I woke up sick and I knew. I knew I pushed my body too hard.
It was aching, so I knew it was reclaiming rest, love and stillness.
But that’s not how my mind was seeing it. I had plans for today. It’s Friday, and my Fridays are called Badass Fridays, because I wrap up the admin stuff I don’t enjoy doing (even if I do enjoy finishing it), then I go to a cafe and spend the afternoon on creative things.
I’m always looking forward to them, like I’m looking forward to my Monday retreats, their chilling pals, feeding each other in a nice yummy balance.
So I was really disappointed. And because my mind doesn’t like weakness, or compromise, it resisted. Hard. I spent the whole day wanting to do ALL THE THINGS but rest. Refusing to accept I was weaker, and tired, and had troubles concentrating.
I managed to calm it down somehow, through some meditation and yoga on my bed.
But my inner critic was having a ball, making me feel like it was never enough.
So part of my day was me, reparenting myself, kindly but firmly.
Putting words and giving space to those feelings.
“It’s so frustrating to be sick and having to let go of some cool things we wanted to do. Let’s take it slow and avoid self-flagellation, that would only be extra pain on top of this.”
“I don’t like being tired and weak. But complaining, moping and resisting will only make it worse. Let’s get some hot tea and wrap up in a blanket to feel a little bit better, cosier.”
“It’s late, and all I’ve done was work in the end. I didn’t have time to work on my illustrations and it’s making me sad. But I also would really like to paint just a bit, let’s do this, that’s a little something we can do.”
Fortunately, my partner helped me too by lovingly tease me on my crankiness to crack the mood a little. By getting me comfort food and medication. By not giving my cranky part the little arguments she was looking for to release the tension. By using his work badassery to help me review my new resume.
Never forget how social support can help in hardship, tell your loved ones what you need. They most probably will love to be able to help you when you’re down. Let’s stay away from the mind reading myth to save and nurture our relationships.
We deserve to feel held, helped and loved when we’re down.
Let’s also listen to our bodies, dear hummingbirds.
Changing the world, even with tiny steps, is hard. Changing and recovering are tough too. It’s tiring, eating up lots of energy. We need rest.
When the body is sick or hurt, it’s a call for loving rest. We have to cut ourselves some slack and let go of our initial programs.
It will annoy the heck out of our perfectionist and overworker parts, the ones that are addicted to work, busyness and control. They will try to negotiate or use shame as a weapon.
To them, we might say : “My loves, I know it’s not fun to be sick, weak and immobilized. It’s frustrating. But we can’t control this. The only control we really have is what we make of it. And we want to recover as fast and best as possible, so we can’t hinder it. Let’s rest, let’s breathe, let’s nurture ourselves. It will get better. Doing our best, just as we are today, is enough.”