Sitting in a chair, gazing out the window, I contemplate the affect stress has on our bodies and our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health.
I set the intention to quiet my mind and be present in the moment. I focus my vision on the oak tress outside and they begin to move together as a whole as if they were breathing in a much slower rhythm than my own breath.
As I observed this, I noticed my breath slowed down. My body completely relaxed, all tension dropped. The words and thoughts flowed through my mind and didn’t stick. I just sat, noticing the trees breathing to the rhythm of nature.
Return To Love
The message I hear over and over is "Return to love. Love heals." I notice the pulse of my blood moving through my body with an ebb and flow, the in and out. My chest rises and falls as my body is breathed, expansion and contraction.
No control required. Only noticing.
Then comes the familiar hum in my ears, the vibration of sensation. I hear the beautiful sounds of my boy’s voices below. Ian’s “vowel songs” and Lane’s voice in play.
The vibration of love permeates my body.
This is such a peaceful state, where breathing slows down, goes deeper, feeds oxygen-rich blood to all parts of my body. The stories swirling in my mind quiet down and in this moment, all is well. I am home.
Take Time to Listen
It doesn’t always feel like this though, which is why I took the time to sit in the chair. My body was talking to me, letting me know it was time to stop and listen. I’ve been feeling exhausted, afraid and ungrounded. The stress I was feeling was the result of me disconnecting from love and I had some debris to clean out.
Stress is a toxin that eats away at love; sometimes a nibble at a time and sometimes in giant devouring bites that create visible destruction in it’s path. But most often it acts like a slow growing crack in your water pipes, causing damage not visible to the eye until the floor starts to buckle from the warping wood underneath.
At this point, mold infiltrates the wood structure, water saturates the insulation and the entire subfloor needs replacement. The entire support system continues to deteriorate beneath the surface every day until it’s dangerously close to collapse.
So how do you find the leaks before the damage reaches the point of a break down?
Explore Under the Surface
Pull open the door to the crawl space, turn on the flashlight and look inside. Become a detective. Get super curious and find the pipe that’s leaking all the love and joy out of your life.
What are your symptoms trying to tell you? Yes, this can be super scary to think about looking within yourself to find your cracks underneath. It takes courage and may get messy and feel like you're trapped in a dark crawl space for a while but what happens if you don’t and you continue to avoid the scary stuff?
The body just gets louder until you listen. It gets tired, rejects foods you used to be able to eat, gets migraines, colds, digestive problems, pelvic pain, chronic fatigue, auto-immune syndromes and diseases, back pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, vision problems, memory problems and the list goes on and on. The body breaks down under the pressure of continual stress.
You’ll feel depleted with nothing left to give either yourself or others. You’ll be left curled up in bed asking yourself how did I get here.
And if you find yourself curled up in bed feeling like it’s the end, that’s okay. It is the end. The end of that moment….now the end of that moment….and now the end of that moment. Then somewhere down the line of moments, the next becomes the one you say to yourself “this is the end of suffering and a place to start.”
There’s always a place to start.
And when you decide you're ready to shine the light under the surface, I believe in you. I believe you have all the courage and strength you need to find the cracks, clean out the debris and return to love.
Sitting in my chair, gazing out the window, the sun has now set and the dark blue sky creates a silhouette for the trees that continue to breathe just as I do.
If all you do is breathe, that’s a darn good place to start.
P.S. If you feel inspired to share a moment when you returned to love, I invite you to share in the comments below. I always love to hear from you.