This morning I overslept. I spent the weekend teaching a workshop on the east coast and then caught a flight home that landed at midnight. By the time I collected my luggage, got to my car and drove home it was 2 a.m. I didn't mind. I still felt exhilarated from the workshop and the happy, joyful response, which emanated from the people who attended. Their love carried me home on such a vibrational high I didn't feel tired at all. That is until the alarm clock went off at 7 a.m. and a wave of exhaustion swept over me as I reached over and pushed the snooze button. I immediately fell back into a deep sleep for another 10 minutes when the alarm went off again. Struggling to wake up, I forced myself to open my eyes, stood up, and found my way to the shower. The deep satisfaction I had felt the day before still lingered, but my body was having none of it. It was tired and not ready to dive into another day's work quite yet. Ignoring my body's needs, my mind pushed forward and thus began a head vs. body struggle that lasted all day. I had made commitments that I wanted to keep and yet physically I was running on empty. I pushed through to 4 p.m. then found my way home, where I could no longer put out any more effort, good intentions or not. I fell deeply asleep until now: 9 p.m.
I realized as I pulled out of the heavy fog of such deep sleep that if I want to live in the highest vibration I have to give my body more of a vote in how I pace myself, or I will not succeed.
My mind loves to create and loses all sense of time and space when I enter the creative vibration. My heart loves to connect and share and engage with others. And my body wants to share in the vibration of love as well by "suiting up and showing up". But unlike my mind and heart, my body has a different set of requirements to keep up the vibration that the heart and mind want to maintain. And embarrassingly, I often forget to take these requirements fully into account as I arrange my day. And when I ignore what my body needs, my loving vibration takes a nosedive. I become agitated. I feel cranky and irritable. I have more difficulty listening or being present for others, and I overreact to noise and other dissonant energies around me.
I can't tell you how many times my family members, who witness me in an overextended, exhausted and crabby state, have said, "I wish your clients and students could see you now... the way you really are!"
Every time this happens I cringe a little inside because they are right. Coming off the vibrational high of an intense effort of work, even work I absolutely love, does often catch me by surprise with a negative mood and no love or patience for anything.
If we try to do too much or have too many obligations snipping at our heels, the best of our loving intentions can implode into stress, irritation, and even depression because we simply cannot catch our breath.
This is a tricky challenge, especially for the more ambitious among us, me included. I love life and don't want to miss any of it -- not a single moment. And yet, if I cram my days chock full of activities without allowing for the three-dimensional physical needs of my body, I may be publicly loving, but quite guilty of downloading my stress and negativity onto the people closest to me.
Living in the spirit of love is for the long haul. We must slow down and pace ourselves so we avoid the emergency mode of breathless overwork and exhaustion. As I write this I'm shaking my head and smiling because this is so clearly a lesson I must learn. I know my higher self is writing this through me to me.
I've read that the Dalai Lama is very mindful of the importance of keeping a sensible pace so he can live in the spirit of love every day. One time a reporter asked him how he remains so calm, so grounded, and so loving when his life can be so stressful and demanding.
He paused, gave the question some serious thought, and then answered, "I leave early for appointments." How sane. How realistic. How intelligent. And how loving to himself and the people who look to him for leadership that he pace himself realistically.
It is only when we refuse to allow our ambitious and overly-active minds to bury us alive with its endless "to do" list that we can genuinely live in the spirit of love for more than a sprint or mad dash.
So like everyone else I'm learning and remembering to practice what I already know. In the spirit of that intention I've taken the day off to just relax. I slept in, and have nothing to do but enjoy life all day. It's a challenge but I am committed to rising to the occasion. This reminds me of something my teacher Dr. Tully once said to me. "Sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is nothing. This doesn't mean nothing is being done however. It simply means when you step back, the Universe can step in and do its part for you." So, with a cup of coffee in one hand, a novel in another, and nothing on my agenda all day, I send you all my love from my relaxed and peaceful heart.
For more by Sonia Choquette, click here.
For more on unplugging and recharging, click here.