Slow Down, You Move Too Fast
All last week I did my best to dance around a cold that seemed imminent however highly inconvenient. I did my regular protocol and did what I could to get some extra rest. Additionally, a recurring back problem kept rearing it's head, and as I sometimes do, I kept going while trying to "take care of myself" albeit with half ass attempts. But, I kept going, despite signals telling me otherwise. I am not special in this regard. I think the majority of us know when our bodies are saying "slow down", "take a break" but choose to keep going on anyway and to the point that the messages are faint whispers that are easy to ignore. And why? Because….there is stuff to do of course!
A certain amount of guilt surfaces when I think about staying home when I am not quite sick enough, when I am not in pain, enough. And so, I go, on. Well the inevitable day when I had to stop came this past Saturday. Friday afternoon I felt it roll up like a tidal wave and by 6pm I was in a bit of a panic wondering how I was going to teach my 8am yoga class the next day feeling like a serving of 100% yukkiness. Fortunately I got the response every yoga teacher in such a predicament hopes for - coverage! And alas, I would have a sick day. A "do nothing, but be sick and get well day". But "wait", I thought, "I have an appointment for a facial, and a wreath making party and dinner with friends planned". Not to mention all the other not so exciting things I need to do….. With some remorse, I cancelled my facial (for the third time - I will get one by the end of 2014 dammit!) along with my other plans. I watched a documentary, took a bath, slept and peppered in some reading here and there. I felt awful. But I gave my body the time it needed. I did my best to rid myself of disappointment and frustration and tune into what I (my body) needed so I (my whole self) could do what I needed to do in the days ahead.
As I move more and more into the work of helping others take better care of themselves, I understand the tendency to keep going and disregard the bodies best attempts to tell us to slow down. Believe me. I have gotten better at it over the years, but that is not to say that I don't still struggle. Clearly. As we move on and live our lives, our bodies come with us, no matter how much our minds want to think otherwise. Practicing yoga and receiving bodywork has deepened my connection to my body so much that it is as though I am bilingual. I know the language my body speaks, and at times it is a bother because I know it all too well - to act as though I don't understand and keep going despite the temporary inconvenience to do otherwise. But the fluency has been more of an asset than a hinderance, and I thank my ability to understand my bodies signs and even more so my ability to listen to them (even with some resistance) so I can take some time out to let my body does what it does best ; as long as it is given the support, space and time to heal.
* I am happy to say that I am feeling much better today. After rest, On Guard and Zendocrine EO's, gentle yoga, good nourishing food (fresh beet, ginger, apple, celery and lemon juice) and amazing bodywork (courtesy of Angie Gentile) I feel like this week I'll be able to move on though I will be watchful of overdoing it as a one day long cold seems too good to be true. But I am grateful. Despite my head telling me to push on, this connection I have built serves me, and my body well. With a little bit of support, we've got each others backs ;)