Mamiko and I recently returned home from a working trip to Japan. Our suitcases are always heavy because we need to pack clothing for multiple events and various climates plus workshop materials, props, books, paperwork, etc.
When our regular taxi driver dropped off us at home, the last thing he said to me was, “Don’t hurt your back with those suitcases.”
Well, that’s exactly what I did. I strained all sorts of muscles in my back and hips as I carried our luggage into the house. Forty-eight hours later, I’m still healing the pain.
The question is: why did I do it?
Here’s the answer that came to me. Unconsciously, I hurt myself because I need to learn to set aside downtime after every long, demanding trip overseas.
Usually, I jump right back to my email inbox and project list the day after I get home. I fight my way through jet lag and never give myself ample time to rest and recover. In the process I create stress for myself.
My wife, by comparison, is a pro at travel recovery. She always gives herself plenty of days to rest before getting back to work. She listens to her body and acts accordingly. She doesn’t get stressed at all.
When we returned home this week, my higher self really wanted me to learn a lesson about self-care. Believe me, I’m paying attention.
Whenever we catch a cold or hurt ourselves, it’s never a random event. Rather, the Universe is trying to get our attention. Our bodies are attempting to communicate with us. Our higher selves want us to notice something and think about it. They are urging us to alter our old patterns of thought and behavior and evolve.
Most of the time, the key message is to rest and release stress. We need to take a pause in our busy lives and allow ourselves to heal.
When we get sick or injure ourselves, the challenge is to listen closely to the subtle messages being sent to us and not fight against our bodies or the higher forces at play. While it’s often hard to accept, the truth is that everything that happens in our lives, happens for our benefit. Everything.
So, this time I’m listening. Yesterday, I spent the majority of my day in bed, resting and meditating. Today, I’m doing a handful of work-related tasks and then continuing to rest. I am determined to learn this lesson about self-care and pay close attention to what I need physically, mentally and emotionally.
I need to rest, and that’s what I intend to do.