I have been noticing recently how beautifully my body supports the desires of my spirit. Have you ever noticed this phenomenon?
Say, for instance, you are thoroughly exhausted. You’ve had too much on your plate for too long and you very badly need a break from all the work and responsibility. And then you get the flu. This is your body’s way of supporting you in getting the rest you need. You didn’t feel like you “should” actually take any time off from work, so your body had to step in and give you what you needed.
Recently, in order to make ends meet, I began to wait tables at a local restaurant. I confess a part of me was a bit embarrassed. I’m a 55-year-old woman with a master’s degree; shouldn’t I be able to support myself with my brain? Shouldn’t I be using my education and my talents? That was my ego speaking, obviously. On one level I was actually very grateful for the job and I even enjoyed it, hard as it was. I loved meeting new people and I enjoyed making their experience a pleasant one. I also enjoyed the food and atmosphere. Furthermore, I loved and respected my bosses who were Buddhists and unusually generous and kind. But on a spiritual level, I felt that I was supposed to be doing “more.” I was beginning to feel strange that I’d moved 2000 miles away “just” to waitress.
So, my body heard and felt all my ambivalence and it cooperated with that part of me that did not want to waitress by giving me either shin splints or a stress fracture. (The official diagnosis is not yet clear.) Whichever the diagnosis, the primary means of treating it is to stay off my feet! Do you see what happened here? I didn’t feel justified in refusing to do this work. I needed the money, after all, and there were many benefits to working there, and I didn’t want to leave my nice bosses in the lurch. So my body stepped in to make the decision easier. And even then I resisted it! Even then I pushed through and worked another shift with a leg that felt increasing pain with every hour I walked/raced upon it. (Those hard tile and concrete floors are brutal!)
I used to get so mad at athletes who would continue to play even when injured. I’d think they were fools to risk further injury to their body simply because their machismo wouldn’t let them sit on the sidelines. But now I totally get it! People are depending on you! You don’t want to let them down!
Interestingly, this body/spirit tag team thing is being experienced by another dear friend of mine. She also moved over 2000 miles to come to this beautiful little town because her spirit was calling her here. She loves it here. She loves the beauty, she loves the quiet, she is making new friends. And on a recent business trip to another city, she realized she is being called to move. Her intuition is strongly guiding her to this other city even though she dearly loves where she is living right now. What to do? Well, just as it happened to me, her body stepped in to make the decision easier. She has had heart palpitations each morning for a couple of weeks. Her heart is apparently having trouble with the altitude here. The new city is at a lower altitude; when she was there, her heart was fine. Her body is telling her that she really does need to move.
Two years ago I was working for a non-profit hospice organization. I had been there for over a year by that time and, for the most part, I liked my work, I liked my co-workers, I appreciated my salary. But there was this niggling feeling that I was supposed to leave. My intuition kept telling me to leave and my brain kept telling my intuition that I’d be a fool to leave. So what happened? The Universe conspired to get me to do what my intuition was telling me to do. First I had a car accident on my way to work. After more than a hundred commutes, on this one particular morning, the sun shone so precisely and directly into my eyes as I was approaching a stop sign that I was completely and briefly blinded. I slowed way down, of course, but still was unable to avoid sliding through a guard rail and off the side of the road. I was fine for a while, but two weeks later, I was suddenly unable to lift my right arm more than a few inches. Suddenly it was hard to dress, undress, go to the bathroom, lift pots or pans. I started going to a chiropractor and after a month or so I had made miraculous improvement.
But I continued to go to work.
So my body, once again, stepped in. I got a bad case of pinkeye. It lasted ten days. One cannot be around nurses and ill people with pinkeye. I was forced to stay home. Finally I got better and returned to work. About two weeks later I got a second bout of pinkeye. Again, it lasted for over a week.
My body sure was trying to tell me something. Eventually, I found the courage to do what I had been guided to do for so long. Eventually I realized I better listen before something else happened! I gave my notice.
Sometimes we need a kick in the pants to do the thing we know we’re supposed to do.
So my advice to you is Listen. Listen to your intuition. If you’re flat out bone tired, let yourself take a day or two off before you get sick. If you really, really don’t want to go to some event, let yourself say no so that you don’t get a flat tire on the way. If you feel in your gut you’re supposed to do or not do something, then listen! It’s so much easier to listen before something forces you to listen.
In gratitude for the blessings of intuition, the body, and our eloquent spirits.