Over the years I’ve learned I can “pull one over” on my mind, but never on my body.
My mind will follow along with “the shoulds” and dutifully engage in all of the things I think I need to do, whether I feel like it or not. It will even rationalize all the reasons taking those actions is smart.
My body however is a totally different story.
I learned early on that my body is my barometer.
When I’m going against the grain, and acting out of duty, responsibility, obligation, should’s, or anything other than following my heart and inspiration, my body lets me know.
My first realization of this (after the fact of course) was in the 1990’s when I was still working in a job.
I had actually already made the leap to part-time contract work and was building my own business on the side, when I allowed myself to be wooed back into full time work. The company I was doing contract work for made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, or at least one I chose not to. And, despite knowing in my heart that full-time work in the advertising field was not what I wanted to be doing, I took the position and went back on salary.
Within a very short time of making that choice, I got sick.
And I stayed sick for about three months. After repeated visits to the doctor, and every test imaginable, the only diagnosis I received was “viral infection.” Apparently I had a bad case of the flu and it was not uncommon for it to linger for months. I’d never heard of this, nor had I ever experienced anything like it. I stayed home from work for weeks and finally went back, even though I felt like crap. Eventually it went away, but it took it’s own sweet time.
I know now it was my body’s reaction to me not following my heart.
It was trying to tell me “this is a mistake.” I didn’t know enough back then to listen, even though a few years earlier, I had experienced chronic sinus infections while working in a very stressful job that I finally had to leave, due to burnout. The ironic thing is, I was totally into fitness and living a healthy life. So while on one hand I was doing all the right things to take care of my body, I was missing one key ingredient…I just didn’t know it. And, so despite eating right and exercising religiously, I felt like crap a lot of the time!
It happened again a few years ago when I was a member of a mastermind group.
I had joined the group to help me start a new business and I really enjoyed getting together with the women in the group. We met several times throughout the year, and each time spent three days at a hotel working together on our businesses. However, I noticed that every time we had a live meeting, I experienced terrible migraines. While on one level I really enjoyed these mastermind meetings, I also experienced a lot of angst at them. The business decisions I was making were out of sync with my heart, and while I didn’t know it at the time…you guessed it…my body DID!
So, my body was fighting me every step of the way, in it’s own way, while my mind overruled and rationalized that I was just doing what I needed to do, to become more successful and grow my business.
Looking back now I see it as clear as day, in ALL of these situations.
My body was raising a great big red flag each time. It was trying to tell me I was heading down the wrong path. It was screaming “DANGER! Do not proceed.” But I didn’t hear it. I never made the connection. I just thought I had the flu or a headache or a sinus infection. After all, everyone gets sick sometimes, right?
Well, I don’t get sick very often any more.
Partly I’m sure because I’m not constantly burning the candle at both ends striving for more success. But probably more so because I am not going against the grain. I’m following the flow and my body likes and supports that.
I’m thankful for this barometer.
It’s kind of like those little white bumps on the edge of the highway that make noise when your car wanders onto them. It’s a signal that lets me know I’ve wandered off my path, so I can wake up and get back on it.