Yesterday morning was the second time in a month that it’s happened. Waking up in the morning to the signs of a flu coming. You know. Little things. A slight pain in the throat upon swallowing or, this time, intense pain in my ear, accompanied by pain on the same side of my throat and an achy feeling all over. Okay. Not always subtle.
There was a time when my philosophy was that if I was going to feel bad, I might as well be productive while feeling that way! Makes sense to me still.
But today I know that if I go there – if I get up and go on a day like this – I am bound to feel worse (maybe way worse) tomorrow. But! I can stop myself (or the go-getter in me) from go-go-going, cancel whatever plans I have and rest. When I stay in bed, meditate, pound down the herbal remedies, watch movies and sleep – and disengage from the outside world – I can be assured that I will almost always feel better tomorrow.
Today was one of those rare “day twos” like this. How did I know? Another scratchy throat? Not this time. What it took this morning was checking in with myself. I mean checking in with that part of me that knows better than the go-getter-person. I call it so many things, but for today I’ll just call it “the part of me that knows.” Checking in with her.
And so, as I have taken a second day of plans and released them in honor of my well-being, I have had some time to think about the process. It’s a very sweet process. For me.
How can not feeling well be sweet, you ask? Because it is evidence that:
- I am aware enough to know today’s choices will have consequences (not punishments, just simple results)
- I am now aware that I can consciously choose my day’s activities (and thoughts) in order to support me in having a sweeter experience of tomorrow
- Today I love myself enough to put feeling better tomorrow ahead of productivity today
- I am aware enough to be aware that I am choosing! This is tremendous, given who I used to be and how I used to live.
I am aware that life will do what it does, and things will happen. There are things I cannot control. I can say “no!” to these things and fight them, or I can practice saying “ah, here you are” and let them be.
Like a one-way street to peace. I usually take that route these days. I can’t say I always do, but I certainly do more often today than yesterday, and as a result my life is better, with more peace in it.
There’s another thing I love about the way I take care of myself these days – like the choices I made this weekend to rest even when faced with having to cancel things I had been looking forward to. It makes me aware that I also do this with my thinking these days. I mean, in life, I am more aware of my thinking. I don’t sleep through the drive of life as much as I once did.
I am more aware of my feelings, and of my thoughts. I am aware of how I feel when I first start to feel bad, and I check in. What was I just saying to myself that created that feeling? The story I just told. Is that true? Is it really true?
I can choose in that moment.
My experience is that if it is not grief, but feels really bad, the story is a lie. I have had people tell me that’s too harsh a word. Perhaps for them. For me? If it is blatantly not Truth, it is a lie.
And the story-teller in my head sometimes has a big seductive sign – FREE ENTERTAINMENT! But it often includes lies disguised as memories… used to keep me in an old familiar pain.
And so today I am grateful. I am grateful that I make new choices today, on my own behalf. I appreciate the moments when I catch the thoughts that were going to lead me into hell, and I stop myself and change courses! I am very thankful that I have those moments today!
And my lists of things I was going to get done this weekend? Well, for today, it will have to be replaced by gratitude. Gratitude for all the ways I take better care of me today. On the inside and on the outside. This is enough for me today.
May you take sweet care of you today and Stay Well.