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
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902 thoughts on “Listening To My Body And Honouring My Feelings”
Thanks for your reflection Lieke. It’s very beautiful to feel the sense of space and joy we have access when we trust and honour what we feel inside. It’s in the little signals, the first senses from which we can receive the insight of what’s needed in every moment. The mind is always trying to convince what’s the best but just in our body know what’s true.
Isn’t it interesting how we adjust ourselves for others. If every human is doing this, then its a no wonder we are all out of source and living in agitation. And I can resonate with this, until one day there comes a point that if we continue living for others becomes an exhaustion for the body.
Caring for yourself needs to come first and it isn’t selfish either. In an emergency during a resuscitation, accident, or incident, the first thing we do is check for danger. Why? So we don’t become the victim or casualty. So what is the difference in our everyday life then? We are placed with so many situations where we are pulled away from us, so this is no different.
If anything we can serve and be with people more when we are with ourselves. Try it and see how much energy you will have by taking care of yourselves first before another.
“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…”. Thank you Lieke, reading your words here I realised that the vitality and Stillness comes because we not fighting ourselves. Reading your blog today I can see that I need to deepen into honouring my feelings as placing others before me and pleasing others has crept in again, which is a form of disconnection to me.
At the end of the day learning to say no is healthy and honouring too. Countless times we can feel the impositions at work when we have our own responsibilities then to take on others. It is okay to say no and develop those healthy loving boundaries in our everyday lives too.
This is a great understanding to come to Lieke
“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.”
And I agree with you that we learn these behaviours as children and they become so familiar that by the time we get to adulthood they are second nature to us and we don’t not realise that we are living to other people’s ideals and beliefs and not what we feel to be.
Dancing to the tune of what we think others will think is exhausting.
A beautiful sharing of how exhausting it is to please others and how in that we are not rested at the end of our day … I recognise this so well and it’s asking me to consider how much life is about pleasing others and fitting in … definitely one to investigate.
A simple experiment such as going to bed by 9pm for 9 days is a great way to see how this benefits us and the quality of our sleep and also supports us throughout the day.
I can so relate to this blog have spent a lot of my life trying to make sure everyone else is ok and fitting myself around their schedules, seeking their approval and looking for their praise, and when I don’t get that approval or praise I can go into resentment, and the talk track begins, ‘don’t we know what I’ve ‘sacrificed’ for you?’, but it’s all a lie, for I’m not honouring myself and without that foundation nothing that comes after can be true. So it’s simple really come back to that honouring, and I’m unraveling those behaviours daily, and the more I do, the more true I am, and the simpler life is.
I love what you share Monica because this is how we feel! And yes the only way to actually get over these things is not demand it from the other but come back to ourselves and first and foremost be honest about what we have done, if we actually have honoured ourselves and then move from there, leaving the other to be themselves too.
Pleasing others at the expense of own well-being helps and supports no one.
Very true, because pleasing others does always have an effect on how we are, it is kind of poisoning ourselves, by fitting ourselves around other people. In return this means that others are getting less of us of what we truly can bring, which is actually the reflection they need. So we might think it is good for the other person when we please but in truth as you said it is not benefiting anyone.
Pleasing others is exhausting, ‘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.’
Years ago I knew a boy that would put a stop to his playing outside and go into his flat early, and when I asked him about it he told me that he has to go to bed early otherwise he would be in a bad mood the next day. So he gladly went to bed so as not to be that way. This stuck with me and made total sense. Then later in my forties, I started going to bed when I was naturally tired which is between 8.30 – 9.30 and have found it to be beneficial to the way I feel the next day – so, it is about honouring the body and not overriding.
I love the sharing as it show true obedience to the body and how lovely it is to live this way. To become aware of something and then changing it accordingly without resistance just because we love ourselves and we love feeling great.
It is beautiful to honour our body, ‘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.’
This was great and inspiring for me to read as I have not made that commitment to me to consistently be in bed at 9pm every night but when I was reading this my body was saying YES I would like to do that. Also I love the truth that you shared in that it is not just about how we are before we go to bed but how we have lived during the day that counts and affects our sleep, this is something I never even contemplated (along with many other things) until knowing Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon. I love your honesty to in sharing how you were feeling throughout different times and it also goes to show how easy we can make assumptions about others like you did with your dad ‘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.’ that simply are not true.
When we honour our body first by being true to our body we can then honour another truthfully as we are coming from a place of truth.
Just experienced that today. When I am loving with me I feel lovely in my body and then that is what others get to feel from me. It is so simple.
Being absolute honest regarding our early learnings and ways helps to undo how we learned to harm ourselves.
We can start with such great intentions but they can wane if there is no consideration of the ‘why’ we are doing something.
Wow it shows how if we start with looking honestly at one thing – ie the need to go to bed at 9:00pm – then so much more is presented to us to the point where we can feel what is truly behind the exhaustion. This is such an important sharing as it shows how the way we live is what exhausts us – and that our responsibility is to honour our bodies and look at what is coming up.
Very true HM – one step in honesty and truth can lead to an ever-deepening path to transparency.
Thank you Lieke, for it shows us how we have been prepared to give up our true senses by overriding it with images, thoughts, ideals and beliefs and investments and outcomes.. Hence we need to work ourselves back – by re-connecting to who we are, not what we do or think.
Amazing how when we focus on one aspect of our daily life and commit to bringing more care to that it opens up our awareness of other aspects of our life that need equal care and attention.
Yes and it is then easy to think that it is going not so well because there is suddenly so much to look at after making one change. But I am learning that this is how it is, the more we become aware the more there is to refine. That is actually natural and how we evolve out of patterns of unsupportive behavior more and more.
I know this to be true, and there still is an intention to go to bed early, but it has not been happening. If I was to say I disregard my body and instead make what is needed to be done more important – that is not a whole truth, because going to bed early naturally allows me to get up early and I can be just as productive. And I know it’s not really about what time I go to bed, there’s this feeling of incompletion I register that makes it harder to accept that my day is complete and now it is time for bed. What you say about how we spend our day is something I need to become more honest about, I feel.
I always love these moments. It is from these moments, when we really feel something needs to change that by just having this realisation and intention to look at it that we often naturally have it unfolding before us. That we realise bit by bit why it is the way it is and that we can bring change from there without push or drive.
Refining the relationship we have with our body never ends. There is never a one fix all, more a delicate and constant unfolding based on cycles and stages of life.
“I realise that I have been letting the outside world run my life for a long time”. A beautiful awakening Lieke. To live in connection to our inner essence is the way and from here we inspire others to be the same.
You mention that the way you put yourself to bed, that preciousness you feel, then welcomed you when you woke. I love that… so often the opposite plays out going to bed tired and funnily enough waking up in the same pit. This really highlights how important that winding down is in bringing a quality through into the next day.
Yes it is true Simon, we have the tendency that sleep is an ‘everything solver’ and that we can go to bed in whatever state and wake up refreshed the next morning but it does not work like that. It takes a whole way of living in our day and night to have a restful sleep with waking up vital.
Yes, that rhythm is our foundation and our early warning signal. When that wobbles there is something to look at and something that might be trying to fly below the radar.
I love what you share here about starting by doing something someone else had told you was a good idea and then found yourself wobbling. I have found the same. Whenever I do something because someone else said I can only manage it for a short while before I wobble. It has to be something I feel from my body – and as I write this I can feel my body has offered me the answer to why I have been wobbling on another commitment I have made, so thank you!
It is beautiful how this stays applicable to my life and how easy it is to push through instead of listening to what my body is so clearly saying even though I realised already it is important to do so. I realised today that it is harder to listen to my body when I want to, like being very open and loving with my partner, when I am constantly not listening to my body during the day. It is not just a switch you can switch on when it suits so it is actually really lovely to look at every part of my life of where I am actually pushing through and where I am allowing myself to honour my true feelings.
Going to bed by 9pm has been life changing for me, I work long shift hours and it has allowed me to work these hours without feeling as exhausted and tired.
Me too Anna, it is such a simple dedication but a life-changing ripple effect.
I keep saying I want to reset my rhythm of staying up late by going to bed before 9pm regularly – but I just don’t seem to be able to manage it. Maybe if I only commit to doing it for 9 days first and see what happens I might be able to break the cycle.
I love how you spoke to your Dad and expressed everything that you were feeling, and it turned out that he was fine with what you’d decided. It’s interesting how many of the decisions we make are about making the other person feel okay, protecting them from a perceived hurt or rejection that we think they’ll feel – all our own perceptions, projected onto them, and usually without ever having consulted them as to how they feel! What underlies this, I feel, is our own need to please others, to avoid being hurt ourselves. When we start listening to what we feel, and honouring that, the need to please others sort of slips away by itself, without it being something that we have to actively work on. It’s simply not needed anymore, as a way of protecting ourselves.
We have this story running in our heads, and so often that is simply not true… a projection of past hurts or ideals and beliefs we are carting around. As we learn to express them we start to learn the truth of the matter and that’s a much more solid, informed and empowered position to be in,
There is a great difference in making a commitment out of self love and purpose to making a commitment because you ‘think’ it is the right thing to do. Both ways bring about very different outcomes and very different levels of commitment. One builds consistency and a care that offers expansion, the other offers a momentary high with a usual crashing end leaving us feeling deflated and like we fail at any change.
I loved what you have shared Lieke, I was very much a yes person not wanting to displease anyone, and in this way no regard for myself, I have since found the word no, a beautiful liberating word when said in truth and love for myself and others, when i did choose to honour myself I found people were quite ok with the no word.
“I deeply enjoyed the beauty and stillness I could feel in my body when I went to bed early.” When we go to bed by 9pm and it is not ‘early’ but is just what we do it is no longer a comparison between ‘early’ or ‘late’.
Our learnings related to sleep and rest open the door to quite profound other learnings about life and how we live.
About life and how we live.
Our bodies are naturally vital when they are moved by the pulse of love. Being aware of what energy is moving our body is what allows us to discern what we are aligning to as we live our day. Our bodies speak loudly to us of the truth of how we are living in any moment and as you have beautifully shared Lieke, this relationship is one well-worth developing.
We listen, again and again, and if we stay listening, our bodies will always have something to tell us… Always! 🙂
Who would ever have thought that paying attention to the small details could have such a profound effect upon our lives.
Yes I think it is this dismissing of the details and thinking that it does not really matter is the thing that gets us as humanity as a whole the most. Details do matter and even the smallest step towards being more loving has a huge effect.
Very inspiring what you share in this blog, ‘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.’ Beautiful.
Choosing to live in a way that honours your body and its subtle messages is a gorgeous commitment to make to our selves, ‘I also loved the feeling of the commitment to myself, to care for myself and listen to my body’s signals.’
I agree Lorraine – in honoring the communication shared through our body we say ‘yes’ to confirming the love we are, is the love we want to live.
I love doing little experiments with the way I live and observing any changes. I have also noticed that when I make one change, it often affects everything, not just the thing I have changed.
I find it so interesting the difference it makes when we honour what we feel to do rather than do what we ‘think’ we should do to make others happy. It’s unbelievable the difference it makes to our energy levels.
By being honest about how we feel and what we feel to do it paves the way for living a life of truth. In other words, if we honour the details of how we feel then we are more accepting of the grandness of who we are, which is our true way of being.
“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.” So true Lieke. Exhaustion comes from the quality with which we live each day. It’s not just about catching up on sleep – when it is still possible to wake feeling tired.
It’s interesting that we start experimenting with something, only to find that the initial excitement of the new change disappears after a few days as it becomes our new normal. It means there’s always the possibility and invitation to go deeper and bring that focus to all areas of our life.
I love going to bed by 9pm and sometimes I choose to go to bed earlier because I have had a very full day, and the times I don’t listen to my body and override it and stay up a bit later I will then wake up feeling a bit out of sorts and not feeling refreshed. Honouring our body is such a beautiful choice to make and builds and deepens the relationship with ourselves it seems crazy that we would choose any other way.
Thank you Lieke, your blog has highlighted how often I don’t honour how I feel because of placing others first. We are not truly responsible though for others or their feelings so I can see that taking responsibility for myself is all that is needed.
I love the idea of experimenting with what truly works for you, and I love that you gave yourself 9 days to try this. I already go to bed around 9, but I’m wondering what else I could experiment with…
I agree Meg – experimenting makes it fun and playful. Trying a new way of doing something and having the openness to evaluate if it works or not gives us an opportunity to build a relationship with the body and its rhythms.
Totally – having an open and playful relationship with our body and its rhythms and cycles allows us to build a relationship with ourselves that we intimately know and ensures we’re always a student of ourselves, any ideas for an experiment?
Whilst it can seem almost normal and acceptable to over-ride what we are feeling in our bodies during the day, the price we pay is a depletion of the natural abundant vitality and joy we could have living every day.
Not listening to my feelings is exhausting. Listening to my feelings is energising. But when we start to live and be more vital those who haven’t chosen to do the same get upset. I feel this reaction is something I am still learning to accept and thankfully the body tells me that toning down my expression is not listening to how I feel to be.
Yes it’s a big one to accept. I still am amazed how many people question their friends when they start to make more self loving choices like eating healthy, going to bed earlier and not drinking alcohol.
Thank you Leigh, a great line “Not listening to my feelings is exhausting. Listening to my feelings is energising.” Words to live by!
It felt amazing coming back to read this again, Lieke, as I was able to feel deeper honesty of where I was at – that I am resisting commitment. Lately, I have not been taking care of myself as well as I would have liked to – coming home late from work, feeling agitated and a bit resentful because I did want to come home earlier and there’s lots to take care of at home, and needing to have ‘my’ time but instead stimulating myself with food and thinking ahead of what I have to do the next day etc. and I was thinking it was because of the circumstances, but as I read your sharing, I could feel how I was not willing to look at every corner of my life and take full responsibility, leaving a bit of leeway to let off the pressure so that I could use busy-ness as distraction. Even though I was busy doing things I was not committed to myself or to any activities I was involved in. I can feel my reluctance.
What you have shared here Fumiyo often happens to me. I somehow get it twisted that if I complete everything on my to-do list, especially at work, then somehow everything will be all right. This is never the case. What I am finding is when I commit to listening to my body, things have a natural flow and I don’t exhaust myself, and somehow, without any drive or sacrifice, everything gets done.
Yes honouring my body and my feelings is the key. Being willing to feel what gets in the way of this and still commit to it despite where anyone else is at is actually crucial not just for us but for them. Feeling the truth of this on a deeper level this morning and the ways I have so often sabotaged myself by going into sympathy with another and how this does not serve anyone.
Thank you Lieke being in bed by 9pm is something I allow myself to struggle with and get distracted from on a regular basis and it is definitely a reflection of how I have been in my day that I do not value myself enough to be committed to going to bed at the time that supports me. I have often chosen to eat something that takes me away from feeling so that I push through the tiredness and pay the price the next day. I have been aware of this for a long time and it has improved but there is a stubborn streak that is not willing to go deeper and really look at why I continually override what my body is telling me. Feeling inspired to commit to 9 days of being in bed by 9pm and to be open to what unfolds for me during that time.
Allowing ourselves to feel our pain makes space for us to feel love and joy, we should never forget that.
“Paying attention to these little feelings and honouring them is the key to staying with myself and feeling vital throughout my day.” Little things add up to make bigger things – so by being consistent in one area of our life we are enabling this consistency to flow into other aspects of life too.
Clearly the results of committing to going to bed consistently early whilst applying honesty to how you live throughout the day… and honouring what you feel, is incredibly powerful and worth the effort…. so I’m inspired to give this experiment a go for myself.
Lieke I can so relate to your sharing, lately my bed time has slipped because I allow myself to get caught in distracting myself with things that need to be done, which could all wait until the morning. I am now back to going to bed by 9pm and appreciate how much better my body feels in the morning and throughout the day because I am now being respectful and honouring its natural flow.
I agree Doug, whenever we have placed another before ourselves we have separated and disconnected and then there is no love whatsoever no matter what or how much is done. Placing another before ourselves avoids responsibility. It is an utter illusion, a complete lie and what feels like a very old behaviour of mine which with increasing awareness I am beginning to let go of.
We don’t realise the extent of energy we can give away by not following and listening to ourselves. I used to think that I was tired and exhausted because I wasn’t getting enough sleep or I wasn’t eating properly and while I’m not saying that these two factors do not have an impact because in some cases they do I have come to realise that when I got exhausted it was usually because I had not listened to myself and pushed myself during the day or I had listened to another and not followed what I felt supported me. It could be very surprising how exhausted I got listening and following another with no respect for myself.
Yes it is interesting how we can get so exhausted from doing what others like instead of what we feel to do ourselves. I thought for long that I did not do this but actually I am doing this. It now often happens when I am avoiding my own power in making choices and therefore constantly looking at what others are doing and going with them. Which is silly if you think about it because we ourselves can only truly know ourselves what we need to do to grow and support us.
Exhaustion is a deceptive thing. You feel tired all the time and constantly behind where you think you should be so you stay up that little bit too late teach each night trying to catch up…. and going to bed later than your body needs you to only feeds the exhaustion monster all the more.
Yes the cycle of exhaustion we could call it! Listening to our bodies is the only way to get out of this unsupportive cycle because I keep finding that my body knows more than mind in what needs to still be done, and what not before bed.
The more I understand about my body and exhaustion, the more apparent it becomes that the number of hours of sleep I get is not the only factor contributing to tiredness – far from it. There’s so much more to tiredness and exhaustion than we’ve been led to believe. Preparing for the quality of our sleep begins during the day. If we’re spending our entire day feeling tension and anxiety, holding onto things, not expressing or getting involved in complication, then it makes sense that this disturbance is going to be felt in our body at night: it doesn’t just disappear just because we’re lying down and telling ourselves to go to bed. There is no ‘off moment’ where we turn the lights off and shut down – how we are in our day is something we carry with us into our sleep.
This is inspiring Lieke, it is the rhythms we get caught in that keeps us up at night. Choosing to break this, by making a commitment to be in bed on time, I can see will bring a deep change in how we are in the day. Making choices to truly nurture ourselves is the key.
Hello Lieke and I have taken this study with myself, “I felt how making a commitment to going to bed on time had a direct effect on how I felt the next day.” If I miss the mark for bed then it definitely carries into my next day. There is no concrete set time as depending on what I am doing it may change. I know to listen to my body though and when I am at home naturally around the 9pm mark is the call to go to bed. Most of the time there is an 8 in there and when I am in bed around this time I wake up early, feeling fresh. If I walk past that bedtime feeling for whatever reason then the next morning I wake up feeling a little fuzzy in the head almost like what I hangover used to feel like. It’s not that big a deal but in me I know and it takes a little shine off my day and if this was to go on for a week well I wouldn’t be the same person.
Hey Ray, I experience the same almost hangover like experience when I go to bed too late. It doesn’t need to affect my whole day but it does mean I have to work twice as hard in the morning to make sure the day is as amazing as it could be.
This is usually a reflection for my day or to say it another way if you wake not feeling fresh and vibrant have a look into the day before. Just like the choice to walk past a time I feel to go to bed, the choice just doesn’t happen it may have a momentum in the day just gone or possibly longer. The trick is to put all the pressure or focus on the choice or the time we made the choice when in fact any choice is a result of how we have walked prior. In other words there is a way of living that supports you to be in a way that listens, hears and honours what you feel. In this way you don’t necessarily make a choice like we perceive it now, it’s more you live with a true deep care and any choice is just a natural extension of that care. No more pictures of lights out at a certain time your whole day is working towards it. I don’t mean it’s a focus but it brings in that it’s all one life, every choice has it’s eye on what’s needed for everything and not just reacting to the moment in front of it.
I too can relate to putting others before me because I did not want to hurt them which led to feelings of resentment in my body. I have come to realise that whenever I do not listen to my body and ignore it I am abusing it and that hurts.
I can relate her Lieke to that false ‘second wind’ that you get at night when you are tired and your body is asking you to go to bed but we then find something stimulating to get involved in whether that be coffee, something sweet to eat, TV, a conversation, the internet, social media, a project etc and before you know it you have stayed up later than your true bed time for that day, based on your body’s rhythm. It does take a certain amount of discipline and steady loving commitment to myself to not fall into these things in the evening and stay true to what my body is asking for.
For a 24-year-old woman to have such a deep perspective on her day and body is very inspiring. Finding ways to refine our choices so we are honouring ourselves in a path, I continue to discover and unfold.
Having a commitment to any part of our rhythm has some pretty spectacular benefits, and in particular a steadiness and consistency that I had only dreamed of.
Developing a rhythm of going to bed – not early but when my body reminds me it is time to rest – has given me a vitality that I did not have when I used to stay awake to conform to the ‘normal’ time for bed. My normal is when my body is settling down for repose, which is usually around 9 pm.
Living our lives for other people is actually about us living our lives for us: we think we’re doing things because others want us to do them, but often we’re doing them because we want to please them and don’t want to hurt them.. it’s a subtle form of controlling our relationship with others, controlling our environment so that we can feel okay. When we truly honour what we can feel, life starts to change. We’re not dependent on anything outside of ourselves to feel good about ourselves – how empowering is that, to realise and actually feel that everything we’ve ever wanted to feel, is already inside us?
“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.”
Absolutely everything changes when we consider the responsibility we have when choosing the quality we are bringing to all that we are in our expression.
‘Listening To My Body And Honouring My Feelings’ this is something we are not taught as children and adults but how vital is it to do? From what you’ve shared it shows that this can support us to eliminate exhaustion. Also letting go of trying to please others is a huge one, I can relate to feeling exhausted and resentful when I don’t listen to my body and push myself to do things to please others. This doesn’t support anyone, everything is then done with absolutely no quality if it is done under the energy of exhaustion and, or resentment. Yet, when we listen and honour our body, everything we do comes with quality, because we are more able to connect to ourselves and work with vitality instead of exhaustion.
It is so easy to do, to get caught up with what we think we ‘should’ do and engage in emotions, as the world outside of ourselves is constantly asking us to override what we feel. Yet as you have described, I also have experienced that living in this disregarding way is utterly exhausting. Developing a loving and honoring relationship with our bodies is key to living in connection to ourselves, which will guide us to make choices that support us to live with the vitally we deserve to live with, bringing far greater quality of presence to all that we do.
Somebody told me a couple of years ago “Make it one billion % about Willem” – I heart it, but did not quite grasp it and certainly did not embody it. Why? I was still ruled by ideals like ” you shouldn’t be selfish” meaning that you get yourself out of the way at the expense of yourself. That ideal blocked me. Now I know that I cannot be there other people in full, if I do not make it 1 billion % about ME first. So nothing selfish in that. It is a total paradigm shift.
Brilliant, what a gift to receive this message from someone. It is something we can all take on-board, connect to ourselves first then exhaustion would be a thing of the past.
Thank you Willem, what a great comment for me to read today, and I agree, beliefs about being selfish and how ‘good’ we are by placing others first get in the way of what we naturally feel to do which is care for, love and honour ourselves.
Thank you Lieke… I also sometimes have a very intense stretch of work… And what I have found is that if I take just one day off and allow myself to really sink, just to really allow myself to feel the tiredness, to not push at all, to not try and boost myself with sugar or carbohydrates or anything else, then I am able to recharge… It actually feels miraculous sometimes.
I know that cjames. I can sometimes get on a marry go round of being tired not wanting to feel it, eating sugar and keeping busy to get everything done and not get any rest and keep feeling tired for days. As you say it is so great to just stop and feel how tired I am and not try to avoid it – even if unpleasant at that time – is very regenerative.
“Paying attention to these little feelings and honouring them is the key to staying with myself and feeling vital throughout my day.” It really is this simple, we don’t need sugar, caffeine or carbs for energy, just like we don’t need the latest gossip or drama or event for life to be interesting and full. All we need to do is follow our feelings and the energy to be in and enjoy life is there for us. Thank you Lieke.