Today I’ve mostly spent the day wearing a fluffy onesie and lounging on the sofa.
I made a mental note to only do the absolute bare minimum of what I absolutely had to do work wise.
Why did I do this? I’m not ill or anything like that.
I just needed to rest.
Yesterday I facilitated a postnatal recovery massage workshop in London with a group of birthworkers. It is was an exhilarating day, but also a long physically and mentally demanding one.
I got up at 5am, put all the stuff in Teddy’s car, we drove to London with all the gear (5 massage tables, covers, blankets, and many rebozos and other teaching bits), carried all the gear up to the studio, set up the room ready, welcomed the students, ran the course and held the space for everyone, packed everything up, carried it back to the car, drove back to Cambridge, and carried everything back to my house. I got home at 8pm and I was in bed by 9h30.
It you’ve trained with me you’ll know that I put a lot of energy, love and work in my teaching, so it is probably no wonder that I need to rest.
It has taken me over 8 years of self employment, some deep self discovery, and working with various mentors to understand the need to balance work and rest.
In the past I used to plough on after a day or two of facilitating workshops (and I used to run 2 or 3 a months prior to 2020). Then I wondered why I felt cranky and why my productivity and mood took a nose dive.
Now, after such a intense day I make a mental note to have a very quiet day afterwards. To refill my cup. To not do much at all.
I still hear a little voice in my head that tells me to keep going (the programming is strong!), but I listen to my body, and my body is telling me very loudly to take it easy.
The main reason I listen to my body’s wisdom is that I have learnt the hard way that if I ignore it, then I’ll pay the price for several days, achieve not much at all, feel unhappy about my lack of productivity, and beat myself up about it. So it makes a lot of sense to rest and recover. Athletes do it after a marathon after all.
It’s not just my body that needs rest, it’s my soul.
I give a lot of myself during this workshop. A lot of physical and spiritual energy.
It does make my heart sing. But I also need to honour the toll it takes on me.
As I get older, I notice that I need more recovery time, and also a more time alone and in quieter spaces, after spending time with people.
It was very helpful to have a human design reading with Bingz Huang recently, because she highlighted this very thing in my design, that I have the Hermit/Opportunist profile. This means that I need alone time after being with people. It felt very true and validating to hear this.