Hello friends, I’m back! I ended up taking the month of September off from blogging for health reasons. I won’t go into all the details right now but it’s been quite a learning experience.
If I were to summarize the overall theme, it would be learning to accept my limitations. I don’t mean that in a defeated, I’m-not-good-enough way; I mean it from a place of honoring where I really am and accepting what my body needs to heal. I’m learning to meet myself where I am. It has been an exercise in mindfulness.
This exercise takes many forms:
- It means clearing my calendar of everything but the essentials.
- It means accepting when I can’t exert enough energy to go for a walk, when I can’t concentrate sufficiently to read a book, or when I need a nap in the middle of the day.
- It means wanting to do things I can’t physically manage right now, like attending my regular painting classes, signing up for a documentary photography workshop, or traveling.
- It means acknowledging that attempting to push through these limits sets me back. Apparently I’ve pushed one too many times over the years and now my body just won’t. let. me. do. it.
- It means learning to moderate my emotional responses to things, to not let others’ requests or needs stress me out.
- It means reminding myself (frequently!) that it’s okay to rest, that doing so honors where I am and what I need in this moment.
- It means learning how NOT to castigate myself when I am resting. After all, it’s not rest if you’re criticizing yourself the whole time.
- It means practicing greater self-care overall.
As you might glean from the list above, meeting myself where I am is not something that comes naturally to me. While I strive to live consciously, what I’ve always meant by that is that I consider the larger-scale impact of my beliefs and actions, consider the needs of mankind and our planet over my own selfish desires.
Being mindful of my emotions, thoughts, and sensations in each moment and—even more importantly—honoring them through my choice of action or non-action is a new experience. And not an easy one thus far.
Therefore, I’ve developed a new mantra to remind myself of the path that I’m on: I’m doing the best I can. Whether doing my best means acknowledging that I need a nap or that I neglected to honor my needs when I tried to push through, I’m always doing the best I can right here in this moment.
How are you doing the best you can?