Phew, it’s really hot today. I’ve had a couple of low energy days this week and the heat isn’t helping. After getting off to a great start to the New Year, full of enthusiasm and creative verve, I think I’ve hit the inevitable low after the high.
When I say the low is inevitable, I’m referring to the natural ebb and flow of life that we, as human beings living on planet Earth have always been part of. Like the tides, the moon, the seasons, night and day, the animal kingdom and Mother Earth herself. We are all part of a continuum of work and rest, productivity and reflection, planning and acting.
In Chinese Traditional Medicine this cycling between the active and the passive is called Yin-Yang. This model asserts that we need both Yang – male, active, productive, hot and logical energy, and Yin – female, static, calm, cool and intuitive energy for balanced meridians and good health. This may sound simplistic, but it really is as straightforward as resting when we are tired and being active and productive when we have energy.
It seems to me that in our western society, we have largely lost touch with this connection to the rest of our planet, particularly with the way animals live. When was the last time you saw a cat or a dog racing around in the midday heat? In ancient times, when humans lived within the landscape, not separate from it as we do now, our minds and bodies were impacted more intensely by the moon phases, the shifting planets and the energies present in the earth under our bare feet. We would rest when it was hot, sleep when it was dark, rise with the sun and gather and hunt for food when it was available. These days, many of us ignore our body’s signals that we are tired, stressed or unwell, in favour of forging ahead to meet a set of expectations that we as a society have created, often to our collective detriment.
So, enough of the doom and gloom. I’m writing about this because I am very guilty, when I need some time for rest and regrouping, of giving myself a hard time and feeling very frustrated with my lack of progress. My advice to myself for next time is to ease up and remember what I have written here.
As the very long summer holidays draw to a close, I am feeling both elated and scared about what I will be doing this year. Once the kids are back at school I won’t be able to make any excuses for not getting my book finished, starting the process of finding a publisher and pulling together the workshop program I am planning to run for women. What I hope to remember is that although I will have a lot more time to do these things, I am pretty sure I will not be productive in every moment of every school day and that having down-time is not only OK but necessary for my sanity and health.
Click here to download a a beautiful prayer/meditation with soul song by the wonderful Jennifer McLean to help you remember there is actually nothing at all to be done, you are perfect.
Sending my love