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Body knows best

So my year hasn't quite got off to the start I had hoped... Instead of powering through my last two months of being in the UK, putting my head-down working, making farewell visits to friends, sorting through my possessions and preparing for my trip to Canada in March, I have spent most of January in bed, unwell.

Over the past 3 weeks, I've had a lot of time to lie around and think. Why has this happened? Why have I not bounced back as quickly as I usually would? Why did this have to happen right now, at such a crucial crossroads?

The answer generally boils down to this:

I (my ego self) am feeling frustrated that my body couldn't hold out until my personal deadline before enforcing rest.

My body is feeling that I need to stop and rest now.

My deadline was clearly unrealistic.

My body knows best.

It's been hard to really accept the truth of this statement, when the reality that comes alongside it is that I've had to cancel plans I didn't want to miss, I've lost income that I won't be able to recoup and I will have to make some hard decisions in the next 4 weeks in order to ensure the essential things get done before I depart for my adventure overseas. We live in such a goal-oriented world of hyper-planning, we have somehow convinced ourselves that we have complete control over everything and that when things go wrong, we just weren't well enough prepared.

The reality is that we have zero control over the things that happen to us in life. Even if you eat well, rest often, get enough sleep, take enough vitamins and get the right balance between life and work... sometimes you will still get ill. Any and all plans can and will get derailed throughout our lives, in all kinds of different ways, because the nature of the universe is random and chaotic. We humans don't enjoy this chaos; our ego doesn't like feeling vulnerable and out of control, so we plan and plot and scheme our lives away, trying to convince ourselves that one bit of it will make a difference. It might make us feel more prepared, but it won't actually change a thing that happens.

What we do have the power to do, though, is choose our response to such chaos. We can't prevent ourselves from falling unwell, but we can choose to get to know our bodies and minds a bit better, so that the communication becomes less extreme and we notice that we are heading towards burnout before it happens. We can build support systems around ourselves to blanket and protect us during down periods. Rather than feeling exhausted and pushing through it, we could cut back and slow down before our body makes it a necessity. Most importantly, we can give ourselves a break. Sometimes things don't work out how we had hoped, and that's ok.

Things have a way of working themselves out in the end, though. And, as the wise adage says, 'if it's not alright, then it's not the end.' If you put goodness out into the world, it will find its way back to you. The law of karma tells us so.

So, maybe it's time to give yourself a little bit of a break and really listen to what that wise body of yours has got to say.

Now is the perfect time to stop, to rest and to listen.

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