As I mentioned in previous posts, I was forced to slow my ordinary pace over the Easter holidays due to a virus that left me exhausted, even after a good long night of sleep. It made me appreciate the normal things; how I usually go through each day with such ease. This week, boys back at school, I have been gently moving back into the rhythm of the daily routine and in doing so connecting with my body more consciously.
After a period of illness, however brief, I always experience deep gratitude for my health. In recent months, I have felt changes in my body – aches where I have not previously experienced them and clicking and crunching sounds which I put down to time spent on computers in awkward positions. My desire to be consciously active and spend more time away from the computer was one of the prompts that led to purchase a bicycle this week; the need to keep up with my kids when they are on two wheels was another.
Freewheeling through the park on my new bike, I enjoyed a sense of freedom and ease. I love the feeling of the breeze on my bare arms; the wind in my hair; it takes me out of my head and into my body; the thoughts that usually fill my head evaporate and I feel connected to my environment in the moment.
In contrast, later in the week, I felt, once again, the same disproportionate sense of overwhelm that I experienced one month earlier and finally identified as PMS. The dark cloud descended rapidly and tears fell without warning; things that had felt manageable in during days proceeding became almost too much to bear. The pain felt physical. Knowing, this time around, that this was a temporary hormonal imbalance and would pass, made it easier to deal with, though whether this particular cycle of emotions is something I have experienced throughout my life, but lacked the awareness of the cause, or if it has become more severe in recent months I am still not sure. What matters is that I do have the knowledge now and knowledge is power.
This morning, on waking, I felt the urge to get physical and reconnect with my body, so took myself along to a yoga class. Again, as with cycling, it was a physical awareness in the moment that took me out of my head and into a deeper connection with the energy in my body. The buzz of animation balanced with feelings of lightness that punctuated my experience of the class helped set me back on track. Afterwards, another class member invited me to join him for a cup of tea. My usual response would have been to make my excuses and head home, but I am trying to challenge my default reaction in certain circumstances. I was glad that I did. We enjoyed tea in the open and discovered areas of common ground; this was a morning well spent.
As the weekend draws to a close and a new week begins, I am already thinking how I can keep the openness; the lightness; the ease that I am feeling once again today. My slow stroll through the park after the school run will be reintroduced this week; I will walk slowly and breathe deeply. On days when it is necessary to sit at the screen, I will take regular breaks, stretch my body and drink an extra glass of water. When I am home and feeling stuck and need to change the energy I will dance or get on my bike.
What can you do this week to connect with your body more consciously? Please share your ideas in the comments below… I would love to hear your thoughts.