Giving The Body What It Needs
Tuesday night I awakened at 1:30am, and could not find my way back to sleep.
I’m naturally an early riser, so waking at that time puts me in a precarious spot for the possibility of going back to sleep with enough time left to get an adequate amount of rest. I would normally wake around 4, and waking early would be between 3-3:30.
Between 1-2 months ago I realized I didn’t want to be awakened by an alarm, which I used to set for 4:10am to give me the time I needed to go through my morning routine. Though my body naturally wakes around that time, there were occasions when I would sleep until the alarm sounded. And I found that even if I woke on my own it would be close to the alarm time. Which still left me feeling the pressure of time.
Thinking about it, I decided it wasn’t necessary for me to be up that early to do all I needed, and make it to work on time. So I liberated myself from the alarm. I felt secure that I would never oversleep, but I do still set an alarm for 5am on the off chance that it happens. I cannot overstate how freeing it feels to give myself this permission, and to now have it as a chosen practice for sustaining myself. However, as with Tuesday night/morning there are times when even that is affected.
I found myself tired and sluggish most of the day. Also, it was the day I had chosen to launch this blog, which I’m sure played a part in the wakefulness. Fortunately, I slept much better last night. Still I awoke at 3:00 this morning, but that’s not to detrimental as I go to bed early. However, while sitting at work this morning, I started to feel drained around 8:30.
My body started feeling heavy in my hips and thighs, and it was as if that weight pressed down on my whole being. By 9:00 I felt limp and deflated. I wanted to go brush my teeth, but couldn’t find the energy to move. I had been listening to a podcast, which I muted, and was about to try to move, but instead; I stopped, closed my eyes, and asked my body what it needed. “A nap“, was the immediate response. “I know you want to sleep, but I can’t give you that right now. What do you need that I can give you right now?” “Just sit here quietly and rest for a few minutes.” “Ok, I can give you five minutes. Ok?” “Ok”. And that’s what I did.
I sat, eyes closed, attuned to how my body was feeling. And consciously knowing I was doing what it needed and wanted me to do. When I was done, I felt rested and refreshed. I hugged myself lightly and began to rub my thighs and upper legs, where I had most felt the heaviness, and now it was gone. That is the inspiration for this share.
We are so trained to just keep moving, and that tired is just how we are supposed to feel. We ignore what the body needs, living only from the mind, and letting it make all the decisions. The body is not just a vehicle to move you from point a to b; a self-sustaining object that doesn’t require intentional care and attention. Beyond feeding it and sleeping at night, it has other needs that will require you to pause. Feel into this space that you inhabit and give it care. And that can go beyond the occasional massage or long bath.
The body holds messages, and feeling, and emotions. Left unexplored and unresolved they can come out in many different ways; from simple tiredness, to burnout, and dis-ease. If you’re not familiar with the concept, look up Somatic practices. See the body beyond it just walking you across the room.
I was able to draw upon this technique because of the content I absorb, which helps to reinforce awareness and self-care. And not just the spa day self-care, but holistic care that will become integrated into routines and habits; that become automatic and primary, not just sporadic and for a moment. Your body will appreciate it, and you will develop a much more cooperative relationship. Hope this offering brings opportunity for healing awareness.
Photo by Tiffany Freeman from Pexels
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