Last week, I posted about resting and the importance of taking the time for self-care without feeling guilty. It’s a common problem in our go-go-go world, where there are always errands to run, household chores to get through, work to do, exercise hopefully, eating right, not to mention connecting with family and friends.
It’s not surprising that the mindfulness movement is gaining traction. People are burning themselves out and have forgotten how to be still. How to just BE.
I am so fortunate to have the support and the space to rest when I need to and to have lots of time, now that I’m not working, to spend time reflecting and contemplating my navel. Not really, I promise.
When your body aches from fatigue, it’s pretty tempting to sit around as much as possible. The mental stress aside, spending too much time sedentary is really hard on your body, especially if you have MS. Obviously I’m not talking about people that are in a relapse or are paralyzed from the monster.
Being as active as possible is now the recommendation of doctors, which applies to all humans, not just warriors and spoonies. It works for me. It takes me a long time to get moving in the morning, but when I spend too much time in bed, the weight of the fatigue and the various pains become overwhelming. Forcing myself to get up and accomplish just one task, distracts me and often I am able to accomplish much more than I expected.
That’s where the real problem comes in. I start going, and I have a hard time stopping. My body protests but my brain, and the stupid determination that has mostly served me well, says ‘Just. One. More. Thing.’
All good, we all need to push ourselves, that’s the human spirit. Not so good when your body ends up going on strike and you spend the next three weeks in bed. Yeah, I think that’s called a need for BALANCE.
The hummingbird has long been a personal symbol. I remember the first time I saw one as a child in Alberta, where they are quite rare as I recall. It was magical, this tiny bird with wings that moved at an incomprehensible speed.
I found out as an adult that my Oma loved hummingbirds too. Since she died, I have had numerous experiences with a hummingbird flying directly in front of me and hovering for a minute or more, often at times of personal change or turmoil.
I think the reason it speaks to me, is that the wings represent the speed of my brain. Not that I haven’t learned to quiet my thoughts and have moments of peace, but when I get going on a task my brain is always ten steps ahead of what’s humanly possible. Then, because of the damn monster, my body konks out long before my brain is satisfied.
The hummingbird’s body always stays calm, though. That’s the essence of the hummingbird I try to focus on now. The balance between the busy and the calm. Push yourself, but don’t push too hard. Expect great things from yourself but be gentle with yourself too. Pacing yourself, that’s the golden ticket.
Have a wonderful week!