Funny how people assume health practitioners must be the healthiest people on the planet… but scarily, the people you trust to take care of you may very well be some of the most run-down overworked people you’ll come across (just think about the crazy hours hospital staff work).
Me? I’ve just returned from two weeks off work. The longest continuous period I’d had off in years. Time to reset, relax & focus on meeting my own needs first & foremost was divine. And I’m hooked, so holidays are going to happen more often now.
Compared to the average person, I do devote a lot more time & energy each day to the basics like good food, meditation, appropriate exercise & sleep. The biggest challenge for me’s switching off to the information overload of “everyone else’s stuff” – phone calls, text messages, messenger messages, emails, social media eeeeek it’s like all day everyday someone’s screaming for attention.
The whole going away incommunicado into the rainforest thing was exactly what I needed to become more aware of the effects of this. The first few days back “plugged in” were overwhelming & exhausting. In fact, I turned my phone off again, ran away to the beach for a few days & tried again literally the day before my first client was booked in for.
I already had firm boundaries around answering work calls/messages/emails outside of work hours. If I hadn’t, this experience would are as **** have scared me into establishing some! But this was personal life information overload too.
Many years ago, a wise man gave me the stress-management advice of “be like a cat”.
Cats don’t take nonsense from anyone. If something stresses or upsets my feline overlords, they politely express displeasure (usually just a dirty look). If the issue’s not resolved quickly, they take the path of least resistance – usually just walking away, not even wasting energy on aggression).
They lead a simple life, focussing only on the things one actually needs – to breathe, eat, drink, sleep, shelter/comfort, & sharing love/affection (plus the occasional flea coz sharing really is caring apparently). Play time’s a bonus.
They are amongst the happiest living beings on this planet. Similarly, the people I’ve met when living/travelling in third world countries are happy. On the whole, far happier than those of us living the rich life taken for granted in a country like Australia.
So. Why do we humans feel so driven to overcomplicate our lives with unnecessary objects, interactions & distractions?
Does it actually satisfy or make us happy to live that way?
Do we actually need to work more to earn more to have more… or are we stuck like a rat running on a wheel, always chasing that “something better”, when maybe we have it here with us all the time, but are too busy to enjoy it?
Who decides or influences what you need to have or do to enjoy being alive?
My challenge to you is to set aside 15 minutes each day for a week to “be like a cat”. Not doing anything. Just Be-ing. And observe how this feels in your body & in your mind. Time to simply observe. Not react. Not judge. Just Be.
If the world didn’t crumble or explode whilst you were just Being, perhaps make it a habit to slowly grow the time you spend this way each day. It makes it easier to identify & let go of what you no longer need.
For the record, I’m far from being any sort of master at this stuff. I’ve stopped having expectations around it though. Where I’m at now is much closer to that taoist state (aka feline serenity) than where I was at a few years ago… & that’s what matters most.
For folk who really struggle with this stuff? Seriously, come try my Mindful Madness class – you don’t need to like heavy metal music to benefit from it as a meditative tool. It’s a lot like the **** that screams at us all day every day, so learning to divert its energy rather than be overwhelmed & agitated by it is a skill you can take to work (or home) every day.