Saturday, the last day of February and the last day of the Complementary Cancer Therapies conference I’ve prepared long and hard for. I offer my presentation before lunch, and am gratified by the questions that come my way all afternoon, each a chance to help a survivor take the next meaningful step on her quest for wellness. I meet new colleagues, including one I may collaborate with later this year. Exciting!
5:30 comes, we say goodbye, and I’m off to visit my mother-in-law, who lives close by. Then it’s early to rise the next morning, flying across five time zones for that post-conference vacation I promised myself. It’s sunny and lovely at my destination, but I notice it takes most of the week to clear my head of conference aftermath and incessant planning for when I return. I land at home bleary-eyed, following a red-eye flight graced by not one, but two screaming babies. I’m not the only one who doesn’t sleep a wink.
“I’m resilient”, I remind myself, and dive right into my Monday schedule. Monday afternoon it hits me: brain fog so intense I can barely think. My body feels like it’s slogging through mud. I’ve never encountered this before, and it makes me mad because I’m supposed to be catching up after all that time away.
Yoga class resets me, and I sleep well Monday night. But Tuesday noon I hit a wall. My mind simply isn’t working. I’m not catching up – I’m falling farther behind.
I surrender. And go upstairs. And take a nap.
I’m not a napper, even on vacation. I’d rather make things happen all day long so at bedtime I collapse, tired but happy to have a productive day behind me.
This time, my body said “no”. It’s said “no” every day since then, when I’ve started to lapse back into my habitual pattern of pushing harder. I’m getting the message that it’s time for a new way of moving through my days.
Through my naturopathic training and my own self-care practices, I’ve come to understand that my body is my oldest and dearest friend. There is nothing it would love to do more than keep me in radiant health; in return, it’s my responsibility to perceive and fulfill its needs. This is a joy and a privilege, and until now my body has rarely had to shout hard to catch my attention. The fact that it’s doing so now is worthy of deeper exploration.
I’m making a few changes that will allow me to take the next few weeks at a somewhat slower pace. Among other things, I will be taking a six-week hiatus from weekly blogging and Facebooking. I look forward to returning in May with creative juices in full flow. My body already told me it appreciates that: it cleared my mind as soon as I started clearing my schedule. I’m grateful.
Now it’s your turn. Leave a comment below (I will respond!) and tell me:
• What’s your body saying to you lately?
• Are you responding to its messages, or are you resisting (like I did)?
• What’s one thing you can do today to acknowledge what your body is telling you?
Copyright 2015 Shani Fox, ND, LLC
Keywords: Dr. Shani Fox, self care