by Ariana Ray, Wales, UK
Yesterday I sat on a train coming home from an event I had travelled to London for. I had a really full weekend, going to the event and enjoying the company of friends. For the first half of the journey home I worked, as I had on my journey up. Suddenly I noticed I was tired: I stopped working and sat still to feel what was going on… as I did so, I had an urge to eat.
I know that in the past I would have reached for a chocolate bar, biscuit, or cake and some coffee. I have learnt by trial and error that chocolate, coffee and other sugar hits change my ability to feel what is going on in my body; so much so that I decided not to eat them any more. I realised that when I ate those foods, I used them as a ’booster’ to override the tiredness I felt, when really I just needed to rest. So I would stay up late, overdo it and get exhausted.
Through attending talks and workshops with Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine I became aware that sometimes I eat to distract or disguise something else that is going on, or even use food to stop myself feeling at all! Now I enjoy eating a great balanced diet – the food that feels right for me, and now I feel much more alert, alive and vital during my days.
Sitting on the train on this occasion, all I had with me was an apple. Apples are great, and we all know the ‘apple a day’ slogan; it’s a neat healthy package in a green wrapping that you can pop straight into your bag. I knew the apple would give me the energy boost to push through this tiredness and finish what I was doing, but was it what I really needed?
I decided not to eat it. I wanted to feel how tired I actually was – to just feel the tiredness instead of using something to eat or drink, even something as healthy as an apple, so I could finish a project or task. So I sat with it and let myself feel where I was tired, noticing my arms, my legs, my whole body. I let myself be with it, allowing the tiredness to be – and it actually felt great to do. Why would I push this away? I felt like I was sinking into a feather bed just allowing myself to feel just how tired I was after my full working week and a great, but very full weekend. It actually felt great just to sit and feel.
Reflecting on my working day, I realised that I frequently eat an apple mid-afternoon to ‘get me through’; to push away the feeling of tiredness, the tightness in my shoulders and arms, or the scrunching of my forehead from trying to figure out how to solve a problem. But what happens when I do that and push through the feeling instead of listening to it? So I considered the simple apple further.
Isn’t needing anything to override tiredness, in itself, telling me a lot about where I am at and how I have been working during the day? It’s like we develop a hole inside that needs filling, but it’s got nothing to do with hunger or needing food at all. It’s not every afternoon that I need a ‘booster’ – so what am I doing differently on those days?
What would happen if I just felt, and allowed myself to be aware of what my body is really feeling instead of pushing through to get the job done to meet a deadline, a performance indicator, or get some recognition for doing so? I can’t just stop working in the middle of a working day, can I? Maybe not, but I can acknowledge what I’m feeling so that at least my day is real. It’s real in the sense that I’m paying attention to what I am truly feeling. So what’s the worst that can happen? Yes, I feel tired, but at least then I have the opportunity to feel this and bring the changes that are really needed into my daily life. Allowing myself to feel my tiredness wasn’t so scary, in fact it gave me permission to start truly caring for myself.
I guess where I’m coming from is that I want to feel whatever is going on and not ignore it, so I can feel what is making me tired, and change it when it happens. What’s the alternative? Running myself into the ground, not even noticing what I’m doing? No thanks. Not anymore.
After a month of ‘no apple’ at work I’ve realised I don’t need to hide from what my body is trying to say to me, and that this helps me to not push myself to a point where I get exhausted. It’s like being able to listen to that part of myself that ‘knows’ for the first time, giving myself permission to really pay attention, allowing the moment to feel, rest, and come back to myself. My body seems to know a lot more about what’s good for me than my oh so busy mind thinks it knows.