Today was a beautiful, relaxing day. As I sat at my kitchen table this morning, a cool breeze with all the promises of fall blew through the window. It was literally a breath of fresh air since a two-week heat wave with 88% humidity has just ended. Looking out my window, everything looked beautiful. The sky was blue and the thick wall of bamboo, deep green was swaying in the wind with an occasional hummingbird stopping to perch. I felt immersed in the moment, relaxed, un-rushed by the day and free to spend it as I wished. I was only able to arrive here after a long week of very intentional efforts towards taking care of myself, including physical therapy. When we’re in pain it accentuates already difficult situations that can lead to complete shut down and the inability to move forward in any area of our life.
I wasn’t at the place of complete shut down, but life (personal and work) certainly has felt like I was trudging through wet cement. You know those days (sometimes weeks or months) when everything is piling up so fast that the series of unchecked boxes on your to-do list starts at your door and ends five blocks down the street? It feels so hopeless, like there’s never a way to catch up, or even catch your breath. These moments more than ever are when we must take daily care of ourselves, take time to slow and breathe, and do the daily self-care that we know works. When you’re down, or in pain, or overwhelmed, it’s just plain hard to get out of the rut. Keep pushing. Do it for YOU. One day at a time, sometimes one moment at a time. You've got this.
Some days when we have a productive day, kick a habit, or physically feel better, we notice that wet-cement-trudge has softened to more like swimming through Jell-O. It’s still slow going, but at least it doesn’t dry hard keeping you utterly stuck and hopeless. A little bit of hope peeks a smile at you and you hold onto it like a tow rope. That was this week for me. Fortitude has been rising these past few weeks as I have regained my momentum toward doing the daily practices (all of them) to keep my mind, heart and soul, happy and healthy. Three weeks ago, I also started fasting from foods and drinks that do not serve me well, and I’m beginning to get free of the cravings and feel increased energy. I’m spotting more moments of joy and relaxation, like today. The ability to slow enough to truly rest without my mind hammering at me that I have to accomplish something. Today was not like wet cement or Jell-O. It was more like dipping my spoon in silky chocolate pudding. And no, I didn’t eat any.