Finding your centre, without being self-centred

I am constantly amazed that our bodies give us physical signs that we are out of sync.  This summer has been very busy, and in a different way than any other year.  Now settling into our life on Summerhill, I am participating in activities like unloading straw into the hay mow, pulling obscene amounts of weeds out of the garden, again and again! and my favorite; cleaning horse stalls each morning, then bedding at night.

Two weeks ago I started having low back pain, which I rarely get; and if I do it’s because I am moving furniture around by myself;).  I ignored the pain and kept pushing ahead.   Then I was getting the ever delightful back spasms.  Still being a bit daft, since “I don’t get back pain”, I continued to ignore it.  When I could barely get out of bed one day, I decided, hey, maybe its time to listen.  Fine, a little stretch here and there should do it.  Uhm…no.  I gave in to the discomfort with a small gesture of morning and evening stretches.  Still no go.  Pain getting worse.

I finally took a moment as I iced my back, to take stock of my life and find out if I created the pain through a one time event or if I was systematically ignoring the need to be balanced in my activities.
Not surprisingly, it was the second.  I found that just because I could do work on the farm, it didn’t mean that I had to do it all at once.  I suddenly realized that the less I took care of myself, the less I was enjoying all the other activities in my day.

It is difficult sometimes to put yourself first.  It seems counter-intuitive to make sure that your own needs are met before your family.  However, if we take the time each day, even in a small way,  to take care of ourselves then we invariably are happier and healthier.  When we were busy raising Emily and had many work and social commitments, my “me” time was always a 15 min. bath before I started dinner.  It gave me a pause, and there I re-centered.

My back issues served as a reminder to take care.  Being centered is not only a more pleasant and meaningful way to move about the day, but it becomes a silent gift to everyone you come across.


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