A Week of Reintegration and Rejuvenation
Following a relatively simple and pain-free operation, I was prescribed a full day of no activity week of "light duty." I thought this would be a challenging week, being unable to do some things I enjoy doing. Turns out, it was a transformative week. Here's why:
1) I was able to face my internal busyness. While I usually use running to help me shift mental gears and let go of mental clutter, without that luxury I needed to let go of clutter anyway. SO much of my thought life can be about what I am DOING. Writing, reading, running, building a business, let alone thinking about my family goals and ways I desire to be a force for good in my own neighborhood. In my general conception, these are "DO" items. I know I am not the only one addicted to busy, and our culture en masse rewards ACHIEVEMENT, seemingly above all else. As I sat, I sat with this. I became aware. This was a gateway to breakthrough number two...
2) I was able to move from antsy to artistic. Slowing down, I was able to see how I am still a recovering addict to busy, and choose instead to be mindfully present to enjoying the moment. Rather than being so focused on the clock, tick-tocking away seconds and minutes, I focused on glances, on sounds, on touches, on attuning my thoughts to what is right in front of me. Simply BEING helped me to move from the surface and circumference of my life to living in my center and going deep. This is where true artistry and creativity come from. Rather than saying something for the sake of speaking or writing, making space for silence molds my words with meaning.
3) Back into Balance: Knowing when to Hustle and when to Slow Down. There are some activities I enjoy doing fast. I feel no pressure to tidy my house in a slow or "meditative" fashion. I enjoy high-impact connection and conversation and I don't need to have all my conversations take a long time. While I used to judge myself for not doing things slowly or "meditatively" enough, there are things I prefer to do (and even must do) with speed. That's okay! I also know I will burn myself out without proper methods of rejuvenation. Getting the "do" list out of my head and simply BEING with my kids when I get home, reading a great book, journaling, sitting and looking at clouds or running and splashing in puddles... There are so many opportunities to be, and I won't miss them.
If you feel out of balance, you might not need to take a week to dial down and rejuvenate. Just look at your life, build space into your every day and know when to move fast and when to be slow. Joyful presence has been reintegrated into my being, my living, and my loving and I feel reborn.