This summer I had the opportunity to spend 4 days at my cabin alone.
What I thought would be a time of rest and relaxation, perhaps invite some company, do some work, turned into a whole lot more. And a whole lot less.
I noticed when this time arrived I automatically thought of all the things I could get done in this time. I glanced at the clock on the first day it was 10am and I thought “Geez, I haven’t even done xxx”.
I stopped. I thought no, it doesn’t really matter what that clock says. In fact, I could step out of time completely. I will no longer be ruled by these numbers.
So I spent the next few days not knowing what time it was. I covered up the clocks only occasionally glancing when I had a couple of things online to attend to.
I noticed how much I do look at the clock and judge where I am in my day by what it says. I noticed how we chop our days into pieces governed by where we should be by now.
Then what happened was something quite unexpected.
We often look to be “less stressed” or “more relaxed”, but how often do we look deeper to see what else might lie in tapping into this altered state?
This is what I noticed:
- I naturally felt tired around 10:30pm and woke around 7am.
- My energy peaked in the morning, waned around 1-2pm and then perked up again until I coasted into a relaxed evening.
- My appetite was small in the morning until about 11am when I had a bigger meal, then again at 4pm. I craved chocolate or something sweet in the evening.
- I noticed things around me much more clearly. One evening I sat outside on the dock and stared at the mountain behind me like I had never seen it before. I didn’t feel rushed to move and get to sleep or watch tv.
- I felt good. Not just relaxed and happy, but really, really good in my body. Not because I had achieved something, or had exercised a certain amount, but more grounded in myself than ever before.
- I had so much more energy. I think it was because I was in the flow of myself, like a record with no scratches.
- I was more focused in the moment and on the task at hand. I let myself follow what drew me in. I got lost in tasks like weeding, writing and creating new courses. Within the task I felt free.
As I connected with the natural cycles and rhythms of my body, I felt connected with the larger cycles of life and mother nature.
It felt kind.
I read books, poetry, swam, got completely immersed in myself and life, and went down rabbit holes of curiosity.
As the outside world became quieter, my inner whispers became louder. After a few panicky moments of “what am I doing/not doing?”, I moved through the layers of ‘shoulds’ to what truly inspired my soul.
I ran across this quote from on of my favourite poets John O’Donahue:
“If you allow yourself to be the person you are then everything will come into rhythm.”
We live in cycles and seasons. Our breath goes in and out. We sleep and we rise. We eat and excrete. We laugh and we cry. We work and we play. We have stress and then we recover.We grow and we change. Women move through menstruation, motherhood and menopause. We live and we die.
The only problem comes when we try to control, deny or go against our rhythms without recovering.
How have we gotten so far away from our natural cycles to the point of anxiety, depression and hopelessness?
In this society we try to live and be a certain way that has not helped us or our planet, this is clear.
The point is not to change everything, but to find those times where you can connect in with yourself, your own cycles, and see how they naturally rise and fall in what I can only describe as being held lovingly by Mother Earth.
To being with, just breathe and allow this cycle to flow.
What box are you trying to fit in that no longer fits?
What season of life are you in?
Allow it to be what it is.