In our world of hurry, our chaotic over-full lives, I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job of maintaining as much balance for myself and family as possible. After all, I am a Libra. 🙂
I know that when we’ve been running too hard with no down time, we get sick and cranky, and that is no good to anyone. For myself, I meditate on a daily basis, try to eat well, and get a chance to exercise regularly with my job. I realized a while back that I can’t help anyone else if I don’t take care of myself. Despite my normal self-care routine, the universe apparently decided that I needed a Time Out.
I had a perfectly lovely day on Friday, spending most of it outside teaching, and then hiking with a friend. I was looking forward to a quiet evening at home, and planned on doing an extended meditation session. When I picked up my daughter from school, though, she had a sore throat, pretty bad cough and looked pale. She curled up on the couch with some tea and watched TV. I made dinner, making her some organic rice cooked with some herbs to help alleviate the cough and make her comfortable. By 6pm, she had a fever of 101. I curled up with her on the couch and gave her lots of Reiki (Japanese healing art that reduces stress) and love, after my husband gave her some ibuprofen.
A short while later, though, my stomach completely disagreed with my choice of food. I never figured out whether I had a reaction to what I had eaten or picked up a stomach bug somewhere. No matter what, I felt awful. My stomach and back were in spasm, and all I could think was “Nooooo!”, not especially while my daughter was sick. I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d been sick. I curled up on the other end of the couch from my daughter, and we laid there like zombies, zoned out in front of the TV. I slept on the couch that night, and my husband and I got up to check on her frequently during the night after her fever rose to 103.8 at one point. I got up Saturday morning feeling like I’d been run through the wringer, and my stomach and back were still in spasm. Luckily my daughter felt much better and was without fever though, so I retreated to bed to try and get some rest.
I was officially in Time Out, and I didn’t even feel like I’d done anything wrong! I had a ton of things to do and we were supposed to have a family birthday celebration. So much for that. I slept until about 2pm, got a shower, and filled the spot on the couch that my daughter had vacated. I resumed my zombie state, cuddled up under a warm blanket, watching a marathon of NCIS. I didn’t even feel well enough to check email or meditate. For whatever reason, my body had decided to detox in a big way, and I was just along for the ride now. Might as well accept it and curl up with my blankie!
I can’t remember the last time I felt that sick. It did remind me that all the stuff I was worried about getting done really didn’t matter in the long run. The family birthday party got moved to the next day, and we were able to get everything done. I still felt sluggish, but more human. And maybe I had been running a bit too hard the past few weeks, and maybe I hadn’t been eating quite as well as I thought, and now that I think about it, I didn’t spend quite as much time as usual meditating…
Somewhere in there I had lost my balance, and wasn’t paying attention to the need to rest or replenish in some way, so my body got my full attention and all I could do was surrender and rest. Feeling mostly myself today, I made sure to eat good food, and am heading to bed early. I’m still a bit tired, but glad for the recovery and the reminder that we don’t need to run through life. In fact, we should stop and be more present in the moment, enjoying what’s right in front of us and take care of what’s needed now, and most importantly, listen to our bodies when they say “Whoa!”
May you gently become aware of your need for a Time Out before something else puts you there!
Love & Light,