Yesterday, I made an interesting discovery that I’d like to share with you this glorious, rainy Friday morning.
I’ve struggled to eat intuitively this week and my body started feeling awful. Stomach cramps, heaviness, headaches and very stiff. I came home for my lunch break last night and sat down to figure out what underlying feelings were messing with my body and driving me to eat when I wasn’t hungry.
My go-to method of emotional exploration is to simply sit quietly and list whatever pops up in a notebook, and yesterday I came up with several things.
- We haven’t had sunshine in a few days; I feel a little gloomy.
- Feeling rushed, overwhelmed with balancing my full-time day job and my creative work. Feeling insecure about getting my career started.
- I can’t relax.
Ah. I can’t control the weather, but I realized that I needed to wind down. I then noticed a lot of tension in my body, especially my shoulders and I took a few minutes to let it out. At work I notice several times a day that my shoulders get super tensed and I end up hunching them around my ears, and I constantly have to remind myself to relax. I don’t mind my job, but when problems and to-do’s start rolling in and piling up as they tend to do, the tension stays with me long after I’ve finished everything and all the issues are resolved.
The flip side of this is that though I’m working less than I used to, I’m also juggling more creative projects like blogging, my novel, art, and learning to market it all. I want to get my career going as quickly as possible, so I have this imagined urgency around my creative work that both causes tension and creates the idea that I never have enough time.
Time management is important, but I unconsciously feel that I have to strictly budget my time around my 40 hour workweek, and some important things get pushed to the bottom, my yoga practice for example. I’ve noticed a lot more stiffness in my body lately and I know it’s because I haven’t been practicing. Why? Because I feel I don’t have the time. I haven’t been meditating like I meant to and sometimes I don’t allow myself the time to sit and stare at the tree outside my window or read a book. I don’t spend my time foolishly, but rest and keeping my head clear are vital to emotional health and creative flow.
- Keep preparing for the future and creating my career, but enjoy creating now. Enjoy where I am in my life now, which is working a day job while I create to embody my purpose while learning to market myself.
- Cultivate a mindset of abundance with time, and then slow down a little. I have the time to write, study, paint, and perform self-care. Get back into my yoga practice and meditation to keep my body limber and to release tension. Before and after work is a probably a good time to do this.
- Dissolve the feeling of urgency that causes me to feel rushed. I can take all the time I need to accomplish what I need to.
See what an amazing tool emotional eating can be?
So how about you? What buried emotions and blocks are creating tension in your body and life?
- Are you taking time for self-care and your creative work, whatever that may be?
- Are you allowing your “work thoughts” to follow you home and keep you running on high even when you’re not on the clock?
- Are you operating on an imagined sense of urgency?
- Are your expectations too high?
I urge you to take a step back and look at how you allow your obligations to affect your health and your passion. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep those things from leaking into one another, but it’s a vital skill to develop. Take the time to clear your head and work out residual tension in your body. Let yourself relax a little and remember, you have all the time in the world.