“Give yourself the time to move through the initial awkwardness, even a sense of fear or guilt that arises with open-ended time you can sink into, rather than more busyness disguised as unwinding.”
It has been a hectic week. Lots of driving, meetings, rushing out the door feeling so pressed for time that my jacket falls from my full arms into the flower bed. I run towards my car, keys clanging as I throw bags in the trunk, slam doors shut, roar out of the driveway; an oddity on what is really just another peaceful blue sky day in the Santa Cruz mountains with birds chirping from the branches of tall, bright green needled pine trees.
Today is Saturday. I planned the day to be blank, to unwind. “What do I want to do?” my mind wonders, almost slightly anxious about making the right decision. “Walk on the beach? Go to a café?” It seems like I feel the need to do something to make the day special in order to unwind, yet my body is fatigued. I’m processing from all the events of the week. I don’t actually really know what I want to do.
Keep it simple and don’t let trying to unwind actually make you busy.
I remember how much nicer it is to let the way I spend my day happen naturally and spontaneously, without making a conscious choice. At first I feel the awkwardness of letting myself not “do anything of consequence”. I look out at the sunny tree tops feeling a little lost because I don’t have plans or anyone to share at least part of my day with. Yet I know I’m doing the right thing. I do a little yoga on my mat, breathing deeply while noticing the tightness of my body as I stretch it this way and that. I notice that my right hip feels higher than the left and my shoulders are tight.
After a while, the deep breathing and gentle attention to being present with my body starts to reap rewards. Instead of feeling like a half empty container with a saturated brain, a sense of fullness and aliveness that is the true me returns. I don’t need to go running out to look for more. Unwinding into this tender fullness is a feast in itself. Wisdom is present, a simple inner knowing that guides me from one moment to the next.
I make a coffee with hazelnut milk and make a piece of my favorite gluten free toast, which I lather with salted butter. I pad over to sink into a cushioned chair out on the deck and feel the sun warm up my body. Mmm. Simple pleasures. My energy and enthusiasm starts to return. I love to spend quality time with myself.
When you live at a fast pace, it takes a little while to be willing to really unwind, yet ** “you only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” Come home to you and your heart, where you will find your truth. Give yourself the time to move through the initial awkwardness, even a sense of fear or guilt that arises with open-ended time you can sink into, rather than more busyness disguised as unwinding.
Learn to listen for the signs your body and mind send you signaling the need for a break, a pause, time to replenish, reconnect and return to your full senses. Don’t outpace your wisdom with the desire to achieve, complete and do more. Instead, discover how to let your body’s wisdom lead you, guide you and delight you.
There is room for your wisdom and source of your joy within any situation in life, even if the way to integrate them isn’t immediately apparent. Your invitation to explore a greater sense of completeness is always present. Reset your nervous system, come back to center and rediscover the brilliance of being alive.
** From Wild Geese by Mary Oliver.
Nicola Walker works with women who want a purposeful, passionate life to navigate the mess (the mind and their life’s circumstances and what’s happening in the world) so they can flourish and thrive! She has been an inner freedom coach and hypnotherapist for nearly 20 years and is the author of the upcoming book, Joy in the Middle of the Mess: An Evolutionary Adventure of Self Discovery in the Quest for Success.