Does this happen to you too?

by Lorraine Smith on April 22, 2017

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“We live between the act of awakening and the act of surrendering. Each morning we awake to the invitation of a new day in the world of time; each night we surrender to the dark to be taken to play in the world of dreams where time is no more. At birth we were awakened and emerged to become visible in the world. At death we will surrender again to the dark to become invisible. Awakening and surrender: they frame each day and each life; between them the journey where anything can happen, the beauty and the frailty.”

This is the first paragraph of Beauty The Invisible Embrace by John O’Donohue.

I often talk about ebb and flow – the rhythmical pattern of coming and going – the act of awakening and surrendering happening all around us. Winter surrenders as the spring awakens. The full moon surrenders as it moves towards the awakening new moon. The plants and trees awaken and eventually surrender back into the earth. The cycle of decay and regrowth is naturally occurring.

We humans also live our everyday lives between this act of awakening and surrendering – pushing and retracting – times when we are super busy and times when we need to rest and rejuvenate.

I think most of us are good at doing, doing, doing part. Our culture glorifies even promotes busy as being virtuous. For me, it’s taking the time to rest and restore that I often find most challenging.

Does this happen to you too?

You’ve been going strong for days, weeks, or even more taking care of all the things that need to get done, then you finally have some free space and you don’t know how to turn off without feeling guilty? What’s up with that?

This happened to me a few weekends ago. I had been super busy for weeks with not much free time to spare. I was getting stuff done and making things happen. Yeah, I love checking things off the to-do list! But I was really looking forward to a “free” weekend without any major obligations, just a bunch of things I wanted to catch up on. I was having a case of spring fever and had a strong urge to purge all the stuff accumulated over the winter ;-).

After enjoying a slow morning, rising gently and savoring a cup of coffee – my favorite thing to do on the weekend – I was having a hard time getting motivated to do anything at all. I started puttering – picking and putting as my mother-in-law would say – but I was getting nowhere fast. Then, I started to feel sick, really sick. My head began to ache, and I suddenly became nauseous and dizzy. Uh oh, was I coming down with something? I thought to myself, you better rest because you can’t afford to get sick, and on that premise, I gave myself permission to chill out.

While I was snuggled on the couch it occurred to me that my body was sending me a message. Yes, I needed to recharge, slow down, restore, chillax, but it was more than that. I realized…

–          I did not have to be sick to allow myself to take a breather.

–          how deep my feelings of worthiness are tied to being.

–          I don’t have to earn love and know that I am lovable because I exist.

–          how programmed I am to do and how hard it is for me to be.

–          I need to practice what I preach.

–          I need to trust the wisdom of my body.

–          everything we are seeking externally, begins internally within us.

–          everything ties back to self-love. Everything!

Most of all, I realized there is an ebb and flow in everything and that the busy and stillness – the awakening and surrender – are necessary to living a healthy, vibrant life.

So the next time you feel a pang of guilt popping up because you are taking it easy, remember this…you are doing something, you are giving yourself the rest you need to restore and balance out the busy.

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