It came to me during my morning meditation practice to share this with you, in case some of you are going through the same sort of things right now. You may have read my post from earlier this fall https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=776810605762385&id=351793491597434 in which I describe my recovery process from this condition called FOMO.
For me this "condition" arose as a way of proving myself. Of validating my worth, I believe, that somehow this was linked to how much I could do or accomplish. As I journey more and more into the quiet spaces of my soul I am no longer so called to partake in the busyness of life. Of course life is busy with work and family, however more and more I recognize that I have much more choice over how I spend my time than I might have originally believed. So often we end up engaging in activities out of a sense of duty or obligation. We do what we think we "should" do, what others expect of us or of what we expect of ourselves. And not what our Soul wants us to do.
For me, I have been a bit of a ghost in the last few weeks. As much as I was eager and present on Facebook (both personal and professional) and in my classes and with the health cafe and really enjoyed doing that at the time, I have been called away from these commitments for the last few weeks, recognizing I only have so much energy to go around. The last few weeks have been a time of going outward with the concerts, Christmas activities at the kids' schools, going to work. And as such my "spare" time (is there such a thing?) has been most effectively spent alone, in meditation, in healing sessions for myself, in prayer.
To honor our shifting needs is so so important. What can happen is we can get caught up in judgment with ourselves and end up putting pressure on ourselves that does more harm to us than good. For instance if I were to judge my current need for alone quiet time as "bad"... that "there must be something wrong with me that I don't want to see my friends at this time of year"... that "maybe I have some depression" because when I do have a moment I want to be in bed or in my bathtub and not engaging with the world.
When I can simply bear witness to this being my Soul's desire for rejuvenation and honor these desires - pull back from connecting with others, checking Facebook, taking on extra work obligations outside of office hours, even choose to stay home alone to read rather than going out tobogganing with my family! - this refills me, nurtures me, lights me up. So that when my family does come home I am excited to spend time with them, truly and authentically, not because I feel like I should (which inevitably results in resentment and fatigue), but because I want to! Because it is SO true... "when your cup is FULL it overflows!"
What do you do to recharge your batteries? How are you at listening to and following your Heart and Soul's calling?
If you don't know it could be because you, too, perhaps don't take time to sit with and nurture your Soul often enough to even realize it has a voice! Some wise guidance to offer you. I have long known that I feel better when I do yoga regularly, or go to meditation classes, or take time to journal, and to practice mindfulness while driving, walking, eating, etc. however it has not been until last January when committed myself to daily "soul time" - taking 15-30 minutes every morning (even when this means waking up a bit earlier or sacrificing a bit of my time to get extra work done before the kids get up!!) in journal writing, reading, "morning pages" or some other reflective contemplative practice.
I was inspired by hearing Deepak Chopra say "When you take care of the Internal Chaos, the External Chaos takes care of itself." This message came to me at a very valuable time as my life was (as it often is) in a bit of a chaotic state - you know.. the usual work-life-family stuff! He talked about how we think that if we just "get through our to-do list" and "get on top of things", "just finish x project", "just get through the season" that we believe we will be okay. That everything will get better, settle down, even out, etc...When in fact we live in a world in which the external chaos only seems to be speeding up, piling on, getting more and more frantic. And that it is only in slowing down, cultivating inner peace and stillness in the midst of the outer storm, that we will actually ever find true peace.
Well, for me, I decided - I really had nothing to lose! The way he said it somehow go through to me and I actually internalized what he was saying and decided to give it a try.
I have always been good at giving myself personal time through exercise (still a doing practice) - but this stillness thing was not exactly in my repertoire, unless you count falling asleep in the five minutes at the end of a yoga class in Savasana!!
Since the fall my Soul Time has been in the form of quiet sitting meditation - a time that I have grown to love - for its stillness. It is time for me to simply Be. Even in yoga or journaling I am Doing. This Being, while uncomfortable at times and difficult in others, has evolved from my basically spending 20 minutes pulling my attention away from my thoughts and back to my breath, often with restlessness growing by the minute to a time when, through this repeated practice, I can sit and feel stillness. I can receive guidance, messages. Far from being unproductive, I have discovered this is the most valuable way I can start my day and it changes everything. All of my actions in the day take on a new level of efficiency, my choices are more likely to be choices that fill me up! I don't feel so overworked and resentful that I "never have time for myself"... because I am actually choosing to take it!
I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, personal practices, challenges and celebrations around this!