Finding Strength in Stillness. I’m strolling into 2022 with a very different mindset than usual. It’s both petrifying and liberating as I have lots of peace and few plans.
Let me explain. I’m a goal-setting person, so I usually start a new year with lots of concrete actions and an outlook for the upcoming year.
This year feels so different as I’m trying to let my body lead instead of my ever-spinning mind.
How did this all come to be?
At the end of 2021, my body was sending very strong signals that it was tired and needed to slow down as my nervous system was fried. The signals were that I couldn’t concentrate, my mind was constantly spinning and my sleep was unsettled.
While my body (heart) knew that I would need to step back from my business and rest, it took a few days for my head to grant it permission. You see, there were many “Are you crazy? You just launched your book and you need to promote it.” and “Push through until after the holidays.” constant chatter in my head.
The good news is that as soon as I heard myself using words like “push through”, I knew that was the red flag to listen to my body!!
I had witnessed in others - and experienced myself - the dire consequences of pushing through. In fact, society rewards this. People push through and then get sick (only the flu if you’re lucky), but it’s enough for society, your partner, your friends to support you and take care of you.
When you put up your hand without any visible symptoms and take the pro-active decision to prevent becoming sick, there’s no glory in that.
Given my personality, I knew that I needed to step away all together and even remove social media apps from my phone and just be with myself. That is how overwhelmed I felt and I decided to honour it with WEEKS of rest (from everything but my caregiving duties) and not a few days.
While there are usually other ways for me to distract myself, that time of the year meant that people were busier than usual preparing for the holidays, hosting visitors and cocooning as the temperature dropped and increased omicron vigilance was recommended.
This was the perfect storm that allowed me to spend a lot of time by myself - which forced me to sit with my feelings - which ended being the good, the bad and the ugly.
It’s always easy (and fun) to feel the feelings of joy, gratitude, appreciation, etc. Things get trickier when we move over to those feelings of resentment, shame and anger.
Like most hard things, once we shine a little bit of light, love and compassion on them, they become more manageable and less scary. For the record, this is not easy or pleasant…and that’s why so few people do it.
That being said, I knew that there were many things that I wanted to leave in 2021 as they no longer served me and therefore I knew that I had to ‘deal’ with them as I knew that I did NOT want to bring them into the new year.
Like any good storm, once it’s passed, there’s a calm.
I now feel peace and clarity and that was worth the pain of working through the uncomfortable emotions.
As I ease into January, I know that all of the pressures that were present in December still exist, but they don’t impact me in the same way.
This shift is the gentle reminder that our body is always talking to us - taking a moment to understand what our body is telling us and then finding the courage to honour that wish is the best gift for ourselves.
This is true self-care.
An example of self-love.
The foundation of inner harmony.
For some, this can be the beginning of the magical path on one’s self-care journey.