I spent last week feeling really tired and by the end of the week was feeling so rubbish that I knew I had to stop…and so I did, for the briefest of time possible. I’m not good at stopping completely so for me stopping meant spending a little time watercolour painting, reading a lot and watching more than a bit of tele. But physically at least I was reasonably still and to a large extent mentally still too.
Yesterday I felt better so today what did I do? I steam cleaned the floors! And now I am sat still again as ….yes you’ve guessed….I’m not feeling that good again and it’s actually dawned on me that I do need to conserve my energy.
This all got me wondering why it is that I find it hard to stop, why I find it difficult to let myself do nothing. I do have a very low boredom threshold and a strong work ethic which if you combine them go some way to explaining how I am, but then as a severely asthmatic child, confined to bed for the odd week here and there, I know I used to be able to be still for I had no choice.
It was during some shamanic work a few months ago that I found myself meeting a younger me who had been in trouble at school for daydreaming and suddenly I understood that this need to keep moving, to always be doing something, was not really who I was but who I had allowed someone else to make be.
I think ‘the system’ does this to many of us. If we don’t fit the mould then we are manipulated in to fitting. The daydreaming, hyperactive (yes I know they don’t really go together) child became the adult that felt she had to be doing something all the time. Whether it was school that ‘persuaded’ me to be this way or whether it is a reaction to being forced to be still by asthma doesn’t really matter. Either way what I need to do now as an adult, is give myself permission to stop, to allow myself the time I need to recover and to let go of any the guilt that accompanies this.
Making any change needs to happen in stages. The first stage is the realisation of the need to change. Shamanic work is a great way of gaining insight into what needs to change and I am lucky that this is so much part of me, the daydreaming child was never daydreaming at all 🙂 The next stage is observing the continuing of the old way of being which is where I am now and then the final stage is behaving in the new way not continuing the old pattern.
So now that I have permission to stop, now that I can see what is happening I can enjoy just allowing myself to be, for long enough to recover anyway that is.