Do you feel at peace?
Are you getting enough rest and do you make it a priority to feed your soul and body?
I neglected to listen to my inner voice for many years and it finally took it's toll.
It was years ago but this is how it went.
I suffered from what I have now come to understand as "burn out."
It masked itself as depression and I was given a prescription for it by my physician.
I felt lost and my bearings were skewed so I took the drug for a few months
I hated it's numbing effect and weight gain was a side effect.
I could no longer feel Joy or sadness.
I felt so empty.
It was a terrible state to be in...living day to day going through the motions but not really living.
I'd rather feel sad than be in no man's land so I quit cold turkey and began my exploration of self.
For years prior to this I was one of those women who never said "NO."
I was on numerous committees over extending myself and working with two teenagers in the house.
Unbeknownst to me I was in peri-menopause.
I'd be exhausted by the time I got to bed and plagued with a "DO LIST" a mile long.
But could I fall asleep?
My mind would race and I'd think about all the tasks that I needed to perform the next day.
It was a spiralling swirl of thoughts and worry.
I was consumed.
My life was out of balance and I was stress eating.
(this is where I started to really pack on the pounds)
I rarely gave myself a second thought.
Self care was a foreign subject.
As Helen Reddy sang I was woman hear me roar!
I could do it ALL.
Mother, wife, daughter, parent volunteer, friend, employee...
who was I kidding?
I'd binge on potato chips and chocolate...
(you might be familiar with those large Lindt bars with hazelnuts)
and I would eat one EVERY night before bed while flipping through a magazine.
(my mind was so restless that I could never concentrate long enough to read a book)
Until I discovered books on Yoga and Buddhism and one book that helped me rise from the depths of despair...
The daily readings helped me rediscover the joys in everyday life and I learned how to take better care of myself.
The simple act of observing and practising gratitude was remarkable tool on my road to wellness.
I would recommend this book in a heartbeat if you feel the need to reconnect with your inner self.
Yoga helped me to calm my inner voice...
the focused breathing, poses and being mindful allowed me to cope with many stressful situations and calm myself after a busy or hectic day.
Now many years later,
I hope that I have the necessary coping skills under my belt.
I have discovered a few hobbies that I engage in when I feel I need to express myself.
I have dabbled in painting which allow feelings to flow through me to the brush and onto the canvas.
"Purses and paintings"
Having a place that is set up and ready is such a bonus.
When I first started I'd set up my paints and the easel in the kitchen.
It meant putting everything away after I was finished yet I loved how I felt after playing with the acrylics that it was worth it to me.
"Roses for Yolande"
My BFF's mother Yolande is 96 and her health is failing.
I've known this gracious woman since I was about 8 years old.
She has been such a wonderful mother and grandmother and a great friend to many.
Yolande is one of those rare women that make things look easy.
Her positive outlook and strong faith have certainly been her allies over the years.
The inevitable bumps and numerous pitfalls we all experience and how we cope with them show the world just what kind of stuff we are made of and I'd like to think that I'd be able to look life in the eye and make the best of the worst case scenario.
My heart goes out to my BFF and her family at this difficult time.
Thinking of you all in love.
"Whatever we are waiting for - peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance - it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart."
~ Sarah Ban Breathnach ~