In June I began a long arduous journey of ill health. I just couldn’t get past feeling lousy! One day I was cruising through face book and a quote jumped off the screen and hit me in between the eyes. It read “when our thoughts are negative our immune system is weakened”.
Hmm….yes I knew this was for me, I realized my whole outlook on life had become very grey. I had an opinion about everything and that opinion was negative. Okay so I needed to jump, well crawl actually, into action. I decided I would take September as a month of rest, respite, reflection, rejuvenation and restoration!
I stepped away from a lot of my commitments (Mumdaily blog was one of them) and took the time to be ‘still’. I wrote myself little notes in my diary to remind me to slow down my pace, “stillness”, “be aware”, “notice”, “be in the moment”, that sort of thing – just in case the temptation to speed up my life surfaced. (It didn’t!)
Next, I took myself to my GP; I seemed to have a weekly spot!! Three courses of antibiotics, blood tests and lots of rest. Okay, I could do that. “Look after yourself” was always his parting gesture, and I would smile and nod.
Thankfully, I had registered for two Saturday Spiritual retreat days. And wouldn’t you know, they were both in September!! So, off I went with my journal, art pad and crayons! Oh yes, what luxury, rest and insight those days offered!
Spiritual time is really an important key in this journey called life, so I began to create “my time” every morning, with my coffee and my thoughts I would just sit and reflect and gaze out the window at the birds swinging upside down in the bottle brush. Brad (my ever-loving husband) soon learnt – DO NOT DISTURB! I would notice him tip toe past and I would smile to myself. I loved this time; it set me up for the day ahead.
Relaxation – I put all my books, journals and papers to one side and went to the book shelf. Of course, my old faithful friend fell into my hands!! – ‘Pride and Prejudice’ (Okay I admit I am a Jane Austen tragic!). I have read this novel countless times and I still adore the romance, long dresses, bonnets and silliness, and of course Mr. Darcy (Yes the image of Colin Firth coming up out of the water is flashing in my mind right now!). Sigh…my whole body would relax as I lost myself in the well worn pages.
I had been a diligent walker, setting off every afternoon for a spin around the neighbourhood – however, my energy and enthusiasm had disappeared. So I pulled on my old shoes and socks and set off. Well, it’s more of an amble these days. Looking at the Spring grevilleas in bloom and noticing the fabulous bird life and the occasional koala to make me smile – well at least I am moving again!
Finally, I am watching my thoughts and guarding my mind fiercely. Life goes on and some days are tough. However, ‘it is what it is’, so I accept the tough times and work consciously to let these feelings go and not to cling to them, otherwise my vision is very blurred and yes, negative.
So, what is the outcome of my month of taking care of myself? Thankfully I am feeling very much better physically (I guess those antibiotics kicked in!), I am working hard at enjoying the moment and the beauty of my family, friends and the world around me. It is beautiful if we stop and take the time to notice! I am reminded of the scripture – Matthew 6:34 (The Message):
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” A terrific mantra to live by.
I am seeing life in colour now, instead of black and white.
My invitation to you is to take care of yourself and make a few simple changes if you feel life is beginning to swallow you up.
Stop and smell the coffee!! Or else one day you may wake up feeling negative and seeing life in black and white, too.