Sunday, August 12, 2012

8/13/12–Laying Back into the Arms of What Is

Today's Draw: Dreamer Four from Tarot of the Sidhe by Emily Carding. Do you hold yourself up to some version of what and who you should be? Do you find yourself fighting things like aging and life changes, only to find you're fighting an unconquerable beast? Do you give yourself permission to be who and where you are in this very moment?

Self care has been on my mind a lot lately and today's card is prompting me to do an entire week of talk about it. So welcome to Self Care Week!

I don't think I've ever said this here before, but this is the lowest point in my life health wise. It's all my fault. I have nothing wrong with me that I didn't do to myself. It began when I nearly doubled in size, like a yeasty dough, about a decade ago. It was the combination of a number of things. A change in lifestyle from the city to the suburbs...a dog who went lame and couldn't go on walks...depression in the wake of 9/11 and the DC sniper. I just stopped caring. 

I remember one day I was holding something I shouldn't eat in my hand and I looked at it said "if I don't stop myself this time, there's no going back." And I didn't stop. Prior to that, I was fit, actively engaged in life, healthy...I got things done. I can't say I was any happier than I am today. I was happier with the way I looked, but I wasn't as connected to my spiritual side. I did a reading a few years back about the spiritual reason as to why I gained weight and I concluded that there were lessons I couldn't have learned as the person I was before. I needed the weight to take me out of the more superficial head I was in at the time. 

Anyway, to shorten a story I could go on and on about and get all weepy over—it really does cause me great emotional pain—part of all that extra weight is that I developed sleep apnea. I haven't had a good night's sleep in years. That, combined with its follow-on issues—exhaustion, diabetes, shortness of breath—makes it hard to get through a day, much less go for jaunty hike. So I'm caught in a murky cycle of sleep deprivation and beating myself up over the ensuing depression and difficulty in losing weight and exercising. 

And while I view myself as sitting here doing nothing all the time, I still manage to create and teach three classes every month, do all my professional work to my clients' delight, work on a book and write this blog six days a week. When I look at it from that perspective, I'm doing well. But after all that's done, I'm too exhausted to move. 

Which leads to today's card—Restoration. For a while, I was beating myself up over taking my daytime naps. It didn't matter that I was only getting a few hours of interrupted sleep each night, I still felt like a bad person for taking a nap when I could be productive. But there comes a time of the day I can't even keep my eyes open anymore. About a year ago, though, I gave myself permission to nap guilt-free. I have plenty of days where I don't nap at all, but most days I do. Recently I consulted a medical intuitive (I have a traditional doctor, too) who said I should nap THREE times a day! Haha. She means 20 minute naps, but it was nice to get the affirmation that I, indeed, needed these naps. 

And yes, so I've seen a medical intuitive and am on her program right now to clear out things that are dragging me down. I already feel a little better from that. Good enough that I'm ready to commit the sleep study I've been reluctant to take in order to get this sleep apnea problem taken care of. And maybe from there, I can start to exercise again and lose weight. 

We have these images of the way we're supposed to be. And the way we want to be. And the way we should be. And of who we are when we fall terribly short of the mark of all three. I admit that I fall in the trap of all four on a physical level (I should note that I think I'm pretty neat on other other levels) and each of them is like an anvil holding me firmly in place where I am. 

Sometimes we just have to accept where we are and work with it before we can move forward. Sometimes we need to be less than we want to be in order to heal or regenerate. When I look at all the energy I've spent beating myself up and feeling guilty—all energy I could have invested back into my own self care—I regret it. I've fought against accepting what is and have paid the price of that in terms of digging myself further into the hole. 

While my situation may be different than your own, the same concept works for aging, recovering from surgery, adjusting to new conditions like diabetes or whatever. It also applies to other issues like divorce, job loss, making life changes. All these things can make you struggle with who you want to be, versus who you are in this moment. Beating ourselves up just makes it worse. It won't be until we lay back into the arms of what is and begin to restore ourselves at that level, that we'll gain the strength, will and perspective to begin to see our way out. 


  1. Thanks for this Self Care week! I´m struggling to recover from a depression and accept my kidneydisease with pain so I really need this week. I have like you beat my self for daily naps and thing I cant do, it isnt easy to stop but its so necessary. Lots of Love

  2. Oh, Jess! Thank you for that! It's so hard to accept new limitations, whether they're temporary or not. Bless you. Do something nice for yourself today. :)