I am still getting over the flu and although I feel tonnes better, I am overcome by lethargy in the afternoons, especially if I have the audacity to actually do something in the morning! I am not moaning. It is so unusual to have such a prolonged period of doing so little. Usually I am highly motivated and doing such a lot. However, I am not bored. I am just experiencing a mild frustration from time to time that my activity level is limited. Overall it feels good to rest. At 4.30pm, I am lounging, cozy & warm in bed writing this to you. I am munching through a small bowl of nachos, with melted vegan cheese, hummus & guacamole that my daughter has just brought me. She and my husband have just cleaned the house. What’s not to like?
I have been enjoying pottering about – cooking the odd meal, a bit of washing up, hanging up some laundry, the odd email. I realise that I am enjoying the fruition of my mindfulness and compassion practice. I notice the relaxed slowness of my pottering compared to the usual rush with which I do things, with precisely thought through logistics to get it done as fast and efficiently as possible. I don’t experience that at the moment and to be honest it’s a relief.
I particularly love feeding the birds. Crunching through the snow, filling up the feeders and then watching them feed. I notice their attentive eyes, checking out that the coast is clear, their skilful hovering to get into position on the feeder, their feathers puffed up against the cold. They seem to have a system, where they each wait their turn, watching what is going on and then joining the feast – sharing what’s on offer.
We ran out of peanuts today and my husband reported seeing three of them in a line on the kitchen windowsill, tapping on the window to alert us to the fact. The feeders are full again now! I marvel at how such small delicate creatures can survive the snow. Happy that I can help.
The fast business of my normal life is highlighted sharply by my current relaxed, can’t be bothered, lethargy. I am grateful for this time. I am glad to see the contrast and curious if it will change things when I am fully well again. Will I pitch at full tilt into speediness again, or will some of this slowness remain?
I am reminded of Vidyamala Burch of Breathworks talking about ‘over-efforting’. I heard this talk year’s ago, but the idea has stuck with me. How we generally put in more effort than usual into every task, even such mundane tasks as grasping the handle of the kettle too tight, or lifting things too quickly. If we stay present we can observe this and put in just the effort required and no more.
I hope I remember not to rush when I am able to again.
What I enjoy is this sense I have had these last few weeks of experience just moving through me, as I allow things to be as they are – not fighting them and so not getting caught in feedback loops of resisting or thinking about experience. It feels like letting go!
I have asked for help, which is a fruition of my compassion practice and help has been given to me. I never used to ask for help, believing it was a sign of weakness. I am very grateful to my family and my colleagues who are graciously taking up the slack, as I am letting it go.
I am going to do a bit more pottering now!
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