Sunday, November 13, 2011

taking the time

It's a typical Northwest Sunday and I am situated perfectly in my comfy chair with a cup of coffee and warm sticky bun from Larsen's bakery down in Ballard, one of my favorite little shops in Seattle. I like to treat myself every so often with some of their delicious baked goods and coffee on my way home from walking the dog down at Shilshole Marina.
The past week has been a bit rough. Sickeness has attacked our household taking hold of both me and The Man. We have been antsy and moody and just plain blah. Being sick sucks. For me, I know it's my body telling me to slow down, take care, and take time to rest which is so incredibly super duper hard. I called in sick on Tuesday, my first sick day in probably three years. I noticed how frustrating it was to sit home and do nothing but sip on broth and juice and tea. It goes against my entire m.o. Yesterday was the first day I felt really good and I am still not at 100%. I went to yoga and also did more stuff around the house and ended up going to a publishing party for a friend. It felt good to be in the world again.

Of course throughout my recovery this week, I started reflecting about being sick and using it more as a teacher than a barrier. It got me thinking of this concept of "taking the time." While sitting on my couch all day on Tuesday feeling absolutely pathetic, I was witnessing my inability to relax and really do absolutely nothing. On the contrary, I know that while I am living life at my regular speed (actually quite a fast speed), I crave the "doing nothing." Hmmm. I see myself being stuck in this cyclical paradox. I came to the question, can we still get the maximum benefits out of living life the way we live it and still have the ability to take the time for rest, small pleasures, and gratitude? Well of course. It just takes some work and it all comes back to being intentional and realistic.

I know that 8 hours of doing nothing is a bit unrealistic for me but I know that creating the intention of outstanding self-care and quiet time everyday is a bit more manageable.

Try this:
1. Write down 10 things you dream about doing when you are in the midst of overwhelm. (i.e. sitting and watching that Netflix that has been gathering dust on your coffee table, taking a yoga class, sipping tea in your favorite sweatpants with your Kindle)
2. Do one of those things right now.
3. After doing that thing, write down how you feel and why you are grateful for having done that thing.
4. Repeat.

I think at times we are so completely stuck in our fantasies about what relaxing & rejuvenating should look like that we just keep putting it off and putting it off. This month, my theme is all about gratitude and giving thanks. Most of the time, our gratitude is external; giving thanks to those close to us or experiences that we have. Knowing that all of that is super great, by taking the time for honoring and being grateful for ourselves and what we bring into the world, we can express even more gratitude externally.

Happy giving to yourself!

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