I received a phone call from a client recently who was completely exhausted and feeling low, after a lot if work and effort. The act of stillness can bring much to the surface. One thing that I know about myself is that if I am over extended , over worked or ill, I can feel deeply sad. Each time this happens I am convinced that the despair is real and possibly permanent. In the past I pushed past the boundaries of my physical body. As an adult, I have learned (the hard way, folks) to slow down and consider the acronym: HALT.
When I am irritable, have I taken the time to sit for a meal?
When I want to take immediate action to resolve a problem I pause to see if I am angry.
When I experience obsession, I may call a friend and have a date, I may be lonely.
When I am weepy I ask "have I exhausted myself?"
In this world of to-do lists and overstimulation, it seems there is always another task to fulfill. The internet and out smart phones allow us to make purchases throughout the day and night. Our culture, at large, is not taking a "time out". I remind myself that nobody "out there" is going to remind me to replenish myself with a nap. No mommy to prepare my meals and feed me properly. Nobody else reminding me how much I love to soak in the bath or take a drive by the ocean. Throughout the day, I must check in on my own needs. Is there something I am not allowing myself to feel? In which case, I allow myself to do so. Taking a 5 minute sitting break, where I connect with my breathing is simple and allowing. In fact, it is always a good moment to do a check in like this. One of the best ways for me to get out of my head and into my body is to notice the sensations in my body, and to simply look around and sense what is happening in the moment.
This brings me back to the now. This brings me back to first things first.
No matter what goals and accomplishments I am aiming towards, it goes something like: inhale, exhale, continue....
Today is a good day to be present. Simply take care of what is most important in the moment.