It is easy to get wrapped up in everyday woes…the overwhelming laundry piles, the job stresses and workloads that don’t let up, the sibling arguments that grate on your last nerve, the house projects that clambor for attention you can’t find the time to give them, the health problems that force you to slow down, or even stop for awhile. Not to mention family obligations, and what we see as community obligations. We often let others define what we “should” be doing.
You “should” have a clean house.
You “should” go visit your grandmother.
You “should” go to work even though you can barely crawl out of bed and face another day.
You “should” cook dinner.
You “should” do that laundry even though everyone still has plenty to wear.
You “should” exercise.
You “should” do a blog post because you set a goal for yourself.
You “should” take photos because you know you enjoy it, even though you can’t strum up the energy for creativity.
You “should” go to Church.
You “should” run to the grocery store.
Our lives are so cluttered with things we are doing because we think we “should” and our bodies are revolting. When your Soul loses its way, your Mind takes over and decides to run the place. It works very hard to get your Soul’s attention, and it is not kind in its methods. It packs on the pounds, it makes you crave every food that is not good for you, it forces your body to an unhealthy place, it brings on depressive thoughts, all in an effort to grab your Soul’s attention.
My personal journey toward wellness (I am not quite there, but I am moving forward now with only a few steps backwards now and then) has taken me from frustration to awareness. It has forced me to dig deeper in order to heal. I have had to relinquish some control…control over my house, control over my family, control over my body.
My Needle Man says there is always something you can DO to heal yourself, and that sometimes the thing you need to DO is Nothing. Nothing in the true sense of the word. How many of us take time to do Nothing? Try it sometime. It is nearly impossible. Even if you sit still in a quiet room, your mind is racing. And what is it racing with? The “shoulds” and the “worries.” My biggest challenge when I began Acupuncture was being “quiet.” Sitting in a recliner, awake, eyes closed. At first I couldn’t even close my eyes. I would watch everyone around me in a state of relaxation and wonder about why they were there, or I would watch the lights dangling from the ceiling, swaying in the soft breeze and count the rhythm. I would read the quotes on the walls and try to decipher the Chinese characters on the wall hangings. When I finally was able to close my eyes, my Mind would race considering all the things I should be doing instead of sitting there for an hour. I would go down my list of worries and contemplate them and chew on them. I would spend time cursing my sciatic nerve and my back and my diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and think of all the reasons why that diagnosis could not be true.
Then I made a change. I wanted to shut out the cluttering thoughts so I began a routine of saying The Holy Rosary. It was repetitive and a distraction from other thoughts. Still not quiet, still not Nothing, but at least it was a respite from the Noise. But over time things began to shift. I began to notice stillness, and quiet. I don’t know when it happened, but it did. One day, I left my session realizing I had thought of nothing during my hour. I hadn’t fallen asleep, but I had gone to a place of silent meditation…Doing Nothing. And my body began to respond.
My Mind finally grabbed my Soul’s attention, and my Soul is back in charge of Me. I am becoming tuned in…when I am upset, the nerve speaks. When I am angry, the nerve speaks. When I am tired, the nerve speaks. And then I give in to the need to Do Nothing. I force the “shoulds” away, and take the time to be quiet, allowing healing to come in.
I’m working on spending time doing things I “want” to do, along with the things I “need” to do. “Shoulds” are out the window. And as I unclutter my life of the shoulds, I am noticing that many of those shoulds have realigned themselves as “wants.” I want to go visit my grandmother, I want to go to Church, I want to take photos and write blog posts. I still don’t “want” to do laundry, but even that has become a “need” rather than a “should.” It’s a dichotomy change, and it’s healthier.
And here I am, feeling good, feeling happy, makeupless, contactlensless, and totally content.
“If you could clear all that space in your mind, you would have a doorway. And you know what the universe would do? Rush in.” – Richard Jenkins (Eat, Pray, Love)