promised to do if I felt well enough. I wasn’t really listening to those alarm bells was I?!
I called on friends for immune juice recipe inspiration on Facebook, and when doing this I came across a TedX Talk by Gabriella Bernstein – “How to be a miracle worker”. I watched it, made my juice, and now I am writing this (instead of doing some work). The talk created a sense of movement within me. An inertia. There was plenty of inspiration to be found in Gabby’s words, but what exactly was the message for me right now? I knew that writing would help me figure it out, so here I am, getting my thoughts and feelings down, in order to help make sense of them and see if they resonate with anyone else.
I believe the message, inline with my realisations around allowing myself to stop and be sick, is to do with time and energy. Where I spend it and most importantly, why?!
At the end of last year I started personal coaching with a great coach called Amy. I decided I wanted to get clearer on my heart-felt goals and intentions for life. The coaching has been amazing so far. I am just at the start of the journey, and am committed to investing time, money and energy into it for the next 12 months at least, in order to show up in this world and be the best person I can; for myself, for those I love and to have a positive and profound impact on the lives of others.
However, I have already fallen into a small trap that is familiar to me. The clarity and excitement, gained from the coaching sessions so far, sent me through December with energy, vigour and a sense of direction for the new year. But I haven’t yet got complete clarity on my goals, and I need to tread carefully. There are still certain things in my life that I am doing because I think I have to. While there may be a reason to accommodate them right now, I cannot spend the bulk of my time and energy accommodating the stuff I should do. My energy needs to be focussed on what I want to be doing, what feels right, and where I am headed. Otherwise I will just stay in the accommodating mode, and never really get where I am going!
This can be both challenging and scary. Because it means figuring things out, and taking risks. It’s much easier to accommodate what we feel we should be doing as it’s often staring us right in the face!
E.G. “I need to do this job to earn x amount of money in order to pay my mortgage” or “I must continue on this path because it’s what I’ve trained in” or things such as “I can’t start that new hobby I really want to as I don’t have time because I must do x, y and z”
All of this stuff has it’s place, to an extent. BUT, and it’s a very big but – if it becomes the driving force behind our whole life, what’s the point? We end up living for a series of ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts.’ This can block the way for joy, energy, passion, creativity, love, happiness. I’ve already done some work on eliminating some shoulds and musts from my life – making some bold decisions that have all turned out pretty well! But there is more to be done. So what’s the conclusion?
As suspected, it’s become clearer from writing this. Before I head full steam ahead into 2014, this lurgy has reminded me to stop, reflect and establish even more clarity. If there are things in my life I need to accommodate for the time being then so be it. I will do so with a good heart, perspective and positivity. I will understand their purpose. However, I will also remember that I am running the show. I am the Director so to speak, and the show is my life. There may be a few scenes needed in order to piece the story together, but those scenes will not be longer than they need to be. They will not take up more of my valuable directing time than they need to. I will focus the bulk of my energy on figuring out which scenes make the biggest impact to the story as a whole. I will give these scenes the most heart. They will make the most profound difference to the audience. They will be scenes that bring me passion, love and joy, and shine these qualities out like a light into the world.
On this note I am heading back to my sick bed to relax and restore. I’d love to hear anything that’s resonated with you in the comments below.
With love, Nathalie x
If you’re interested in upcoming Yoga classes and workshops, the stuff really makes my heart sing and (I hope) shines that light I was talking about out to the world, then check out what’s on here:
My weekly Yoga teaching schedule can also be found here:
Gabriella Bernstein “How to be a miracle worker” talk
Personal Development coaching with Amy Savage