Every time I find myself in that place again, off center and out of balance, I am reminded to listen to my body and go back to the basics.
We, as humans, have good intentions as we start our day to accomplish our goals and get out in the world to live our lives. Then, just as quickly, we can get swallowed up by the very same world we throw ourselves into. We forget to focus on what we want, to stay in the light, and so easily fall prey to the darkness and negativity. We forget to remain present while we transition to auto pilot mode and “just have to get through today” mindset. It is amazing how much we stretch ourselves in so many different directions to the maximum, until it finally hits us that we have no more wiggle room, nothing more to give. So we collapse into a pile of goop, or flip out on someone who did nothing wrong, or cry at a moment’s notice for no reason, or go into depression, etc. None of these options are appealing or desired, yet we allow ourselves to reach this state of destitute. We give to work. We give to school. We give to our families. We give to our partners. We give to our friends. We give, and give, and give…Where in this are we giving to ourselves and providing the basic needs to care about our own bodies and our own health?
Taking better care of myself is something I have been focusing on more intentionally for the past couple of years, but it seems I still need a reminder every once and a while. Yesterday, imparticularly, I was reminded of this when I noticed how easily agitated I was, sad with low energy and very moody. It seemed I had arrived there suddenly, but I knew that wasn’t the case. My ability to cope with daily interactions that were negative or unpleasant became harder to shrug off. My poor attitude and outlook was only attracting more of the same. I decided maybe a walk outside in the sunshine would do me some good. I arrived flustered from the day and started to gather my things. I went back to the car for a pen, in case I wanted to sit down and write, if I was feeling thoughtful or inspired. I locked the door and then thought well maybe I should grab a hat. I went for my keys in my pocket, only they weren’t there. My mouth gaped open as my eyes stared hard through my passenger door window, only to see my car keys lying there inside the locked car on the seat. I was fortunate to have a spare in my brother’s house a half hour away and a wonderful partner who drove me to go get it. My partner said something to me half joking, “Hmm…Maybe this is symbolic or conincidental that you ‘locked yourself out’.” Did I lock myself out and let everyone and everything else in? Was I so in my head that I was not able to focus on the simple task at hand? Have I been neglectful of my own needs? The answer is usually simple to know, but not always to accept. So today, I let myself be grumpy and tired due to lack of sleep and a frustrating evening the night before. I went for a bike ride and sat by the lake drawing a picture watching the sun get lower and the sky darker. I rode home feeling all the nervous, crazy energy settle down and subside. My agitation and negativity was leaving my body with each new breath. Tonight, I’m starting over again and going back to the basics. I am going to bed early and starting out fresh and will make sure to take better care of my body by eating better and exercising regularly and blogging for my mind.
Taking care of ourselves should be number one, not number 30 or 100, or wherever it may currently fall our list after everyone or everything else. You are in charge of your own happiness, and how you see and interact with the world. Going back to the basics may sound like a simple idea, but how come not very many people can do it or choose to do it? If we fail to feed our own basic needs, then our health will suffer. Our lives become way more dramatic and complicated than it needs to be because our inability to handle every day stress is lowered greatly, not having our basic needs (sleep, nourishing food, exercise, self-love, etc.). So join me. Every day is a new day to start your new journey. Let’s push the reset button together, go back to the basics, and stop making life so unnecessarily complex.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn