Recently I began a self-care experiment by going to bed at 9pm for 9 days. I had been inspired to do so by fellow students of Universal Medicine who had also done the same. I initiated this because I had recognised I had been tired for a long time: I would be feeling exhausted by the end of the day but then in the evening I noticed how I would easily become stimulated again and distracted from feeling the exhaustion… I would then get involved in doing something that would result in my going to bed later than I had planned.
I felt how making a commitment to going to bed on time had a direct effect on how I felt the next day.
I would feel much more vital and joyful. I had previously been wondering why I had been feeling so low and lacked any real interest during the day. Simply the fact of having more energy changed that around. I also loved the feeling of the commitment to myself, to care for myself and listen to my body’s signals.
A few days into my experiment I began to note that I started to be a little less consistent with going to bed on time. It was like the excitement of starting something new had faded and the initial improvements in my wellbeing and vitality were becoming ‘normal’.
Even though it was a great start to make a commitment to go to bed on time, I could feel that I also had to look at the way I was living during my day; it was not just about the fact that I did not sleep enough.
I realised that I could no longer live in a way that made me exhausted. I knew I had to develop a routine that honoured my body during my day – one that supported me to be ready for bed and not still be running with everything I had done that day.
In the past I would often ignore my body and override how I felt. This could be because I didn’t want to offend people or make them feel uncomfortable, or because I didn’t want to appear different, or simply because I chose to ‘push through’ to get things done and not listen to my body.
Recently I had planned to spend the day studying but then I got an email about a meeting. In the past I would just go to the meeting and override what I initially felt but this time I chose to honour my feelings and decided not to go.
Honouring this feeling made space to do what I really felt was needed that day, which was much more supportive for me, and for everyone.
That same day my dad asked me if I would like to go to the supermarket with him. I really enjoy spending time with my dad, but I could feel I actually needed some time doing the work I had planned. I had to make a seemingly difficult choice – I didn’t want to let my dad down but also did not want to override my own feelings.
I could feel how I didn’t want to make my dad feel lonely or rejected and that I had almost gone with him to not feel that. I talked about it with my dad and it turned out he was absolutely fine with going on his own.
At the end of the day, by virtue of not pleasing everyone throughout the day, I felt full of energy, but also very still and ready for bed. I deeply enjoyed the beauty and stillness I could feel in my body when I went to bed early – such a joy to do! When I woke up early the next morning, I still had that same exquisite feeling of stillness and vitality in my body… something I deeply enjoy.
I realise that I have been letting the outside world run my life for a long time. I would override my feelings and go with what everyone around me told me to do. By changing this behaviour I began to realise that I had learnt this as a child: I did not want to hurt anyone by following my own feelings, or by being amazing even if others were not feeling amazing etc. This made me feel uncomfortable!
Paying attention to these little feelings and honouring them is the key to staying with myself and feeling vital throughout my day.
I can now feel how choosing to live in a way that doesn’t honour my body makes me feel exhausted and tired, whereas living in a way that consistently honours my body and my feelings I have more energy to do whatever is needed. I can feel and appreciate how extremely self-empowering and self-caring it is to follow and honour my own feelings.
I am forever thankful for, and inspired by, the work of Serge Benhayon, Natalie Benhayon and Universal Medicine, who have presented the fact that life is about honouring our body, re-connecting to its innate wisdom and living from there.
by Lieke van Haastrecht, Student, Age 24, Ghent, Belgium