The Cook Awakening

Come Home

July 14, 2019
Posted in: Events, Integrating Lifestyle Changes, Life on Life's Terms, Meditation, Spiritual Practice

I had two very similar sessions with different clients last week. They were overwhelmed by the requirements of their lives — personal relationships, work, … so many responsibilities. They weren’t sleeping enough, weren’t eating well, drinking more alcohol than felt healthy, ending up spending hours feeling incapacitated by exhaustion. Going in 6 directions at once.

I stated what seemed obvious to me – that how their lives were going wasn’t sustainable. And, I heard some version of:

“But, how can I rest when everyone needs me? I can’t stop!”

One had an edge of panic in her voice. I felt it. It broke my heart. The other was just more mystified. There really didn’t seem to be any other possibility than how life was unfolding.

A beautiful balancing act.

Then, Friday evening, after spending an hour washing dishes, after a week of my husband being out of town and me with a full client load, I found myself shouting at my kids to come help me clean the kitchen.

Not a stellar parenting moment. For which I have apologized, although I am happy it allowed me to leave the kitchen and sit myself down for a few minutes. I’m not sorry I asked for help, just not thrilled with how I went about it.

Sometimes, we have to break down a bit to realize that how we’re going about something isn’t working.

And, sometimes it can feel like there’s no other way to do things. The demands of life in this modern, capitalistic culture are not based on humane values.

Here’s the mystery, of which I remind myself over and over. That I was able to remember after snapping at my boys.

If I can feel myself, in my body, right now, right here, things will begin to right themselves. It may not solve all the “problems” in the story of my life, but what is needed to get through the next moment will begin to reveal itself.

Feel your body, right now. Even if all you feel is anxiety, or confusion. Start here.

When I stopped, it was clear. I needed rest. I needed to have some chunk of time with no schedule.

I cleared away all the engagements I had on my calendar the next day, which was fortunately the weekend, so it was a realistic goal.

But, what I know is, I won’t be able to really reap the rewards of that unstructured time if I don’t feel my body. We tend to think that any of a number of ways to distract ourselves are restful. I find that I can take breaks by streaming my favorite shows, sleeping, playing video games, and the like, but if I’m not also meditating, and remembering to check in with my body a regular basis, I won’t actually feel very rested when it’s time to get back to work. Somehow, I didn’t actually break the momentum of what was draining my batteries. When I used to drink alcohol more regularly, it was even less restful.

What I also know is, when I’m able to spend time checking in with my body, I’m more present with those I love. I may not be “doing” all the things I think they need me to do for them, to keep all the plates of my life in the air, but the more my nervous system settles down, the more settled other’s nervous systems are when they’re around me.

Can you consider the possibility that staying with yourself might support you being present for others in a more effective way?

You might not get as much done. But, I suggest that what you actually do will be more effective, might actually be more on target to what really needs to be accomplished.

This might take time to become habit. It might take time for your nervous system to actually calm down, if there’s a strong habit of striving, or anxiety.

There’s many reasons we get into these habits, which are not so easy to elucidate in an article like this. That’s why working with a counselor can be of value, to get at the root of your unique story, what drives YOU into these patterns that don’t serve you, that don’t allow you to step out of the cultural hypnosis that tells you your value is based on what you can do for others.

This is also an area I explore with Sovereign Self, the women’s circle I’m beginning. We meet once a month on 1st Tuesday evenings in person in Portland, OR, and once a month via Zoom video conference.

Here’s the recording from our first meeting on July 2nd. I hope you’ll take the time to listen, and let me know if you’d like to join us this coming Friday, July 19th from 10 am to 12:30 pm Pacific time. I’ll send you the Zoom link, and the materials you’ll need to be ready to participate.

This entry was posted on Sunday, July 14th, 2019 at 3:07 pm and is filed under Events, Integrating Lifestyle Changes, Life on Life's Terms, Meditation, Spiritual Practice. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


2 Responses to “Come Home”

  1. Clara Says:

    Thank you! Always surprised I need a reminder to check in with my own body to see what she is telling me. And, I am grateful for the nudge. Thank you Durga for reminding me there is a crucial step one to rebalancing. <3

  2. Durga Fuller Says:

    Clara, you are so welcome. I need the reminder, too, evidently!

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