I’m reading Eckhardt Tolle’s The Power of Now and it has created a greater awareness in me of how little I am mindful in my day. I try hard to meditate regularly but meditation is one of the first things to fall away when I’m busy. It’s a shame because the days when I meditate tend to go much smoother than other days.
I’m on holiday at the moment and I haven’t been well. I ate something questionable last week and my digestive system is not coming right. I know what steps to follow in normal circumstances but being away has made that impossible. I keep feeling terribly sorry for myself. It is a huge struggle to travel to small towns and to maintain a gluten free diet. I make the best choices possible but it’s not easy. And now I have spent over a week barely eating anything for fear of making myself sicker. It’s so frustrating watching others enjoy delicious meals. I suppose there’s a silver lining in there somewhere in that I won’t eat any gluten by mistake if I’m not eating anything!
I went into analysis mode, trying to figure out why this is happening. Is this a punishment? No, that’s stupid. Is there a lesson here? If so, I just can’t see it. I thought about the metaphysical side of a digestive disturbance: what can’t I stomach or let go of? No idea. I went to the chakras: the stomach is the source of power. How am I feeling powerless or giving away my power? On holiday, I know I can’t control my time much and I’m at the mercy of my kids and their relentless demands on me but that’s every holiday, why should this be different?
On holiday I miss the solitude of my sanctuary and the peace I feel there. I miss the silence and the chance to organize my thoughts. It occurred to me how ridiculous it is to read a book on mindfulness surrounded by the mayhem of young children. They talk constantly, they fight and they ask for things (especially from me). As soon as they see me, they all of a sudden feel hungry. They still seem to need so much help and monitoring. We’re in a water-scarce area so I keep reminding them to save water, to share a cubicle for a single flush and to wash their hands after going to the bathroom. Things like that seem to take up so much of my energy and it makes me wonder if this is how I lose my power.
How do I solve it? I have no idea. It’s important to have a well-functioning digestive system as it is the heart of the immune system. Having an autoimmune disease means that my immune system is already taking strain and now it has been fighting bacteria for over a week. I’m taking probiotics (intensive rescue) now that we are in semi-civilized society again. Beyond that I’m at a loss of how to recover from this and it has seriously affected my enjoyment of the holiday. It’s hard to relish experiences when you haven’t eaten for a week. I feel weak and I’m missing food.
In the Power of Now, Tolle constantly talks about the fact that there is no problem. Problems come from worry about the future or ruminating on the past. In the present moment, you simply handle what’s coming up. You always have and you always will. I’ve found this difficult to cope with in my present condition. I’m worrying about how this crisis affects my thyroid and I can already see that my eyes are puffy, often a sign that my thyroid is suffering. I’m wondering how long it will take for my system to recover. If I’m not on top form, how will I be able to work? Will I struggle with fatigue and battle to meet the commitments I’ve made for the coming weeks?
These worries are pretty normal and it’s difficult to set them aside but I do agree that they don’t help anything and they probably contribute to more stress which is not good for me. I’m trying hard to enjoy each moment and to make the most of the time away. It’s very frustrating that this holiday was not so enjoyable for me, however. I looked forward to it a lot since the past few months have been very busy.
On the positive side, I have now registered a business so that I can transform from an author into a business owner. I have also just secured a publicist and distributor so that I can ensure my book is in all book stores country wide and that I build awareness to a greater audience. These three actions will hopefully have a big impact on my quest to spread my message about avoiding burnout to as many people as possible. They are significant as part of my calling and I feel like it would have been a great time to have a rest and celebrate solid actions towards my future.
Last night it occurred to me while reading the book that I have spent much of the past three years waiting to recover from burnout. Waiting is not a great state to be in and it detracts from the moment we are currently in. I have healed in chunks over time and all the interventions I’ve tried have made a great difference. I know that I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the current moment when feeling so fatigued that I could not work or function like everyone else can. But I’m now (barring my food poisoning stint) at a stage of health and function that I can enjoy the moment. I need to remind myself to stop striving for some future state of success. It’s important to have goals but it’s equally important to savour now.
Perhaps in time I’ll understand why I’ve spent the entire holiday running to the bathroom and missing out on meals with my family. For now, I simply have to make the most of each moment and remember that I am moving forward towards my dreams. That is enough to make me happy.