I like to do things. I like lists. I like to check things off lists. I like to plan my day, my week. I like to have something to look forward to, something to write in the calendar. I like feeling a sense of accomplishment even if its just a clean car or my nails manicured. It’s the things that make me feel grounded, with purpose, on point. I work all day, I exercise, I even take self care seriously with regular meditation, oil pulling, paleo eating, tongue scraping, you name it. I travel for work every week, on a plane to somewhere for a couple of days, and did I mention I have young children? Twins no less. When I am at home I am a single mom. I have a facebook group and now a blog. I’m that person that people say all the time, “I don’t know how you do it.” And it stings a little every time. Because I never really feel like “I’m doing it.” It feels oddly like a judgement at times even though its meant to compliment.
Then I got sick. I rarely get sick. If ever I start to get a cold I can get a little extra sleep , do some yoga and take a decongestant and power through to be well within two days. I pride myself on it. This one knocked me out with a fever and aches and lost voice for days. I finally had to give in, refusing to cancel a trip until the night before, but realized that it was the best thing since I wasn’t getting better. I even broke down and went to the doctor hoping for the quick fix and got the usual response of treating symptoms with over the counter medications and giving it a week. I used immune boosting teas, broth and essential oils. What I needed was rest. So I cancelled my trip and suddenly I had two scheduled days, open up completely with no schedule.
I spent almost the entire day on the couch. I resolved that there was nothing I had to do and really didn’t have the will or energy anyways. I had my laptop, my books and journals beside me. I thought, what better time to be creative and work on my writing and catch up on reading. Though I couldn’t create fluid content, I was blocked and reading made me tired. So I napped. And I felt restless. That feeling came up inside of me that I had when I was young and my parents went to bed really early and I was allowed to stay up. The feeling of loneliness of being without purpose or talent or love. A blue feeling at its best, a self doubt and judgement at its worst. And then it dawned on me. When is the last time outside of intentional meditation, had I spent time doing nothing? I realized I couldn’t answer that and then the answers in turn to so many things showed up.
I have been exploring this notion lately of masculine and feminine energy and the balance of action and doing and agenda, versus receiving, letting go and nurturing. I thought I was pursuing that balance through time alone or being more aligned with my passions or fostering different relationships. I realized that time alone filled with activity is not feminine energy.
So with nothing to do, nothing tangibly accomplished for a day, did I love myself? Did I know my true nature? These were the hard questions and I became agitated and depressed at the same time. I felt lost for a moment until I did a practice I have worked on when I have gotten frustrated with others and that is to change the, dialogue to one of gratitude. “I am grateful for this space in my life that this illness has created to allow me to be and not do.” It felt like the universe was actually sending me lesson of what feminine energy is. It really is slowing down, savoring what is. Its about connecting with who you are when you are not attached to a list of to do’s, of defined roles. It’s receiving love in these moments for just being you, not what you did for someone. And its liberating.
It starting to bring me clarity on where I was misaligned with my job, my relationships and overall with my own spiritual growth. I have been working so hard to get out of self judgement realizing that I hadn’t made as much progress as I had thought. I was just judging things with a new pair of glasses. So I just relaxed, I took a nap, I processed through my thoughts and emotions to release old stuff and relationships. I just went easy on myself. And the more I did the more I realized the truth of my patterns.
Balance is something we all talk about – though often in context of work vs play, not as it should be as doing vs being. Creating versus allowing. I truly am grateful for being sick. The imposed physical limitation allowed me mental space, emotional awareness and spiritual growth. Things feel different now even though I am still busy. My need for busy has changed and my judgement of myself is less. My appreciation of space and the moment has expanded and I am more present and patient. Life is amazing and you don’t always have to be active to live it, it’s there to just breathe in.