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Sleep, my child…

June 30, 2014

I’m just back from a wildly energizing and wonderful week with ministry colleagues and fellow Unitarian Universalists, a week of talking, singing, dancing; a week of love and learning and soul on fire. I came home wanting to dive right into better living, particularly more exercise – but just before I left, I got a result from a blood test that showed I had a “rheumatoid factor” of 15.

Not knowing, yet, what that means (it’s a low number, apparently, but higher than zero – a normal result) I went to my trusted physical therapist for advice. Maybe yoga? A core strengthening class? To my surprise, she said no to any of it.

Her charge to me: Take your anti-inflammatory meds even when you feel fine. Eat unprocessed, fresh foods. Meditate. Sleep. Especially sleep.

She was okay with leisurely walks when it’s cool, or a swim at the lake, but ruled out, for the moment, doing anything rigorous on the grounds that my immune system is flared up and does not need me adding to its load.

I’m surprised to notice that while it seems on the surface like easy enough advice – eat well, do less, and go to bed early – I know it’s going to be hard to live it. It has become habit to eat on the fly, grabbing whatever is handy and fast, and soothing myself with sweets when I’m stressed out and hungry. I usually get into my bed at a decent hour, but with my laptop. Having my laptop in bed makes every night like a slumber party, where I stay up chatting, hearing and telling stories on Facebook.

And meditating – I can do that; I already do that. For about five minutes at a stretch, tops.

I am reimagining what it means to dive in. No big splash off the diving board after all, nothing showy and impressive, no promise of flat abs and toned arms in just six weeks. It seems what is required for me, at least right now, is more of a surface dive, starting where I am and going deeper into the quiet waters that give me life.

I think I’ll start with a book and some hammock time today. Tonight, my laptop can stay in the living room while both of us recharge for the work that is ours to do in the world.

Y’all be well, and listen to your bodies. Drink plenty of water, eat right, and get plenty of rest. Move in the ways that bring you joy. Here ends the lesson.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 30, 2014 12:23 pm

    I too am in a space of learning how to DO NOTHING and it is much harder than it looks.

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