Monday, September 9, 2013

Listening (or not listening) to your body's messages

It could just be prodromal migraine stuff.  I could be getting whatever ick kids are starting to spread around at school and then bringing into my office.  It could be allergies starting to kick my butt, because even though fall is my very favorite season, it is also the very worst for allergies.  I don't know.  Regardless, I feel some sort of nondescript awful.  

I'm so bad at knowing when to say "enough's enough" and deciding to give up.  I didn't feel great when I went to work, and it just got worse as the day went along.  I should have just come home.  Lord knows I have sick days...but I didn't.  Even though the voice in my head was telling me to come home, come home, come home...I didn't.  I stayed, all the way through my very last client left the building at 7:08pm.

What is that?

I love going to work.  I'm not usually the person dragging my butt into work, even on Mondays.  I'm the person who is up and ready to go and hits the ground running.  When my body is begging me to go home, it's usually for good reason.  It doesn't typically try to fake me out.  It's not a body that fakes sick or pretends something is wrong to try to get out of something.  We've got a pretty solid relationship, my body and I, and I can usually call her on her crap.  So why is it so hard to listen?  When and where do we learn to ignore what our body is saying, and to keep moving forward, no matter what?  Is that just programmed in us?  Or can we unlearn it, and learn instead to have that more gentle relationship with ourselves -- a relationship where we listen and respect what our body is saying?

I, of course, value hard work.  I value dedication.  I value commitment and perseverance and determination.  But I think, in myself, I confuse that with obstinance, and with stubbornness, and --sometimes -- with stupidity.  What a privilege it is to have "sick days" and flexible scheduling and the ability to take a day off without punishment!  What a privilege it is to be able to know that, if I need to, I can take the day off and go lay in bed with my dog.  Not everyone has that privilege.

What would we do differently if we were to raise our children such that they know how to listen to and respect their bodies messages?  How would we make that happen?  How would we all live differently if we lived by this model?  What would be different for you?

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