Sunday, 4 October 2015

I am here...

As some of you might know I mangled my big toe about six weeks ago.  I opened a door right over it so badly that it required eight stitches.  I won’t share the actual event… too gruesome but I do want to share what I learnt from it.  It is completely healed now although it looks funny.

After the first week of dealing with the pain and general discomfort I sat down and asked myself how and why it happened.   How was I responsible for this accident?  I was astounded by what I found.

The first thing that came to mind is that I move at break neck speed!  On that day speed was completely unnecessary.  I had just had a wonderful lunch with my girlfriend there was no need to rush, after all I was only going home so why did I rip the door open with such force? 

Lesson 1:  Slow down!  I am not on fire!

The second thing I learnt was that I am not present.  I am always thinking of the next thing, task that needs to be done. I move from one thing to the next to get things done in the least possible time.  By not being present I miss much of the journey.

Lesson 2:  Be present!  I don’t have to be finished with a task before I have even started.  I need to enjoy the journey.

Self-care takes time is the third thing I learnt.  It can’t be hurried.  Every day I had to clean, wrap and care for my toe.  It required patience and I knew that it would take weeks for it to heal and I wanted to ensure that it healed with absolutely no complications. I was very aware of the risk of infection so I made my own saline solution and cared for it with great tenderness.

Lesson 3:  Be gentle!  Berating myself would not serve my healing process, I had to be gentle with myself giving my body all the time it needed to heal.

The fourth understanding was that I do everything with a sense of urgency as if my life depended on it.  My shoulders are tense; I hold my breath and my energy doesn't flow.  I waste a lot of energy.

Lesson 4: Relax!  Go with the flow and focus my energy in such a way that none of it is wasted.

Finally I learnt that to have true self-care you have to listen to your body.  I know we all say it but do we really?  I know I didn't.  I am very aware of every thought now.  I listen intently and I am starting to distinguish between the messages.  Am I hungry, thirsty, tired, in pain or stressed?

Lesson 5: Listen!  In order to have self-care you have to listen to your body.

And the bonus – I am a WORKAHOLIC!  As I cared for my toe and started to listen to my body I started to hear the nonsense my brain spews out.  I now notice how when I want to care for myself my brain tells me it is a waste of time. 

Making myself something to eat will take me away from my work and is therefore a waste time, is but one of the lies I tell myself.  It is clear that I don’t value my health if making myself something to eat is such a low priority.  I am making a concerted effort to change this thought process.  Awareness is half the battle, so now when I hear it I question my motives.  Is it really a waste of time? The answer always is; “NO IT ISN'T!”  

I am working with the root cause of this ridiculous idea.  I believe it comes from my years as a consultant where I preferred to work through lunch because I wanted to get done, get as many hours as possible and go home.  I remember getting upset with people when they wanted to take lunch – they were wasting my time… Can you believe it?  I never said anything to them though, I just felt frustrated.  Often I would not eat the whole day until I got home basically living on one cup of tea. 

Lesson 6:  Dream!  It is not all about getting things done.  Take time to eat healthy and well.  Get enough sleep.  

This is a work in progress… some days I win and some battles I lose but I am using all the tools in my kit to shift this and I will not give up!

In Beauty,