What do you enjoy doing away from work or your day to day activities? Do you allow yourself enough ‘down time’ to genuinely relax, spending time doing things purely for you, your personal Soul’s nourishment and growth?
It took me years to get my head round how important it is to do this … It was so much more natural to me to keep on going; it somehow just didn’t seem right to spend time on myself … it seemed really selfish!! Now, I am sure this had a lot to do with the way I was brought up … to always be actively doing something; I always felt it was frowned upon for example, if I were to just sit ‘daydreaming’, or to be listening to music and not doing anything ‘useful’ at the same time. It seemed that absolutely everything I did, had to have a meaningful purpose.
With the understanding that age brings, I now realise the reasons I felt this way… You may remember I mentioned in a previous ‘blog’, that I was very poorly as a young child? My prognosis was not good; I was never ‘destined to achieve great things’ … In my very early life it was debatable that I would survive infancy even, much less that I would walk, talk have a reasonable level of cognition, and be able to live an independent life. Naturally this was most distressing to my parents, who resolved to do everything in their power to prove all the Doctors, Surgeons and other specialists wrong. They were desperate for me to live a ‘normal life’, whatever normal means.
To achieve this, my parents lovingly put so much well meaning time and effort into supporting, and pushing me to ‘reach my fullest potential’, determined that I would achieve each milestone no matter how long it took me (all done in a very encouraging way of course!) But it was not easy, and often took the form of ‘tough love’. Everything I did had a purpose and was practiced over and over until it was hardwired into my brain.
So for me, that simple act of just having time to be a child and do pointless things, to be allowed to play for playing’s sake, was a luxury I do not often remember.
That’s not to say I had an awful childhood, by any means!! Quite the opposite … in some ways I think to others it may have seemed that I had a fairly privileged childhood. We weren’t a wealthy family by any stretch of the imagination, but we always enjoyed a lovely holiday each year, often overseas (which at the time was not so common place as it is now) Myself and my sister were never spoilt, but we always had clothes that fit properly, and Christmas & Birthdays were never a disappointment (well apart from my sister adopted my longed for Beanbag as soon as I opened it … but that is another story!!)
So … I digress. Yes it took me many many years to get out of that ‘I must be purposeful’ mindset. If I am honest, it’s still something I struggle with on occasions; I have to remind myself that it is ‘ok’ to do things for myself … or more specifically, to have ‘down time’, where I ‘do’, and perceptibly achieve, ‘nothing’ … But when I do … WOW!! It is a gift I now treasure, and one I try and allow myself each and every day.
One of the things I love to do, is to get out and about for walks in the countryside and connect more with nature … It is one of my favourite intentions to do more of this year … Having my little dog Millie is great for this … (not quite so great when the paths are muddy and slippery) … but going out even on not the best of days weather wise, I always come back feeling better than I did when I set out!!
I find being among nature, especially around trees, helps me find time and space to unwind and de-stress … It’s a great ‘grounder and leveller’. Just hearing the birdsong, appreciating the peace and quiet (& rather ironically, how nature is really not quiet at all when listened to well) … it all helps me to chill out and relax. I love paying attention to the undergrowth, when I am walking, or the canopy of the trees, and will often notice little flowers or insects and birds, that I would usually miss … I think we can learn a lot from nature; it has no expectations, it just goes with the natural flow and rhythm of life.
And nature can be found everywhere. Even if you live in a town, or city, there is sure to be a public park, or failing that, even an area of waste ground that nature has reclaimed … and how wonderfully powerful is that?!! It teaches us that we can achieve anything, no matter the conditions we are surrounded by. (Hmmm … interesting; isn’t that exactly what my parents did for me as a small child?)
As well as walking in nature, I also love listening to music; it’s amazing how lyrics and tunes can trigger our emotions or memories … both of these ‘down time’, do nothing’ activities are how I relax. And I always listen to music whilst preparing to work with Spirit. But they have another quality too … They automatically energise, revitalise and uplift me. They nourish my Soul, and feed my Inner Spirit. They allow me to reconnect with ME again.
As a Medium, and doing what I do in other areas of my life, unsurprisingly most of my time is spent in service to others. Often after a walk I will be inspired to write, which is another thing I love to do!! Allowing my imagination free reign. creating stories, or poems, or songs even. Sometimes I just sit with Spirit and just see what words come to me.
So, how often do you make time for you?