Actually, I wonder if my body would be better off being thought of as a machine. At least it would get serviced regularly and I wouldn’t expect it to keep going when it’s broken and needs repair.
I have improved in this area so much though. Twenty-five years ago I was regularly working fourteen hour days, drinking copious amounts of instant coffee with sugar and eating all sorts of crap. Over the years I have worked myself into various health issues, exhaustion, and sheer unhappiness.
It took me a long time to realize that the way I was working was crazy and I had to really look at what I was doing.
For most of us, work in some form or another takes up a big part of our lives and this is the place where we can tend to ignore our bodies the most. It’s as if there’s a work mode which requires us to override any bodily needs.
Sitting at a computer for hours on end without taking breaks causing repetitive strain injury, pushing ourselves to the point of exhaustion, and feeding the body food and drinks that not only do not nourish the body, they actively harm it, are some of the habits of poor self-care at work.
Today I feel so much more willing to put my body before work.
I flew from Sydney Australia to Manchester England on Tuesday evening. Usually, I write this fortnightly blog on Tuesday and send it out on Wednesday.
After the news of the Manchester bombing, my heart felt heavy and tears were not far from my eyes most of the day.
I didn’t fee like writing a blog, I felt like I needed to stay with what was going on and writing a blog felt insignificant and inappropriate on that day.
After arriving in Sheffield after about thirty hours traveling, to beautiful weather and a warm welcome from my family, I nested into the place I am staying at and was very grateful for a comfortable bed.
When I woke up after a good nights sleep I thought I should really get on with that blog and started to think about what I was going to write.
However, my body had other ideas. I noticed that my back was sore and my legs felt tight after the long flights and I really needed to move.
A walk around the neighbourhood was in order and that’s what I did, spontaneously ending up staying out the whole day in the fabulous English summer weather.
My body relished the warm sun and the fresh air, my eyes feasted on the lush greens and old cottages in the quaint village of Castleton. My soul was being nourished and lifted up by walking, looking, smelling, touching and just being.
Listening to my body and giving it what it needed was more important that getting the blog out “on time.”
This journey of working in a way that feeds my soul is such a great learning experience. I have the opportunity to practice choosing in each moment the soulful way.
The agenda to have the blog out “on time” is nothing more than an idea, one based on what people think of me (will they think I am flaky and unreliable?) What I think of myself (am I being inconsistent, and unprofessional?) And really not based on what was needed in that moment.
Years of ignoring my body – not even going to the toilet when I needed to, have given me the awareness that my body does tell me what it needs if I will but listen.
My body is amazing, it carries me around and is a wondrous healing phenomenon amongst many other things.
I love it when I take care of it. It needs rest, recuperation, good food, fresh air, exercise, laughter, and love.
I need to practice the very thing I am talking about in working soulfully – walk the walk. So here is the blog several days “late” and I will continue to ask myself – how am I going to look after my body today?
How about you? I’d love to hear from you about the ways you do and don’t look after your body.
Stay in the Flow