It has been a few weeks since writing. It wasn’t my intention to take this break, it just happened: the inevitable consequence of finding myself squeezed and stretched by life ‘happening’; a combination of things across personal and professional. Helping my parents move from their flat, the end of the academic year, the marking of assignments. Something had to give.
I can’t say it was a completely conscious decision to leave off the writing and take some space. At times, the realisation it had been “another day” that I hadn’t made the time to sit at my Mac popped in to my head; and I might have loosely promised myself “later maybe?”. But to be honest, I didn’t have the energy to make it a big deal. The main thing on my mind was getting through May. In the last week of the teaching term I felt was barely present. It had to be “one day at a time”, as to look up and ahead felt too much.
It is perhaps no coincidence that my colleague Dwight and I decided to add a session on “self-care” in to the teaching programme on a module we teach. We had recognised a week beforehand how low the energy was in the group of trainee counsellors before us; and we too were feeling it had been a long year. Dwight handed out a questionnaire to the class; I took one look and thought “I can’t do this now”. Another way that I knew I had to pull in, to not expand excess energy.
What I am writing might not paint a very positive picture, but its actually the converse. Whenever a client of mine is talking about the big stressors of life (moving, relationship break-ups, bereavement etc), there is a inevitability about it being a big deal; that it IS stressful, and to be anxious and / or run down is the NORMAL response to these events. The positive note in my current experience is that I haven’t added to my load – and that is breaking a very long-held patterning of mine. Even on the meditation cushion I have been “not meditating” and instead, simply sitting and being – no striving, no effort. When squeezed we need to find all the space to breathe that we can.
It has also been a reminder how tight the mind – body system is: the physical experience of anxiety, and the mental experience of my fatigue. The body-mind were constantly reminding me to live small, take small steps and conserve what energy I could.
I made it through May. My parents are moved, my marking is done…and now my attention can turn to the rejuvenation that summer always promises. I have a week’s holiday and then a week on retreat. So this time, I can – with consciousness – announce a break from this blog.
See you in a few weeks!