Listening to my Exhausted Body

by Carmel Reid, BEng DMS CertEd MCMI, Somerset, UK

When I was a teenager I used to cycle to school; it was a pleasant journey of around three miles through some beautiful countryside on the edge of suburbia in Surrey.

One day as I was going along, I suddenly realised I had no idea how I had cycled the last mile or so. It scared me – I’d obviously been thinking about something else and I resolved there and then never to drive a car – I mean, just how dangerous could that be if I did the same thing?

Well, of course I learned to drive, and guess what? I do it time and time again. Sometimes I find myself thinking about work, or some major issue in my life.

Over the years I have had the occasional accident – no one else hurt, just the vehicles involved, my pride and in one case, my neck with a whiplash injury. When I think back on each occasion I had been in a particular state of euphoria, feeling good about myself – or the opposite, very angry about something, or upset. In an emotional state of distraction and not driving with full attention. It’s time to stop doing that.

I used to pride myself on my intelligence, my ability to learn and my ability to think and organise things. I used to think while swimming lengths at my local swimming pool or walking around the countryside.

In parallel with all of this, I was a sugar-holic – I ate anything that was sweet – with loads of bread and carbohydrates: I drank tea, coffee, sweet drinks, fruit juice and alcohol.

Through the lectures presented by Serge Benhayon, I came to understand that my sugar cravings were because I was exhausted. I was living three lives in one day.

(1) There were the physiological responses due to my emotional reactions

(2) There was tension due to my thinking about past or future events

(3) There was the energy I was using doing whatever I was doing at the time.

No wonder I was exhausted!

Changing my way of living is a work in progress. So far I have cut out all of the alcohol and sugar, have considerably reduced the carbohydrate intake, particularly gluten, and am developing my awareness of how I spend my body’s energy. I still crave sweet things, so I eat fruit and some carbohydrates, but am aware that this is a symptom of my body’s exhaustion.

I still think of something else while I’m doing many things, but am becoming more aware of what’s going on. I am beginning to feel how much all the sugary stuff stops me from feeling my body, and as I reduce the amount I eat, the awareness increases.

I have been inspired by Serge Benhayon, the esoteric practitioners and many of my fellow students. My body will tell me the rest, as and when I choose to listen!

141 thoughts on “Listening to my Exhausted Body

  1. Thanks Carmel I feel the same too, sometimes catching myself doing something and have no idea where I am up to or how I got somewhere. We can either pass it off and laugh, or stop and pay attention. It explains so much about how we get so ‘illogically’ tired

    1. This is something I can definitely relate to as well – sometimes it’s something more noticeable (i.e. the automatic pilot mode when driving etc.) and other times it’s much more subtle (i.e. not being able to recall whether or not I locked my car when I park at the train station). Either way, it’s a marker that I haven’t been consciously present in my body.

  2. Sounds so familiar Carmel – travelling a certain distance and not remembering anything! It is amazing how most of the time we leave ourselves in order to be somewhere else. Up until I came across Universal Medicine my life was permanently in overdrive and I thought that was normal. The more I have been observing myself, and making those pit stops, the more I realise how much room there is to live life at certain pace that is not exhausting on the body – this does not mean walking around snail pace, but whichever speed it is, that I am with me in all that I do. It is not easy, but boy, the pay back is worth the extra effort.

  3. Such an important topic….the exhausted body. Nowadays, I often am tired because I’ve been up since early hours and I’ve gotten a lot done in a day. But I am never exhausted. It feels good to be tired. It never feels good to be exhausted. There is a huge difference between those two states of being, eh.

    1. Helpful comment Gayle, thank you for clearly hightlighting the difference between feeling tired and feeling exhausted.

  4. So true Carmel, feeling exhausted from all the heady thoughts is very different to as Gayle said from being tired from a long day. If I get myself out of the way, and don’t think of something else while I am working then I am not exhausted at the end of the day and the day feels complete.

  5. Ooh Carmel, I can soo relate to what you’ve written, I too have been living many lives in one day. I love how you so clearly break it down, and it’s really useful for me to now ponder how I can exhaust myself . Good learning – thanks for sharing this an inspiring me.

  6. “three lives in one day”. A very cool way of expressing it. Challenging too. As much of the world would see that as a good thing. My dad always used to say; “if you want something done, ask the busiest person.” What is scary is that he is right. When you are lost in business, you will happily take on more and more, totally unaware of what it is doing to you. BUT, what my Dad’s saying doesn’t factor in, is any allowance for HOW you want something done, the quality in which it gets done… and, most importantly, what is happening to the person doing it all. That’s the honest part. That’s the tricky part and that’s the part you’re talking about so eloquently in your blog. Beautiful words Carmel. Thanks for sharing them.

    1. Your comment is awesome Otto – something I have enormous personal experience of. Being the ‘busiest person’ it feels like you are super involved, helping everyone out but what about the quality? And what about me looking after myself? Of course there is a flip side – that if we are truly looking after ourselves and present with what we are doing then we naturally get more done. But I know that I for one tend to put myself last and let the ‘to do list’ define my day and much of my life.

    2. I like how we are able to differentiate between being busy and accomplishing much in a day from simply being with integrity in our full awareness in everything we do. At the end of the day instead of exhaustion we are met with a delightful tiredness from a day well lived.

    3. Very entrenched this phrase, ‘if you want something done, ask a busy person’. Thing is, it’s probably quite true, a busy person actually does get heaps done, but what is always in question is the quality it’s done in and the effects on the body as the tasks get done.

  7. You have explained this so well, Carmel It’s funny how society lauds the exhausted workaholic and the frenetic and frazzled parent ferrying their offspring from one activity to another after school, but what sort of example are today’s young people being given? Maybe it is already putting them on the path of accepting exhaustion and distracted living as the norm….

    1. I agree Judy, you have explained this so well Carmel. Exhaustion is such a serious problem, and I love the analogy of three lives in one day, it’s so true, we can be living our physical lives and be in a totally different life in our heads, it is no wonder we get worn out and turn to whatever is there to help us through.

  8. Hi Carmel re-reading your blog almost 2 years later was a great reflection to see what has or hasn’t changed in my life. What struck me is that I can still think of other things while I am doing something and how this drains the body. It is now much more hi-lighted than it was 2 years ago, but it was great to read your blog again to see that there is still more awareness I can bring to this area of my life and how much easier and simpler the tasks are when my thoughts are totally with whatever I am doing.

  9. Great blog Carmel I can so relate to living in the past or the future. Since attending Universal Medicine workshops I am building my awareness around this, catching myself and bringing myself back to the present. It is indeed exhausting living in different time zones in any given moment.

  10. It is interesting to revisit this two years on and to realise that although I have made many changes and further refined my diet, there is still more to be done. I am less exhausted and needing less sleep, but still craving sweet things now and then and that makes me reflect on my day – I may start out feeling pretty still, but at some point I lose it, and can become very ‘buzzy’. My body is telling me that I am still focused on what I do and could choose to focus instead on how I am ‘be-ing’. Observing my breath works well, because breathing gently and tenderly helps me to re-connect to that natural stillness within. Spending a few moments appreciating me feels good too, and I can do that more often than before. There is still a residue of not quite feeling ‘good enough’ but I’m working on that. (This feels like a progress report!) I appreciate how far I have come and my body is reflecting all of my choices, which is amazing.

  11. Carmel, you expressed so simply what probably all of us can relate to and are/were living at times. It’s a very exhausting merry-go-round which when caught in feels sometimes impossible to come out off.
    The good news is though that from my experience it’s simpler as we let ourselves think 😉
    Choosing whole body-mind presence in what we do without allowing our head to think about what was or what could come next is an important key and when done in tenderness it feels awesome – no where I want to go with my mind then 😉
    Then my day flows beautifully and it does not leave me feeling empty or craving something – be it sugar, entertainment, distraction with more doing…
    Then I feel full of me and content with what ever I was doing and can let go of the days events easily.

    1. Hi Sarah, yes, it is interesting focusing on what we are doing now and not thinking ahead – I recently went for a job interview and instead of getting all worked up about what would or wouldn’t happen, I did the research I felt was necessary, rewrote my CV and then spent the morning of the interview working as normal. The interview went well because I was relaxed throughout and, best of all, I wasn’t exhausted afterwards. I felt half way through that the job wasn’t for me and a day later they confirmed I hadn’t been selected, which was fine. It feels amazing to go through something like that with no big drama.

  12. Great article Carmel, busy-ness is glorified in our society – wanting to do everyting on all fronts : work, activities, sports, entertainment, socialising, raising a family and all this as quickly as possible. No time for a pause. How did we let this happen ? We all let it happen and we are all responsible for this society of robots. It is high time we change the way of living.

    1. Hi Maryline, you make a great point here ‘busy-ness is glorified in our society’ this is very true – I have felt guilty if I stop for just five minutes! Actually when I slow down, amazingly – I get more done. No robots here!

  13. Thanks, Carmel. I can very much relate to living “three lives in one day”, and what you have shared captures human behaviour beautifully – doing one thing, thinking about another, and reacting to something else all at the same time. Phew! Life could be a lot simpler and less exhausting as you say.

  14. The more I listen to my body, the louder it appears to talk to me. Thank you for this reminder about how we can run several programmes at once leading to exhaustion. It is so much simpler to just be consciously present with the one thing we are doing, but we appear to have a mind that prefers complexity.

  15. As always Carmel your blog really hits the spot! Regarding your ‘lost time while cycling’,
    I can remember the same thing happening to me in the seventies while driving home late at night after a few pints too many!
    I used to say that the car knew its own way home! Fortunately there was hardly anyone
    else on the road at the time.
    On the subject of stimulating foods, I too am feeling the benefit of giving up coffee.
    It is only relatively recently, and I wasn’t on more than one cup a day, but I find
    that I am on much more of an ‘even keel’ now.

  16. Hi Carmel, thanks for the sharing like Janet and others ” living three lives in one day” I can relate too. I find it quite hard to stay with myself as I find my self drifting off thinking of other things. There’s so much going on in life that I’m easily distracted and taken into the whirlpool of it.

  17. I can also relate to that being on autopilot and not having been aware of how I have got to the point I am at. One thing I have found that has helped is the choice to eat less carbohydrates, cutting out sugar, gluten, alcohol and caffeine. This had a big impact on staying aware in what I am doing.

  18. I can relate to having moments of being on autopilot and drifting off into a story and having to catch myself and bring myself back to the present – this is an ongoing practise for me but well worth the effort. Since giving up coffee, alcohol and sugar I definitely feel clearer in my thought processes and less racy.

  19. Auto pilot is a scary thing. It’s funny because when I do alot of driving, I used to welcome it because in a funny way it meant that I got to your destination faster. But therein lies the danger, because by ‘checking out’ during this bit of life you start to build up a pattern of being lazy with your presence. As time goes by these lapses start to infiltrate more and more of life… reading, conversations, work. Everyone loses as you slowly check out of life.

  20. Thanks Carmel I can really relate to living three lives at once and then wondering why I was always exhausted! Staying present with what I am doing is still a work in progress for me but I have certainly felt the benefits of changing my diet and I now feel pleasantly tired at the end of most days rather than fall into bed exhausted as was my old pattern.

  21. A great insight Carmel into exhaustion and how you developed your awareness to recognise how and why it was happening. It is inspiring how you chose to make changes in your life as a result of this awareness of what was exhausting you. I have also experienced this for myself – I was reaching for quick fixes for the exhaustion so that I would continue with my day, rather than taking responsibility and looking at why I was exhausted and choosing to adjust how I was living. Universal Medicine presentations have also inspired me to look at the changes that I can make to support and live my true self without exhaustion, as I do now with, in fact, more vitality, presence and love.

  22. An awesome reminder to be present… Automatic pilot is a scary and exhausting tool and it’s incredible how much of life we can miss if we don’t consciously choose to be aware… a disservice to not only ourselves but to others.

    1. I agree, Sam, and on the recent retreat we were at I was truly getting what has been presented numerous times, that we think we think but those thoughts come from whatever energy we are aligned to – so when I allow my body to align with truth and stay consciously present, then all those rubbish thoughts are a thing of the past.

  23. A great reminder of the extent to which our mind can wander and the need for conscious presence. Also the extent to which sugary foods dull our awareness. Thanks Carmel.

  24. When I first heard that when I allowed myself to wander to the Past or Future, I was actually there living it, having the conversations happening in my head etc I didn’t accept it. Having now, embodied the experience and felt the outcome in the body – tiredness, anxiety etc and the truth that I was reliving those events by bringing them into the moment or creating the future I didn’t want to live, my awareness meant I began to choose differently. Changing my diet – not eating sugar, gluten or Dairy was empowering because I was able to bring all of me to the choices I was making and not use the food to dull or shutdown my awareness as had happened previously in my life. A light has switched on and is showing me more clearly the way to go and that light is coming from within me.

  25. How awesome Carmel. And you’ve nailed it, in that we CAN choose to listen to our bodies, and develop a relationship of being truly present with ourselves in all that we do. It isn’t hard, it just takes simple dedication and a willingness to ‘bring ourselves back’ when we realise we’ve been off somewhere else in our thoughts…
    I’ve found that ‘being elsewhere’ to where I currently am (in body) and what I’m doing (via my body), is actually a tremendous drain on my energy – no wonder the need for sugar and treats that used to be there! As I’ve become more present with myself in all that I do, I actually have more energy for my day, and a heightened ability to focus on just what needs to be done.
    To say this is a joyful experiencing of and participation in life – well, that’s an understatement!

    1. ‘As I’ve become more present with myself in all that I do, I actually have more energy for my day, and a heightened ability to focus on just what needs to be done.’ I agree, Victoria, Focus is definitely something I’m working on at the moment – I start doing a task and get distracted by something else and end up scattering my attention all over the place instead of staying focused and feeling simply in each moment what to do next, it’s very draining -rather like having lots of apps open on my iPhone – that drains the battery.

      1. Holy moly Carmel, there is another blog for you – about having too many apps open, and trying to be in too many places at once! Brilliant.
        I have been exactly the same, and learning to truly be with and complete one thing at a time is, well, ‘everything’ in this. And it allows me to actually do and express in my daily activity far, far more from my body, far more centred and joyfully dedicated – rather than my head running the body in a scattered way which does not actually bring the quality I can bring at all (the old ‘chook with its head cut off syndrome’ – or ‘brush turkey’ in my part of the world 😉 ).

  26. This was a great blog to read Carmel as it very simply showed how we can exhaust our bodies and then use food (particularly sweet foods) to mask the truth our bodies are so desperately trying to tell us. It brings into focus the importance of conscious presence and really being in the moment, actually being aware of our body in each situation, rather than focusing on where our mind chooses to take us. Thanks for sharing this awareness, it has made me stop and consider more deeply my part in the choices I make in life.

    1. Hi Jade, the sugar thing is still something I’m working on – I recently got into such a place that I started eating sugary foods and then couldn’t stop – sugar is definitely addictive because it gives you an instant lift followed by a deeper drop so you crave more. I’m learning now to pause and observe what’s going on before I take any action. And stop reading emails before I turn the light out at night because I lose track of time and then I’m beating myself up for being late going to sleep.

  27. Thank you Carmel for you blog, I can really relate to the checking out bit with my mind being everywhere else and me being on automatic with what I am doing. I have lived this way most of my life. I now can choose to be consciously present with what I am doing much more than before, realising that in every moment I have a choice.

  28. Hi Carmel – that was a lot of things going on at once, no wonder you were reaching for the sugar! What a great reminder how cutting back on sugar allow us to feel what is actually going on in our bodies – thank you for sharing.

    1. Yes, Melissa, and it’s still a work in progress – I find that at the moment if I do something too stimulating before I got to bed, or eat too much, then I don’t feel tired and end up going to bed later, which means I wake up exhausted instead of refreshed. Letting go of the beliefs about food and energy is an interesting development for me too – it’s not necessarily the food that gives me energy, it’s how I live my day. Being with me in everything I do is energising.

  29. Hi Carmel, I can totally relate.. sometimes I am doing something and I notice I am thinking about all of the other stuff I need to do instead of staying focussed on what I am doing at the time and that is what makes me stressed or exsausted!

  30. Reading your Blog Carmel, I realise how most of the time I am thinking about something other than what I’m doing, which is doing two things at the same time.
    I am practicing being present with my feelings, which helps no end.

  31. ‘I was living three lives in one day’. With the overstimulation and fast pace of modern day society exhaustion today is like a plague and we can often feel we are doing too much at once as we are preoccupied thinking about one if not more things while doing something else. This scenario can be further exacerbated with emotional reactions still on board and accumulating from other previous experiences, or feeling an anxiousness about the future. No wonder so many in our society feel exhausted, distracted and overwhelmed and have addictions to sugar just to help them survive. Thank you for showing us there is another way that is no quick fix but is ever developing. Great blog Carmel.

    1. Indeed, exhaustion is like a plague, as our emotions, anxieties and distractions create tension in our bodies every day. When we have a ‘Butterfly Mind’, staying focused on the task in hand is a Good Thing. Multi-tasking is not.

  32. Great blog, Carmel. It makes so much sense why so many of us are so exhausted when it’s broken down like the way you did – living three lives in one day. I also used to pride myself on productivity and efficiency at work, constantly thinking about what’s next. I didn’t realise that it was actually exhaustion – which is so clear from the amount of alcohol I was drinking every day – as I had no other point of reference to know any other way of being. Learning to be productive and efficient without exhausting myself can be challenging at times, but I have noticed the difference in the way my body feels.

  33. Something I’ve learned today is that getting anxious about everything we still have to do is also exhausting, for example, clearing a backlog of filing or emails can be very draining but if I do a few each day, like weeding the garden, eventually I catch up and then it’s easy to maintain order.

  34. This is a great blog, Carmel – how many people in the world rely on coffee and sugar due to exhaustion? I was one of those people for most of my life, living every occasion thrice – anticipating it, actually living it and then worrying afterwards about how it went. Now that I don’t use caffeine and sugar to mask my exhaustion, I am aware of when I go into overdrive and can make a different choice.

  35. Great post Carmel, a great reminder on being completely present with each task in hand rather than getting distracted with our thoughts and focusing elsewhere which is very draining on the body.

  36. Awesome blog Carmel. I know that one huge area for work for me is in staying present with what I am doing at the time and not allowing my mind to be running off on tangents. Since I have been taking note and pulling myself up, I have realised that I have been living this way in a near constant state of motion for as long as I can remember. Little wonder that exhaustion is the end result.

  37. Sometimes I laugh about myself because in my mind I have somehow silly dialogues: While I clean the window I think: “I am cleaning the window, I use my fingers tenderly…” As if it was not obvious that I am doing this. Well, it’s not because I had a major downfall of my IQ since I started listening to Serge Benhayon, it’s because it is absolutely freeing and energy saving to think about the things that my body is doing and not to separate my thinking from my action.

    1. I love this, Felix, ‘ I had a major downfall of my IQ since I started listening to Serge Benhayon’ Yes, it is interesting to learn that, when we stopped listening to our bodies, we stopped being intelligent.

  38. What reading this blog reminded me of is that it is one thing to actually have thoughts of doing something in a certain quality but that none of those thoughts are of any use if they stay as thoughts and their quality is not felt in the body.

  39. Thank you Carmel, it reminded me of how much I used to eat to fill up the empty feeling I had, as I knew I was missing something, yet I didn’t know at the time what it was. This made me feel exhausted through what I was eating and became an everyday cycle until I understood through Universal Medicine that I was missing the connection to myself.

  40. A great sharing Carmel and one I can relate to very well. As women we can pride ourselves on being able to multi task, I know this is something that enabled me to tick all the boxes for that day. Of course this came at a price and was very exhausting on my body and there is no real quality to anything I do. I have been developing more presence and stillness in my life which has supported me to focus on one thing at a time instead of trying to cram lots in and losing myself completely – a work in progress but an awesome opportunity to deepen my connection and bring quality to all my movements.

  41. Three lives in one, makes a lot of sense that that would leave you tired. I can find myself really tired yet I’m exercising, eating really well and sleeping well. The more I looked into the issue of being tired I found out that I was ignoring the essential details in my life.
    Such as:

    – Having a solid commitment within my life.
    – over thinking situations
    – allowing myself to dwell of emotional situations for too long

    All three points above got me to the conclusion that I needed to live within the moment in the most loving way possible while being committed to everything I needed to be committed to.

  42. Thank you Carmel, for highlighting that our body is our true guide and support when we listen to the way we are feeling and the signs it gives us, like being exhausted, so that we can make the necessary changes to our way of living when our body is being effected. Reaching for sugar is a great indicator that we have disconnected from our body and that the way we are doing things is draining our energy.

  43. ” My body will tell me the rest, as and when I choose to listen!” Listening to our body is so important – and to not let the mind override with the to-do list – which will always be there. Stopping to ask ourselves what lies underneath the sugar craving is a great start – as is learning to stay focussed on the task in hand. After all we can only live in the present moment – yet our minds trick us to live in the past or the future……No wonder we are exhausted, as you point out in your blog.

  44. There are many subtle ways we can exhaust ourselves – looking to outside for appreciation is one – you know how, we can work our butts off through a very busy day and the boss goes home without so much as a thank you? Why did we work so hard in the first place? Was it to only get approval from the boss or simply because work needed to be done? If it was to get approval, what was the quality in which we did the work? We leave energetic imprints in everything we do and they affect other people. Working with full appreciation for who we are and what we bring allows anyone on the receiving end of our service to feel that energy and maybe appreciate themselves a little more as a result. The only appreciation we need is our own, and that is energising not exhausting.

  45. “There was tension due to my thinking about past or future events” This one feels very familiar to me as i certainly used to get exhausted chewing over past events or conversations I had had and how it could have been different or ‘better’ and then fretting about future events and how I would cope with them and make them ‘better’ for everyone. Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine have inspired me to let go of this mental turmoil and to listen to my body and I have discovered that there is so much more to enjoy and appreciate in being who I am as I choose The Way of the Livingness.

  46. Thank you Carmel, I can so relate to all you have shared as I too, in the past, have lived three lives in the one day, but now since attending Universal Medicine presentation I have more awareness as to why I choose this debilitating way of living. I have made many lifestyle changes as a result of this awareness, and I know I have come a long way in eliminating exhaustion from my life , but I also know there is still more to be done.

  47. Thank you Carmel. I appreciate what you share about the way we use sugar to fight exhaustion. Recently I have seen how fruitless (see what I did there 🙂 this approach is as it is the sugar that allows me to push my body further than it wants to go. I have not eaten any sugar including fruit for the past 5 days and my energy levels have greatly improved. This experiment with my own body has shown me a truth that no scientific study can take way from.

  48. Carmel you put your fingers on a very important topic – thinking of something else while doing many things and not becoming aware of what’s going on. Are we not all guilty for doing so???? So why are we living like this???? What really happened to our bodies while we are using it without being aware? I am wondering why science are not wanting to know!

  49. I can relate to going into exhaustion for many years Carmel, not understanding why this was until I learnt the importance of listening to and honouring how my body is feeling and deeply resting when needed.

  50. Building a steadiness of presence builds a true foundation that not only supports us but is truly energising with no need to reach for sugary foods as we deplete our body when we choose to disconnect from ourselves.

  51. Great read Carmel, being consciously present while doing whatever we are doing, sounds simple enough but I for one find myself so easily distracted by thoughts past and future or planning the next project. Recently I realised that my mind was thinking a head to play it safe; if I could control what was up ahead by thinking and planning all would be ok. Seems to be that I need more trust that I will know what I need to know at the time I need to know it; this is what I am now starting to develop.

    1. I agree, Jill, I have found this too – thinking ahead, trying to control what is about to happen and learning what complications it presents, both for myself and everyone else involved. I’m learning big time to simply let go and let everything constellate, allowing for the bigger plan that we are all part of to proceed in its designated time.

  52. One of the big markers of exhaustion for me has been sleep. I used to drag myself into bed when I simply couldn’t stay up and awake anymore and then sleep was more of a crash than something rejuvenating for my body. Then I would wake up tired the next morning and start the day again – with food and drink to perk me up and then keep me going. It has been a revelation to me in recent years to work with my body’s innate rhythm, eating less, dropping foods which actually make it work harder and going to bed before I am tired. Hey presto, I have more energy for my daily activities and enjoy getting up early to start the day with plenty of time to get ready for work – or whatever I am doing. Tuning into and working with the wisdom of the body has proved to be a great thing to do.

    1. When we eat certain foods, especially at night, we do not feel the exhaustion and can stay up way later than our body actually needs. As you say, Richard, going to bed before we feel tired means we can wake up earlier and have the energy to get so much more done.

  53. It is incredible that choosing to be present with what you feel has allowed you to be able to hear what your body is telling you … and guide you in developing your awareness rather than reducing it through what you eat. The power we possess is remarkable.

    1. I agree Samantha, isn’t it extraordinary, and slightly baffling, that we don’t choose presence when it comes to what we eat. Well, I certainly didn’t have this as my ‘normal’. I am starting to choose that now but am intrigued at how hard it is to remember – why oh why is presence not my norm???! and how or how did that end up in my mouth ???!!! Always great learning!

  54. Sugar, alcohol and all these other stimulants constantly masked how we truly feel, especially the exhaustion that is rampant in our society – this is not a good thing as we just cover up the ills instead of learning to look at the root cause and change it there.

  55. I have been trying to work out how I can find myself eating something sweet when I have made a resolve not to eat it! The body is the smartest part of me, it is blunt, consistent and sensitive. My brain on the other hand is easily influenced, highly manipulative and incredibly persuasive. Your blog brings a deeper understanding to why the brain has such influence and what it is I am working so hard not to feel.

    1. The less tired I am, the less I crave sugar and carbohydrates. I’m enjoying the sweetness of vegetables because I can taste them now sugar and salt is eliminated from my diet. And I’m enjoying feeling more. I can still dull myself with the amount I eat but that is slowly changing.

      1. It is so true Carmel. It takes time and understanding. Eliminating sugar and salt really brings back our choice – to dull or not to dull, that is our question when confronted with the choice to indulge or not!

      2. Fantastic Carmel – thank you for the update. Presence presence presence – Imagine if it were as popular as a cup of coffee – what a different world we would have.

      3. The more I build this connection with my body, the more I want to sustain it, and not do things that drop my awareness and what I can feel. Of course there are many times when I definitely don’t want to feel what’s going on around me. But as my connection to my body, and the feeling of steadiness that comes with that, increases, I don’t react to feeling whatever is going on around me, as much.

  56. Thanks Carmel, I could relate to your three points, you have inspired me to become more aware of these things through my day and how I am spending my body’s energy.

  57. I’ve recently been recuperating from a major surgical procedure and even though I am resting plenty, I still feel tired. I appreciate that my body’s recovery means I will naturally feel tired, but there’s more than that – I am still thinking and not always being present with where I am. On days where I am present more often, I feel great!

  58. So many people live their days using sugar and caffeine to prop them up, but have no concept that there is something not right in this reality. But I ask why is this? Is it too long ago to remember being a child and not drinking coffee, more to the point, not needing coffee to give us an energy boost. Is it that long ago that we don’t remember the feeling of vitality and simpleness in our lives? I felt this many years ago and stopped drinking tea at the time. A choice I have never regretted.

  59. I love this Carmel – I’ve just been through a period where I began to drink coffee after not drinking it for the past 4 years or so all because I have allowed myself to reach a place of complete and utter exhaustion. Your blog reminds me that there is always a reason I am so tired and that I don’t need to judge myself. I can simply provide myself with loving support as I find my way to a place where I can live without exhaustion.

    1. Interestingly I found that what I was eating was exhausting me too – apart from my body having to digest more food than it needed, because I ate so much, eating sugar made me racy, even eating fruit, so I was somewhat hyperactive and exhausting myself with nervous energy. I’ve stopped eating all sugar, carbs, and fruit and now find it easier to connect with the inner stillness.

  60. I have come to appreciate how the body communicates clearly whether our choices are truly supportive or not and the more I now listen to how I am feeling the more I am able to care and nourish my body through making choices that honour how I feel.

  61. It’s obvious to me that sugar feeds exhaustion rather than giving it. I have spent most of my life choosing to believe the opposite and it’s done a lot of damage. It wasn’t until I stopped having all the sugar and carbohydrates that I was able to see how damaging they are and how tired they have made me.

    1. Yes, Leonne, I sometimes go back on the carbs when I’m anxious and not wanting to feel any tension in my body, but it exacerbates the situation – the more I eat the more I want to eat. Sometimes certain foods make me very moody, which is not good for relationships.

    2. It is incredibly revealing to see just how much all forms of sugar affects us. I too can relate to noticing the difference from not having sugar, and how it was propelling the exhaustion roller-coaster which was directed directly to the same ride that emotions take us on.

    3. This is enormous what you are saying here Leonne, “It’s obvious to me that sugar feeds exhaustion rather than giving it.” We are so much in the belief that the body needs sugar that we are not able to make the correlation between our sugar intake and exhaustion. It is true that the body needs sugar but as far as I recall with the food that we eat it takes all the nutrient parts it needs and distributes it throughout its whole system. If we eat mainly sugar and carbohydrates there is no much true fuel for our body as we give it sugar straight with nothing to support the whole organism of the body.

  62. Just as I was reading this I was reminded just how important it is to not put so much pressure on doing things a certain way. When I let go, and allow myself to listen/feel what my body is telling me, the answers appear without any effort. The last line, ‘My body will tell me the rest, as and when I choose to listen!’ is spot on. It all comes down to a willingness to feel.

    1. Well said Elodie. The more we try to control the less we can hear our body and what it is communicating. Control is just as numbing as the more obvious things such as sugar, TV, alcohol, drugs……

  63. Great awareness that you came to Carmel that you were living 3 days in one due to emotions, thought processes and what was actually going on. I find I easily become exhausted if I spend the day in my head thinking about things and not actually focused on what I am doing. I love the awareness you have offered.

    1. This can be played out in many different ways. I can remember many years ago being so exhausted and overwhelmed like I was parenting 10 kids but I only had 2! What we can create in our minds feeds our body and then include the movement of that and bam you are living something that is so far removed from the truth.

  64. Eating fast and too much as been a long-winded act for me to continually dull my awareness. In the evening / after school is the sabotage time. It just goes to show the more I was with myself during the day the lesser this act would be, and I have proven this.

  65. Carmel you offer such practical advice on how to heal an exhausted body – it’s actually very simple if we remain connected to our bodies and listen to the deep wisdom the body speaks at all times.

  66. Choosing to be other than present with my body is exhausting and I am noticing that I cannot get away with it like I used to. A craving for fruit and nuts is a sure sign I have exhausted my body and having markers in my day can support me to come back to my body if I choose to listen and be aware of them.

    1. This is true, Caroline, I recently have also had a craving for fruit and nuts after being so ‘good’ for months. It definitely symbolised exhaustion – we have been house hunting and it was becoming exhausting – until we stopped being so mental about it and simply felt in our bodies what was right or not for us – now I am gradually cutting back on the snacking, which feels right.

  67. Thanks for sharing Carmel, yes, I can relate with the automatic pilot mode when driving, and checking out at times, I am choosing to be consciously present with all I do, a work in progress.

  68. Our body will communicate with us if we choose to truly listen, choosing to be present is an important part of this listening, and not dulling our awareness with what we eat.

  69. Sugar contributes to exhaustion but it’s sneaky because it appears to pep us up in the short term. If we commit to addressing the root cause of our exhaustion sugar can not be part of the plan.

    1. Yes, Leonne, sugar does all sorts of things – you can see it clearly in children who eat a lot of sugary sweets (called Lollys in Australia) who can be incredibly moody. For me even the sugar in carbohydrates affects my mood and yes, it gives me a temporary lift but then I’m feeling even more tired shortly after, so it makes sense to avoid sugar in any form.

  70. I can relate to this Carmel, the pride in thinking and planning my life or working through something in my head while seemingly doing something mundane.. it’s this constant checking out and leaving the body that sets it adrift and means that we don’t value the connection with it. So when we do try to connect to it, it can feel challenging, because we’re a bit out of practice. But living in connection is really the only way to live – the other way can feel okay for a bit, but we’re at sea, adrift and reliant on the external to tell us who we are. When we re-build that connection to our body, and live from there, we just know what to do and when to do it, and there’s no need to go off into our heads to strategise.

    1. Hi Bryony – this is such a cool summary: ‘When we re-build that connection to our body, and live from there, we just know what to do and when to do it, and there’s no need to go off into our heads to strategise.’ all I can say to that is ‘Yup’ and ‘Work in Progress’.

  71. In being far more willing to listen and move in a conscious way with my body I have come to appreciate how much my body supports and guides me to what is truly nurturing and rejuvenating and what drains my energy.

  72. Thinking about the past or future is draining and exhausting. What I have found to be most challenging and now becoming much more aware of is going into mental energy after I have spent some time with people. I love people but after an event or simply being with people I regurgitate some of the conversations in my mind, it is no wonder I feel drained after being in the company of people! Becoming aware of when this happens and making a choice to commit to bring myself back to my body is getting easier due to an increased responsibility I have towards myself and others felt in my body but it is still something I have to watch.

  73. Great blog Carmel. The fact that the human race is exhausted says a lot about the way we are living. It makes sense that we would be vital without any need for stimulants if we were living true to ourselves.

  74. Over-dosing on sugar is like attaching a V8 engine to a wheelbarrow, it can’t cope and you can’t keep up.

    1. We are often totally unaware of the raciness that develops and how much harm we are actually doing to our bodies, the V8 engine on the wheelbarrow is a great analogy.

  75. This is medicine Carmel, to actually get under what exhaustion is and how we create it is huge, especially when most of the planet are in a state of exhaustion. I’ve also discovered and worked on over the years being exhausted from looking for and craving recognition and attention. When I don’t use this as my fuel it is amazing how I don’t look for any distractions and/or stimulants.

  76. There is little wonder that most of the population is exhausted and living off caffeine, salt and sugar . . . we have to be constantly vigilant to keep bringing ourselves back to the task at hand or else we are in our heads exhausting ourselves without even having to go anywhere or actually do anything!

  77. Going around lost in our heads is a bit like playing three virtual reality games at once that are all overlapping each other. One set in the past reliving what has just happen or what happen years ago; whatever memory we want to draw on. One set in the future . . . living out all our fears dreams and dreads and even our aspirations. And one in the clouded perception of what is happening in the moment . . . clouded by the overlap because we are drawing on past hurts and often future expectations and /or fears. All very exhausting as you say Carmel!

  78. The intelligence of our bodies is far greater than the limitations of our minds activity. Being led by our mind alone without consideration of or connection to our bodies exhausts us, as has been my experience also. It is our whole body that communicates the effects of the quality of life we are choosing to live have on us. As you have wisely shared Carmel, bringing awareness to how our body feels, what foods we are reaching for and why, and the ease in which live our day to day, we then are able to develop a far more honoring and loving relationship with ourselves and our bodies which then guide us to live with far more vitality and well-being.

    1. It is interesting to note, Carola, about the foods we reach for because when I am tired I tend to avoid making time to cook something nourishing for myself, and then I am tired after eating whatever I’ve taken out of the freezer and heated in the microwave. We eat for energy but sometimes the way we cook or the foods we choose can be draining rather than nourishing.

  79. I love how you break down the activities our body goes through in every moment. We think it is only the task at hand, but as you describe every thought, every unresolved issue, any holding onto past moments, every future thought requires our body’s attention and contribution. A totally different approach to what our body really needs.

  80. Thank you Carmel, you captured so well the stages of awareness especially when we first realise how the body truly feels and piece together why we eat what we do and how it truly affects us – beyond managing the symptoms of exhaustion or other ailments. There is always so much to learn and refine as love keeps taking us deeper, and as our awareness expands.

  81. I was pondering earlier this week the phrase ‘ignorance is bliss’ and it feels relevant to what is shared here by Carmel. Bliss might be a pleasant state of mind to experience, but ignorance is a very high price to pay for it. I pondered what the opposite might be and came up with ‘Awareness is joy-full’. Joy, in ever expanding awareness…and fewer, if any, car accidents – sounds like a good deal to me.

  82. Developing an appreciation for our body and how it communicates what is going on opens up our awareness to choose to refine our lifestyle choices so that our body is able to naturally restore and rebalance itself when we lovingly care and nurture ourselves.

  83. When I was a little, I had a friend who used to suffer from a headache every time she had any sugar, so obviously she didn’t like eating them and I used to think she was odd, but maybe she knew how to expense her body hence didn’t need any sugar. And I agree – thinking one thing while doing something else is a classic way we exhaust our body.

  84. Personally I have removed 99% of sugar/carbohydrates from my body, I choose to do this as I began to notice how the sugar fed a life long battle with candida. But since doing so, much more has come to light in my awareness of what else eating sugar was doing to my body. It is almost impossible to be steady with my body when I eat sugar, as straight away there is a raciness, to me it feels like there is more energy in my body than what is needed and it feeds my mind to race ahead. Many would say this was awesome, but how many really connect with just how harming it is to our body to leave it and indulge in the faster thoughts?

  85. Sugar is also a sure fire way to upset our sleep patterns, to contribute to being unable to keep our legs still when we lay down to rest, to increasing our appetite, to cravings for more sugar, to contributing to many diseases. For something that the whole world sees as a normal part of life to cause so many problems, discomforts and diseases is definately a hint to how much we as a humanity disregard our body.

    1. Leigh I agree that sugar affects us on many levels – with a long haul flight coming up ten months ago I specifically avoided eating any fruit and carbs weeks beforehand and I found that I was able to sit still for hours on end, very relaxed. More recently I’ve gone back on fruit and in a short three hour flight was very fidgety and unable to settle. It’s not surprising sugar in sweets makes children hyperactive, sugar in ‘healthy’ fruit has the same effect on adults too.

  86. We a capable of doing so much without being aware of it and your experience of riding a bike without being aware of the last mile is a great example of this Carmel. It also explains why we get so tired as when we are doing something while thinking of something else we are double timing. Throwing in the preoccupation and worry of the past or future and it indeed can get really quite messy and overly busy up there in our minds.

  87. Great blog Carmel, life is exhausting when we are out of our body as it is like driving a car from the roof if that is even possible – the physical, mental and emotional tension of this is totally debilitating.

  88. Thanks Carmel, it’s great to share the various reason for exhaustion, and some would not be well known like the continual thinking as well as emotional reactions that drain and deplete the body. Some good reminders here.

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