Today I write as I recover from the flu or something similar that has forced me to slow down. I often find myself getting physically ill about the same time I most need to be in control. For example, this week I have: finished moving out of my apartment, scheduled work from home due to year-end closing insanity, a lot of reading and writing for school (and need to start working on the term paper), a house to clean and organize, thank you notes to finish, lots of gardening chores, and so on. I don’t have time to be sick, or do I? Do our bodies and minds know when we are pushing ourselves too much and therefore force us to shut down and concentrate on what is important? Maybe so, maybe not, but the last 24 hours of sleep and intense focus on what I need to do to feel better is helping me regain focus on my goals and wants.
I subscribe to Lissa Rankin’s blog and today she had a blog post entitled: Are You Doing Your Soul’s Work. It struck a couple of cords with me and so I took some time to do the exercises: (A) What are 5 things you’d like to do before kicking the bucket: (1) Eat at French Laundry, (2) New Zealand extended backpacking trip, (3) Permaculture design course, (4) extended Maine coast vacation with family, (5) cooking classes in France or Italy. (B) What does I long to experience in this life? to express in this life? Love, acceptance, nurturing. (C) What one actionable thing can I do this week to help experience and express ? Breathe through the anger, frustration, sickness. Act from a place of love, not fear.
What does this exercise have to do with anything? Maybe nothing for you, for me, it jolts me into another set of questions, ones that I can’t answer: Is it worth pushing and working so hard you make yourself ill, if you’re working toward something you believe in? Is there anything wrong with wanting to do the best you can and not accept mediocrity, even if it is at the cost of your well-being? Is it okay to have a life where you strive until you physically and mentally give out from exhaustion, take a couple days to recuperate, and keep going? Does this type of cycle inherently make you stronger or weaker? What do you think?