Listening To My Body And Honouring My Feelings

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

Further Reading:
Insomnia – My Sleep Disorder or My Daily Dis-order?
What’s All The Fuss About Self-Care?
Early to Bed, Early to Rise, Makes You Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise

902 thoughts on “Listening To My Body And Honouring My Feelings

  1. This line struck home Lieke ‘by virtue of not pleasing everyone throughout the day, I felt full of energy,’ and is something I’m looking at right now, as I feel and see what it is to feel what is needed rather than just fall into what is happening around me, (something I can very easily do), so you’ve inspired me to go deeper with this and play some more, thank you.

  2. More often than not, when I get to bed at a sensible time like 9, I bounce out of bed the following morning… and its such a gorgeous time of day early in the morning. So quiet, so still… and I feel fresh. This is juxtaposed to the extra few hours I used to get by staying up late and pushing through some piece of work or checking out in front of the TV.

  3. “by virtue of not pleasing everyone throughout the day, I felt full of energy” This has been something I am experiencing more and more and it really came back to me while reading this blog. The more I focus on how I feel to be at any given time (or really every chosen time) I feel less drained and more energised. Thank you for this reminder Lieke.

  4. ‘I realise that I have been letting the outside world run my life for a long time.’ I can relate to this Lieke and I am aware, although I stay much more with myself, this tendency to do things for others instead of feeling my own rhythm is still something I can do very easily. Observing my choices has helped me a lot to become more honest and self loving.

  5. Hmmm, its getting close to 9pm, it’s 8.30. Do I carry on and write this comment or do I prepare for bed? Wow, actually done in the space of a minute. Bed will feel very yummy tonight because I am stopping now and allowing time to prepare for it. Thank you Lieke.

  6. That distraction at the end of the day is a killer. Whether its wrapped up as some ‘me time’ a reward for having worked so hard, or just busying ourselves till the last possible minute. It exposes to me that I ‘reward’ myself by checking out, or even giving up at the end of the day… having seen it, its not what I choose any more!

  7. Just completed a 9 day program of going to bed early as well. It felt really powerful to take charge of this part of my life and not just let things happen so that it’s inevitable that I am in bed late. I do life and I am in charge. Powerful. And there was no perfection, as I wasn’t in bed before 9pm every single day. But boy oh boy does my body loves it when I am in bed before 9pm. That feeling I treasure and take as a marker into the next 9 day program. Thanks Lieke for inspiring me!

    1. Very true Willem. It is not always about being perfect and sticking strictly without reason to our program, it is about the commitment to ourselves that is what brings us the most and does serve us in other areas in our lives as well.

  8. Thank you for sharing your wisdom Lieke. I got a lot from what you have shared, and much of which I can take into my own awareness of how I am being throughout my day, honouring my own body more and in turn all others.

  9. I noticed that lately my body clearly indicates at a certain point in the evening that it is enough for the day, that it wants to be taken to bed. Doing things after that time, like eating after that time makes me feel a bit sick. Often that point is much earlier than what my head thinks. So amazing to see how there is joy when my body gets taken to bed at the right time and there is even something like what resembles sickness when the opposite happens. To truly honor all these feelings and following up on them is what I am learning.

  10. Lieke I too have found that I was allowing myself to override how I felt, and found that I would go shopping or out with friends when I knew my body just wanted to rest. Now I am much more in tune with my body and self honouring of it too, it has made an amazing difference to how much energy I have during the day and how much more deeply I am able to sleep.

  11. ‘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.’ The quality of how we have been during the day is greatly reflected by the quality of our sleep, if we want to sleep better in order to be more vital, not only do we need to go to bed by 9-9.30, we need to improve our quality of living all-round.

  12. One of best ways I know to deprive myself of a good night sleep: Creating an argument. I now see that creating a discussion is just a very smart to get myself down and not be love. Or ruin my sleep.

  13. For a long time I went to bed after nine, because there was always an excuse to stay up just a bit later than planned, be it 9.15 or 9.30 or even later. The ‘good conversation’ being the best of those excuses. I have reimprinted that commitment of going to bed early making sure there is nothing I must do after 8pm. So great to feel how lovely it is to be in bed before 9pm – without a rush – and the effect it has on waking up. Thanks Lieke for sharing your story.

  14. Thank you Leike for sharing your experience, I too love the early to bed early to rise and i am finding that I have much more energy throughout my day. So simple but what a difference it makes in our day.

  15. Ever time someone stops being run by the outside and reconnects to the inside and starts to follow the inner connection, the balance of light and dark in the world moves more to the light, and this is how the world will change , one heart at a time.

  16. Staying with that delicate, exquisite feeling of love that I have when I am truly connected within my body is so rewarding. Why would I want to give that up?

  17. I was all ready for bed last night at 730pm and needed to complete some work from the day. So I sat up until 9pm completing what I needed to do. Before I started my work and jumped on the internet for 20mins for a browse, no purpose in it. Immediately after this I began to feel quite tired and then made myself stay up until I completed my work. We can easily get caught up in overriding our bodies messages, but all this does is affect how we are on the following day, in all things.

    1. Yes Jennifer, this is something I can do as well, I am tired and ready for bed yet I distract myself on the computer etc instead of listening to my body and honouring what it is clearly telling me.

  18. Really lovely to come back to this blog, and there’s much I can relate to right now – as I can also feel how exhausted I am and how anxiousness and nervous energy are on the backend of it as a result of letting the outside world run my body, and how my best attempt at caring my body was just not getting anywhere. A perfect reset button for me. Thank you, Lieke.

  19. I know that pull to do what we think others want us to do, but I found that easier to let go of than I thought it would be. What I find harder is to let go of my errant ways of derailing the lovely, nurturing way I feel and staying up late for no good reason. It’s a little piece of sabotage that I am finding I really have to be aware of and consciously work on. Going to bed early is so rewarding and the feeling is lovely in my body. Maybe it comes down to those fine details that make the foundation of my day. It is in those details earlier in the day that I will be looking at and working on to support my decisions further on.

  20. It is so true, the way we choose to live has been so often impulsed from the outside while, in truth, it is hurting us. I feel when choosing differently it is truly empowering

  21. This is so familiar:
    “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.”
    It’s amazing what happens if you actually spend your day doing what feels right for you, there is a flow and things magically slot into place. When you’re trying to please everyone else you feel like you’re chasing your tail.

    1. “When you’re trying to please everyone else you feel like you’re chasing your tail.” So true and well put Laura. We can never ever please everyone else – we can just do what we are there to do that particular day.

  22. Lieke I can feel how absolute we become in ourselves when we honour what we feel in this way. Taking the time to make the commitment to self through looking at the way in which we live our day is such an important key in living a life that is truly vital, honouring and allows us to bring our all to life.

  23. I recognise more and more the value and role of sleep in my life and concur with you that it’s crucial to develop a routine during the day that supports you to be ready for bed when the body is tired and not be dropping off the end of the day’s production line of tasks, activities and conversations straight into bed. We need a wind down period and this is part of the preparation for optimising our opportunity for a great night’s sleep.

  24. Thank you Lieke, what you have shared here is magic and from my own experience also a little challenging at the start, as I had/have a few old pattens that still creep in every now and then, to try and interfere with me getting to bed at 9pm or earlier. Like you have shared I feel a whole lot more vital and rested when I consistently get to bed at 9pm or earlier.

  25. This shows the power of the simplest of choices to increase the quality of our life, our health and our being and that deep down we all have the ability to choose to create the life we want and in no way at all are we ever ‘stuck’ with what we’ve been ‘delivered’. This can be a hard pill to swallow, that we are responsible for any tiredness, lovelessness, business, overwhelm, abuse or any other emotion in our lives, that we’ve chosen it and we’ve constellated it. It’s worth admitting this though, because then we feel our power to bring change, as this blog so clearly glows!

  26. Thank you Lieke, I really related to your blog, I have been a pleaser most of my life ignoring what my body was feeling to be there for others needs. It has taken time to acknowledge, that I do matter, and what I feel is important, listening to my body and honouring what I am feeling is an ever evolving process.

    1. Yes Jill I am learning that one too and find that it is essential to put myself first, especially the connection with myself. If I loose my connection with myself and get cold hands or/and feet I am currently just taking a moment with myself and sit still, feeling my heart. Sometimes really putting my hands on my heart and they warm up very quickly. It is really lovely to do this instead of keeping going in business and looking for recognition with others.

  27. What you share Lieke about honouring your feelings throughout your day and how it supported your flow, ease, rhythm and sleep is so reassuring. Not attending a meeting or going with your dad to the supermarket to not offend and please others are great examples, especially with your dad. So often we distort and go out of our way to please another based on an assumption, possibly to avoid responsibility and an opportunity for communication. These little dishonourings of ourselves we can brush off as insignificant but day after day they can really interfere with the daily rejuvenation sleep has to offer us and add up to living a life that overwhelms us.

  28. What a great blog for millions of people around the world- we all sleep, many are exhausted and or miserable, and it’s even a healthy thing we can do that is free. Thank you Lieke for sharing we have the power to choose how we sleep, wind down for sleep and live our day in a way to be ready for sleep.

  29. We are so used to overriding the messages of our body and it takes a real adjustment to come back to attending to the clear and true statements that are coming from this amazing vehicle that we inhabit… Always is sending us clear information as to what we need to do next.

  30. Thank you Leike for such a gorgeous blog, my whole life changed when I began honouring my body and getting to sleep my 9pm. I spent years overriding my bodies natural signals with food, sleep, exercise and work etc and the greatest gift for me was being introduced to the self-care principles as taught by Universal Medicine that are simple and truly work.

  31. Thank you Leike for a gorgeous blog, my whole life changed when I began honouring my body and getting to sleep my 9pm. I spent years overriding my bodies natural signals with food, sleep, exercise and work etc and the greatest gift for me was being introduced to the self-care principles as taught by Universal Medicine that are simple and truly work.

  32. How do we create more space in our day…. all we have to do is honour our feelings and what needs to get done that day gets done….then we take ourselves to bed in contentment rather than frustration of what did not get done… I also find going to bed early and rising early is a super support for my body and the day ahead. Thankyou Lieke for a super blog as most tend to underestimate the importance of sleep.

  33. Universal medicine fundamentally presents for us all how to care for our selves and our body in a hitherto for totally unexplored way… And through this new paradigm to experience a connection that is so deep and nurturing that our lives totally reconfigure

  34. We are so deeply ill-conditioned to think our head (or someone else’s for that matter) knows better than our own body. This is a huge compromise we are making as a race of beings.

    1. Yes well said Fumiyo, without being aware of this fact we as humanity are deeply retarded because we do not listen to our bodies. Looking at the animal kingdom is a great example of how to do this. We might think we are the most intelligent species on earth yet we do not live up to the simple fact of honouring our own body we live in…

    2. Powerfully expressed Fumiyo. We let the head and ideas trump the body, in doing so we numb the body until the body has to speak very loudly through illness and disease.

  35. I find it interesting how self-care has sort of gotten a ‘bad rap’ in society and can sometimes be known as being selfish. To put your own feelings before or of more importance than the satisfaction or happiness of another. This has definitely been twisted, like many sacred things in the world, some people don’t get why on earth you would put your own wellbeing over what is best for another. I used to think like that, but now it’s quite the opposite, I would not put anyone’s wants or needs before honouring of listening to the wellbeing of my body in the name of pleasing another. This isn’t to say I wouldn’t serve another or be open to whatever another needs, it just isn’t more important than the connection I feel with me first.

    1. Yes it is an upside down world Rachael, but common sense tells us that if we have looked after our self in a loving way we are more able to care for another. On the other hand if we can’t take care of ourselves and are depleted and uncared for what do we even have to give another?

  36. Yes Brendan, consistency is key for allowing a supportive rhythm to develop in the body. Washing my hands with appreciation has been some homework of late, which was going well, until the rhythm asked me to take this same presence to other more distracting areas. I found this difficult to hold the appreciation when washing my hands when the other parts of the day didn’t carry this same quality. Thus understanding that it can’t be about parts, but the whole of how we are with ourselves in rhythm, consistently so.

  37. Lieke, you are offering us an example of how simple life can be once we start honouring our body and listen to all it has to say. This simplicity is something we all know but avoiding by overriding choosing for distraction, disregard, complexity and so on. It only needs a choice from us to truly see the effects this have not only on our body but also about life in general. Your blog is giving us an awesome reflection and an inspiration to change our life by changing seemingly small things.

  38. Very true and inspiring. All those things we do to please others are just letting ourselves down, not truly choosing to really be who we are and honour what we feel to do.

  39. “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”.
    Thank you Lieke for highlighting and reminding us of honouring what is felt in our bodies.
    We have, at every moment, the wisdom to live a life of truth and love, how inspiring!

    1. Yes very true Shirl, I yesterday noticed how easy it is to ignore my body even if it is talking loudly. with my dinner I just simply felt I had eaten enough but because I wanted to eat more as it tasted so good and I planned to eat more, I finished my plate, though felt heavy in my body afterwards. Then really not liking the heaviness but not wanting to address that I actually overrode my feeling that I had eaten enough. Quite beautiful though to know that yes indeed in my body is all the wisdom I need to feel lovely and nurtured in my body.

      1. Lieke, this is something I am working on. When the food is so tasty, I always tend to finish my plate, and not feeling into when my body has had enough. And a very old pattern of mine is rushing my food, which I still have to watch out for as it can just creep in if I am focused on how good the food tastes…..

  40. I talk a lot about listening to the wisdom of the body and the power of sharing from our lived experience, but am only now starting to get the vast wisdom that is there to be accessed. Our body knows the truth of every breath, thought, word and deed – our body truly loves us and will always guide us in truth. As you experienced Lieke with your trial of going to bed early – the real truth is felt within. Thank you for sharing

  41. Lieke, I love how you write with a simple honesty that is so easily relatable, and yet, if one stands back just a little, offers ground-breaking realisations and awarenesses about what can truly make a difference to our vitality and ‘joie de vivre’.
    Particularly so since coming to the work of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine also, I have recognised many of the same themes you have shared here as having substantial draining influences on our vitality for any given day. Your words here sum it up for me: “I realise that I have been letting the outside world run my life for a long time.”
    To return to our own inner marker of what honours us and listen to our bodies as to what is true in this regard is the greatest learning there is – it’s a choice isn’t it, let ‘the world’ run us, or be ourselves in the world. A truly powerful blog, thank-you.

      1. And one I continue to return to every day. There is so much that would take us away from ourselves… and yet with dedication we can hold a foundational strength where we needn’t lose ourselves in the fray…

  42. This blog so echoes my own experience…! And this line also sums it up for me “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.” This has become a great marker for me on a daily basis, observing my stress and energy levels and being able to bring my awareness back to how I have been caring for myself and my body throughout my day.

  43. Amazing isn’t it when we work on caring for ourselves more deeply and start to listen more to what feels rights for us and carry out what feels true for us, its most interesting to then feel how often we override all these beautiful and very supportive messages that our bodies are continuously offering us.

  44. Hi Lieke as the last time – I absolutely appreciate your wonderful blog. I am a woman who loves to go to bed at 9.00pm and therefore I know exactly about your experience with going to bed earlier. And to pay attention to all these little feelings and also honoring them is for me also a key to stay with myself during the day. Is it not funny that such small choices can have such an mind blowing effect on our vitality?

  45. “Paying attention to these little feelings and honouring them is the key to staying with myself and feeling vital throughout my day.” When we talk wellbeing, the ‘fine print’ matters a great deal. They are otherwise the home for what is insidious but we do not want to see.

    1. Very true Eduardo, it is the small things the ‘fine print’ that make a huge difference. It may be the smallest of things that we get a feeling is needed then carry this through that then supports us for the rest of the day.

    2. Agreed Eduardo. When I read the line you’ve quoted, it instantly stood out to me that these were no ‘little’ feelings and awarenesses at all – honouring them can have a substantial impact on our vitality and our ability to be true to ourselves, our bodies and all others.
      One need only stand back a little to view what Lieke is saying here, and it’s actually huge…

  46. Thank you Leike, I really enjoyed reading your article, I can relate to giving away my time to please others, but I have noticed, more and more, as I am feeling what my body is telling me, it is become more natural for me to make self loving choices.

  47. Developing a self loving routine – such amazing results are felt. Energy levels increase, sustaining longer working hours, more vitality and yes more joy, a feeling to get out there in the world and share more with others around me. I was once blinkered and seduced by T.V, snacking and late nights to feel the effects for so many days afterwards. Just add stress and anxiousness to that recipe – hey presto! dis-ease and disharmony come into play. Beautiful sharing Lieke – a joy to read at the beginning of my day.

  48. In any moment I choose to make a commitment to myself, my vitality and energy increase hugely – and with that there’s a natural commitment to life, what needs to be done and everybody.

      1. Beautifully said Annelies: “the commitment to ourselves has a much bigger impact, it expands to all because we are a part of the whole, as we are one.” We all are deeply connected even if we are not aware of this, all our choices affect everyone else. This often gives me purpose to live as responsible and loving as I can as I know this will support everyone to do the same. This is a great way of helping and supporting others.

      2. Yes Annelies, how we live is what we reflect, only takes one person to reflect a different way to live, then everyone gets that choice….. Serge Benhayon being a great example of this, as we all are when we live truth.

  49. Thank you Lieke for sharing this great blog, our body speaks a very clear and loud language and yet we are not taught this language, in fact we are directed not to listen at all to our body and live in a world of disregard and hence disease.

  50. Going to bed around 9 PM is indeed very supportive. And enjoying the very early mornings is very supportive also. Thank you Lieke for this timely reminder to not override my feelings by doing what’s best for others.

  51. Thankyou Lieke, I have very much enjoyed reading this again. There is a great amount of wisdom in your shared experiences, and it is written beautifully. What I have realised in this read is how much I still make my life about focusing on others and outer needs and not myself and my own needs. For me something so simple is made complicated by this choice.

  52. I loved reading this Leike. I’ve recently been going for a pee when my body tells me to, something I noted I held onto till it suited rather than honouring what my body was saying! This has taken me to some interesting places where I’ve made some amazing connections, all because I’m listening to me. There is so much more on from this, like when we eat, what to eat, when to rest, call someone or not. I take so much from reading your experiment and experiences here. Thank you.

    1. I love that Candida not going to the toilet when we need to is a big one too. It is so interesting to see how much we learn to override our bodies growing up. I remember as a child I would just not rest until I could go to the toilet if I needed too. Or when I had a little stone in my shoe it had to taken out straight away. Now it is more like ‘i will get it out when I am home’. It makes me wonder what makes us so busy that we do not take time for these little things?

      1. Candida and Lieke funny you should mention this. I am still struggling with this simple body function and will often hold on in order not to interrupt either a meeting or a conversation. This is something for me to look into as it is such a burden at times. Who would have thought that reading your blog would bring me to realise how long I have lived with this self-imposed restriction.

    2. I agree Candida – listening to our body opens up so much more than we may otherwise be aware of. Life’s wonders and blessings expand. Thanks Leike for sharing

    3. Ahaha Candida I had to laugh as I read your honest sharing because this not going for a pee when my body tells me to do is one of my reminder for me that I am out and not connected with me! It is so funny what I can choose to do only because I have this will and therefore the power to override my lovely body.

      1. esteraltmilks that is something to realise it is just something we can do because we have this will and thus the power to override our precious bodies. Sometimes I am observing this fact that I am consciously choosing to not go for a pee, or something else for me is feeling thirsty and not taking a glass of water or something else to drink because it seems important to stay in the company I am in, or the conversation is very interesting..always making the outside world more important because I can…or because I donot want to be noticed, stand out or whatever I think they will think of me, crazy. And yes what Lieke is saying ‘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.’ It is an exhausting exercise and something we can bring in more love to change this pattern.

    4. Great example about the peeing. It shows in how many areas we don’t and can start to listen more to our body again. I am experimenting with breakfast. Instead of my routine breakfast I am feeling into – every morning – if I am hungry, if yes, what I need and how much of it. Very interesting. Every day is different.

  53. This sharing is a great reminder for me to honour my feelings and to not override them which I can do so easily.Trying to please others or hiding from myself and my true feelings tend to take me away from my rhythms which are my foundation. Going to bed early is also part of my foundation and I love how I feel when I honour that. Great sharing, Lieke.

  54. When I don’t honour myself or my feelings honestly, I’ve realised that I am actually abusing myself. These feelings are not just there for no reason, it is the call of my inner being, a call of love.

    1. That is beautiful Matthew: “These feelings are not just there for no reason, it is the call of my inner being, a call of love.”

    2. Yes Matthew great point. . . . when we don’t honour ourselves or our feelings we are in fact overriding love.

  55. It has been beautiful to read all the comments on this blog and I can feel to deepen my winding down time as well as many of you have expressed. It is such a gorgeous thing to do the sharing like we do on this blog. It is deeply inspiring, thank you.

  56. Being in bed by 9pm and being consistent with this is so beneficial for our wellbeing. I always knew I ‘should’ be going to bed earlier when I used to stay up until 10pm. Making the choice to be in bed by 9pm and being consistent with this gives me clarity and therefore I am much more focused and committed to myself and my day.

  57. I am early to bed every night, yet there is still exhaustion in my day – even though this is important and a very self loving gesture towards oneself, there is more that contributes to vitality. You’ve expressed some of these factors beautifully Lieke. One in particular stood out for me when you felt to say no to your dad and honour what you were feeling. This is something I have struggled with and a recent birthday weekend made it clear that I am not honouring myself to level I could be. I’ve stopped being hard on myself I can now see this as an opportunity to expand what I know self-love to be.

  58. I am finding that just in making a commitment to change one particular aspect of my life, and working on that everyday, it has a beautiful ripple affect on all parts of my life. So by choosing to go to bed by a certain time each day, Lieke is not only giving herself more care, she is also stating the fact that she is worth making the commitment to life for.

  59. Funny how these ways of behaviour become invisible, but in every moment of every day they are draining and exhausting us because it is not a true way to be and underneath, at the deepest level, we know this, but above this are many layers of falseness, of things we have taken on. So we find it easier to settle in to that pattern because we have vested interests in keeping them that way. Being true to oneself and to one’s feelings of what is true, begins to uncover the deeper patterns of behaviour that we run that have kept us down for so long, and allows an ever greater sense of what we know is truly us to be lived.

  60. I used to live in a momentum of override, constantly pushing myself and not realising my body was in exhaustion. It took me a very long time to come out of exhaustion, with commitment in changing the way I went to bed and when I went to bed. This is one of the best things I did to support my body

  61. I love this blog Lieke and can along with many people relate to what you have written. “I realise that I have been letting the outside world run my life for a long time.” I could never understand why I would get so exhausted during and at the end of my day even though I had plenty of sleep! When I look at how I am today, I eat and sleep less yet I have never had so much energy! Listening to the outside world instead of listening to the inner world giving my power/energy away has been one of the biggest drains on my body. The more I connect and listen to that which feels true to me the more vital I am in my day.

  62. Lieke, thank you for this reminder to listen to the body. I have been in a familiar pattern of overriding it. Then it allows my head to dominate and cause indecision rather that what I know is true in my heart.

  63. This is the third blog I’ve read today that mentions or talks about the way others react when we express the truth. Interesting as it has come up in my relationships with people recently. I can clearly feel that expressing truth leaves me alone, whereas not expressing leave a lingering sticky feeling that something isn’t complete and the backwash from this feels turbulent and heavy.

  64. This is something precious that I am discovering “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.” Once becoming aware how significant being body aware can be on my health and well being, I would not have it any other way, some times I dip, but have the tools to support myself to return to a deeper state of vitality and joy now and I continue to develop this awareness. This is something that so worth exploring.

  65. It so easy to come up with reasons as to why you need to do one more thing before going to bed, pushing bed time slowly later and later. And yet when it comes to put children to bed, the process of bed time starts well before they get into bed, with supper and a bath and story time, setting them up for a lovely sleep. I am not suggesting that we all need to be read stories and have bath time every night, however the care and space given to ourselves to prepare for sleep is equally important for adults as it is for children.

    1. Rebecca I love this example of how we care for our children, it is very good at exposing how we take ourselves for granted and how we do not take the same deep care of ourselves as we do for our children. It helps me often when I am hard on myself to ask myself what if I would do the same to a little child that had done just the same as I had in that moment, would I be so hard or him/her?

    2. I agree Rebecca when we keep our to-do list running up until bed time we can find it gets later and later, even if there is no list we can still be engaged and caught up in doing something that can even distract us from feeling when our body is ready for sleep. As you share, adults too can prepare for sleep. I find when I shift down a gear before bed I move with more care and can still attend to little things around the home (so long as I don’t try to start anything), and even when the home is in order I am surprised by how many small things have been left.

      1. I agree Deanne, running up to the last minute doesn’t help you get the rest you need. In the same way we prepare for a day; getting up, showering, brushing teeth, putting on makeup, exercising and making breakfast are all things we do to be ready for a day, and yet we often don’t put the same time and effort into going to sleep.

  66. Great blog Lieke on honouring ourselves and what we feel is needed to truly support us. Sleep is vitally important but as you have shown it is how we live our whole day that leads into our sleep, that leads into our next day and so on. When we honour what is true for us and not what we think we ‘should’ be doing, we are able to live in a way that is truly nurturing of ourselves and allows us to live in the true rhythm of life.

  67. It is such a change when we honour our feelings of what is truly loving rather than doing something out of not wanting to hurt another person’s feelings. I was brought up to not be selfish and to think of the other pesron first, so it has been a real challenge to change to truly honour myself. In the process of doing so I discovered that not expressing my truth in this regard there were so many other areas where I had similarly not been truthful but had not realised it. The more I manage to express what I am really feeling, easier and lighter life is becoming.

  68. Getting into bed for 9pm is still a struggle for me I really want to be there but I still get distracted by the computer or last minute things that I ‘think’ need to be done. I am going to do what you done Lieke, and go to bed at 9pm for 9 days and see if I can break the cycle I am in.

  69. I think waking up tells us a lot about where we are at. It’s a daily occurrence, whether we like it or not, and perhaps the messages or detail waking up shows us, needs to be brought into the spotlight.

    1. Good one Suzanne- I have used this for years and it is so telling about how I have been choosing to live. It is like a moment of honesty when we wake up whether we like it or not – we can pay attention to it and consider how to adjust the day or push it down as fast as possible and keep on living the same old way.

  70. Just choosing one thing like the commitment to go to bed at 9pm each night is such a fabulous start to self care. In just doing this alone, after a few days or a couple of weeks, you do get to experience and notice far more vitality in your day. It’s well worth doing this experiment!

    1. It is worth it johannebrown17 and with that first commitment comes the opportunity to commit to something else that is honouring and caring of us and before we know it the way in which we lived has transformed into one that truly supports us and our bodies, one that is really our natural way of being.

  71. This morning I feel the power in the words of the title of your blog Lieke – “Listening to My Body and Honouring My Feelings” – and just reading and feeling this brings to me sustenance and confirmation as I am learning to let go the thought that ‘I must push through, I must keep up’ etc. etc. – thank you.

  72. I completely agree with what you have written about the benefit of going to bed early and also how our energy levels are affected by our 24/7 way of living. I have been consistently going to bed before 9pm for many years now and also bringing awareness to my whole day and my life has transformed in ways I couldn’t even have imagined ten years ago. I used to be tired all the time and much less functional after lunch. These days I am active and have consistent energy levels all day long. I get up at 3am and am on the go pretty much all day (with a lunch break) until about 7pm when I start a winding down process. I do this 7 days a week and it is very joyful. The point being that there is a whole other way of living that I have learnt through the presentations of Serge Behayon and Universal Medicine and it really works and it is a lot of fun!!!

    1. I love what you write here Nicola about how fun it is to live in the way you do. When I first started looking at the way in which I lived and realising that it is possible to live in the way you do I saw it as a chore or burden that had me missing out on something. Only when I realised that I was living in a way that had me feeling great and purposeful all day long that I realised that I had actually been missing out before not now and that the way I used to live was actually the burden!

      1. What you say is so very true Penelope. It is funny how often we long for a moment off. A moment off what? A moment off life, a moment away from love and joy, a moment to check out and numb ourselves? We have just published Unimedpedia Comfort – – worth a read – we are wanting to escape from love into the ugliness of comfort which is not what we think it is and very harmful!!

  73. What you have written about overriding your feeling to please someone else is wonderful Lieke. It is something that I am more and more developing and learning at 58. I can’t even imagine how different my life would have been if I had honoured myself and had the wisdom and experience you already have when I was your age!

  74. I like the way you chose what was right for you and did not fall for feeling obliged to do something from a belief. I know from my own experience I used to do this whilst visiting my parents, if I didn’t schedule the time in specifically to be with them and just drop in for ten minutes feeling obliged because I had been too busy, the visit always felt like it was lacking the quality.

  75. “It was like the excitement of starting something new had faded and the initial improvements in my wellbeing and vitality were becoming ‘normal’.” It’s interesting Lieke how the excitement of something new is a form of stimulation but once something is no longer new, people often stop what they started and return to their old ways. Instead you took it further and continued on with understanding what was depleting your energy to find that it was also the fact that you hadn’t been honouring your feelings and what your body was bringing to your attention during your day. Once you honoured this and made the changes… Me Voila!

  76. This blog is such a fantastic example of how we can introduce change in our lives and how a little commitment and resolve can give back one hundredfold. In my experience the sleep cycle is one of the best examples of how every part of our lives influences and feeds back other areas and addressing one area can naturally lead to refining other areas. A few years back when I started to go to bed earlier I found I also had to address any kinds of stimulants that would make it difficult to fall asleep by 9pm- like caffeine and sugar. Like you Lieke there are other things during my day that have been and still can be addressed to deepen when and how I sleep each night. Understanding that choices can set up a momentum is very helpful, this way when I make a choice there is a sense that this choice will not stand in isolation and is likely to beget the next choice, the one after that and so on.

  77. What a brilliant blog, packed with wisdom, ~ thank you Lieke. I love going to bed at nine, but as you point out, it’s not only about the time, it’s how we LIVE during the day that determines the level of energy we have. In every moment. I am constantly developing self-love in the sense that I say no more often, instead of pleasing others. Your blog is super clear showing that: “I can now feel how choosing to live in a way that doesn’t honour my body makes me feel exhausted and tired”. It takes responsibility to change what doesn’t work. Great inspiration.

  78. We waste a lot of energy doing things for other out of duty, instead of what feels right in the moment. Doing something from a duty means when we are with another it will never be as enjoyable as it could be as it is against the natural flow of our day.

    1. So true Gail, lately I have found that every time I go to do something in that duty mode, it goes horribly wrong, its comical actually, like Basil from faulty towers, everything that could go wrong, does go wrong. In a way it is a gift, as it is showing me that I cannot put on the duty hat without consequence to that action.
      You say it beautifully
      ” Doing something from a duty means when we are with another it will never be as enjoyable as it could be as it is against the natural flow of our day.”

      1. Duty is like walking in a maze… you are confined to the walls around you that were made by someone else. We always have the choice to have a ‘Basil day or a Peter Pan day’ I know what I prefer.

      2. Love your analogy sjmatsonuk, it makes sense to the way duty feels and yes ‘magic days’ feel heaps better than ‘Basil days’. Its funny though how over the years, instead of working on stepping away from ‘duty’ I chose to identify with being a “Bazil type character, made this clumsy, funny, dramatic persona and told myself that that is who was. I did all this so I didn’t have to face the fact that I was living in a maze of someone else’s making.

      3. Beauifully expressed both Gail and Sarah. When we do something from a sense of duty there can never be a flow, for when we are not coming from the truth in our hearts there can be no joy in what we do, this is felt by those involved, creating tension which pulls against the natural flow the universe would have us follow, nothing then flows, and everything that can go wrong does go wrong.

      4. Yes most of the time there is no flow and it is all over the place but what I have found to be even worse than that is when there is a flow but it is leading you down the wrong stream. Some people live there lives in this deep duty filled stream, not knowing anything but the next chore for another. In a weird way it ‘works’ but as we have all have stated above, there is no joy in living like this.

      5. Yes Sarah. There is not only no joy there is no real connection with anyone or anything as in this state we are very much in own heads and not feeling what is going on. Everybody misses out on each other.

      6. Yes Kathleen and this is everyones responsibility, not just the person that is in ‘duty’ mode. We all read things and feel things in people all the time and can tell when someone is out of rhythm or stretching themselves too thin, if we then accept and encourage them to live like this then… should we ask ourselves are we any better?

      7. I see your point Sarah, aiding and abetting in a big thing. In the media through advertising we are encouraged to ‘soldier on’ regardless of how we are feeling. Pop a pill and keep going, We have to get back to making everything about people first.

      8. Yes Kathleen and the way we make it about people first is by making sure the people all around us really count, advertising that goes on ‘out there’ is only a reflection for what goes on in our closer relationships. I am relating this aiding and abetting to how I have treated my nearest and dearest over the years.

      9. Too right Sarah and this always stems back to how we are treating ourselves.

      10. I really like that Sarah. We all have the responsibility to live together in a harmonious and joyful way. I can really feel the love in that for if we let others run their ‘duty stream’, we are actually letting them be living a less full life than possible.

      11. Yes Lieke and sometimes we don’t just let others run the duty stream but we actually encourage it, if we have some perceived gain from it that is. These days even if it is tempting and someone offers to help with the kids or do something thats needed, I always feel if it is actually them being true to what they have on also and just double check they are doing it for the right reasons and are taking care of themselves.

      12. That is really beautiful and inspiring Sarah. It feels like a very honouring thing to do to others and it shapes our future way, as the more we collectively start to honour each other, the less space there is to be in disregard for everyone.

      13. Yes Lieke van Haastrecht, it is the way of the future. Appreciation in how and what we do for ourselves and others will lead the way for a world that is more conducive with our natural state of love.

    2. I agree Gail and I would go further in saying that when we do something out of duty not only do we not bring the full quality of what is possible but those we are doing it for can feel that there is a duty in what we do not a true support of them.

    3. I agree and most of us go into this ingrained pattern of being dutiful without even noticing it. It is a big pattern to break but I am becoming more aware of it in my own life. I am recognising how my body feels against the push from thinking it is the right thing to do which is driven from a long held belief of not feeling worthy enough. Being dutiful comes from self as opposed to the feeling what is true in the moment and acting upon it.

  79. For all the searching outside for a sense of me, from trying to fit in with my perceived sense of what people wanted, to trying to adhere to social expectation and norms, and all the while (I now realise) my true purpose and true me were waiting to express from the inside out! I have come to appreciate hugely the guidance and wisdom of my body as a flag and messenger about what is going on and what is needed next. Thank you, Lieke for your practical and gorgeous expression of this.

    1. Same here matildaclark, I can also appreciate the wisdom and guidance of my body now that I listen to it which communicates with me all the time of what is currently at play and what is needed next.

  80. The other day I visited a relative in a nursing home. He asked me to come back in a little while because he needed to sleep. I sat outside his room and realised what a loving thing that was for him to do and how I would struggle to do the same. Even with all that I know and feel, I would still sometimes have that niggle that I was missing out or that I was offending someone. It is truly time for me to claim that self care is far more important than this.
    While I was sitting outside the room, several staff expressed their disapproval at his choice to sleep instead of being hospitable. I stated that I felt it was a very good idea to honour what your body needed to do. So my relative not only supported himself, but supported me to make better choices and gave others something to consider too.

      1. I agree jacqmcfadden04 how beautiful that one person’s choice to honour their bodies needs became an opportunity for others to learn and to make better choices.

    1. What a great example Amanda of how social niceties such as politeness and being hospitable are what we expect from each other yet so far from what supports us all to be true to ourselves and look after our own physical health. As you show here, this is never at the expense of another.

  81. I realised recently that I’ve blamed myself for what happens in the outside world and made it my fault, even when it had nothing to do with me. More specifically, if there was an emotion directed towards me as a child that was someone else’s issue, I would feel responsible, blame myself and therefore not feel good enough. However, tending to me and developing loving self care ways has confirmed that I am more than good enough in so many ways.

  82. Its amazing how many people are tired, and yet refuse to consider adjusting their sleep schedule. It can take time – far more than going to be early once or twice, to reset your body clock and regenerate the body, but if you can make the commitment it is so beneficially

    1. Yes it is amazing Rebecca, it is simple common sense to look at your sleeping patterns when tired but as you say that is not always embraced.

  83. Thank you Lieke for sharing your great experiment of going to bed before 9.00 and observing the results in your body’s vitality etc. – I too have found the benefits are endless when having made this choice of behaviour and have it now become a ‘normal’ part of my daily rhythm. I too wake refreshed ready to greet the day.

  84. It is the greatest moment when we start to challenge how we have lived and make it about honouring our feelings instead of abandoning them. I love how we then grow simply by placing importance on how we feel.

    1. So true Felicity, in the past I did everything to abandon my feelings and now that I am honouring my feelings, and expressing them, this has created a huge positive impact on all areas of my life.

  85. True Lieke, I feel so tired when I am not honouring my body and that includes having too much sleep! Yet when I follow through on all the feelings I get from my body, the amount of energy and abundance I have is quite extraordinary.

    1. Yes I agree Dean, too much sleep can make us feel tired, which shows us that it is about the quality of sleep that counts not the quantity.

  86. “I felt how making a commitment to going to bed on time had a direct effect on how I felt the next day.” this is something simple but the effects on our health and wellbeing are huge and it is our commitment to ourselves that creates the consistency and flow that truly supports us in life.

  87. I can imagine that a lot of people can relate to what you have shared in how it is so easy to go into pleasing others at the expense of yourself.
    It is great when we discuss things openly with others, like you did with your dad because in talking to him about it, he does not feel rejected and understands that you want to study and then you both feel great because no one is rejected or compromised.
    Expressing really does change everything.

  88. It is so important to honour what feels right for your body.
    I don’t have a strict bed time, but I have a routine that I follow everyday, it is my way of preparing my body for sleep. By 8 o’clock I don’t work on the computer anymore, or watch movies or do things with my daughter. I instead take the dog for a walk and then take care of me. I like to shower and put cream on my body and to be with me so no matter how busy I have been throughout the day, I make time for me each evening to check in and re -connect. I also have been starting to just lie in my bed and take a few moments to appreciate my day and myself. At first this was weird but I now love all the things that I used to let pass without giving them any thought. We have so much to appreciate in life yet often we don’t stop enough to enjoy them.

    1. Rosie, what you have shared with us here is so inspiring. I love being in bed by 9pm but my rhythm leading up to getting myself in bed needs adjusting. I can feel how supporting it is to make this time to honour ourselves before going to sleep. Thank you.

    2. ‘We have so much to appreciate in life yet often we don’t stop enough to enjoy them.’
      So well said Rosie – often I can be so caught up in ‘working stuff out’ or processing what I think are issues that I don’t allow time to see that everything I need is there, materially and intellectually. I am all that I need and have made a gorgeous life for myself so far. There is indeed much to appreciate about myself, who I am, where I am from and the life I am choosing to live. A call for more stop moments… my answer is a big fat YES.

      1. That is so true Rachael that line stood out for me too, I can often be so busy and yeah acknowledging that it is amazing what I am doing but not really really feel it. This is actually quite self abusive I can see now.

  89. ‘Early to Bed- Early to Rise – Makes you Healthy, Wealthy and Wise’
    My Grandma’s favourite saying So true it is!

  90. Choosing to make the changes as you have Lieke, and committed to it has brought an amazing outcome and well worth the time to really connect in with your body and what it is asking for. Beautiful.

  91. I am always fascinated how easily we can do thing our body doesn’t feel like doing from a sense of obligation or not wanting to let people down. More often than not if I have changed plans because I have felt better placed elsewhere people have understood and accepted this. Yet the fear of retribution for going against the grain can still arise.

    1. The ‘fear of retribution’ always wants a foothold, on top of which I have a fear of rocking the status quo and the reactions this may cause. This has less and less traction though as I realise with ever more clarity how dysfunctional and unsupportive the status quo is, for all of us. So now, if I have a motto, it is ‘rock away’!

      1. Umm “… rocking the status quo”… I have certainly been living in a way to keep the peace, finding it very difficult to speak up in fear of another’s reaction but things are changing! I do get a little nervous when I express as I re-imprint but as matildaclarke points out and what I am beginning to realise more than ever is not only the extent of how unsupportive the status quo is but that every time we hold back we feed the status quo supporting it to remain the same. How unloving and abusive is that! So yes I’m with you, it is time for us to ‘rock away’!

      2. Matildaclark those words ‘fear of retribution’ resonate with many I am sure, I am learning just how immensely sensitive I am to anything that is not at the very least gentle and that I have been protecting this sensitivity rather then learning to deal with it. In the end what hurts more is the holding back and not the sting when something is not loving.

      3. I love these comments and the point that the status quo is not supportive. It is great to realise this as I have found it is then so much easier to make a commitment to what I would like to have as the status quo in the world. Feeling that that is not just for me but for everyone really. We do create what we get so better make sure we are creating a life that is loving and true.

      4. It’s a little crazy how much effort we put in to maintain a status-quo that’s not even working.

    2. Yes, it is so harming to do things to please another, it is a beautiful thing to start to honour what feels true and in doing this it supports all, even if at first some people may take some time to get used to this new way of being.

    3. I know ‘the fear of retribution’ too Abby – it can feel like when we let this rule our choices that we are being controlled by external forces or circumstances but I have found it is actually me trying to control things. I am the one trying to control so I can the outcome that I want and need. I might need someone’s approval or want to get a promotion at work etc.

  92. “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 too have been realising that it is not just about ticking boxes – getting to bed early etc – but about the quality of how I have lived each day – and my body is showing me how I have been dishonouring of myself. Time for different choices.

  93. I can so relate to this Lieke, feeling tired during the day and saying to myself that I am going to bed early at night, but then get a ‘second wind’ after work and go way beyond the time I feel to sleep. I find when I’m tired everything seems bigger than what it really is, and I feel this odd sense of not caring about anything…. yet this is completely the opposite to how I usually feel. I have been feeling to make more of a commitment to how I prepare for bed and how I sleep, thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Yes, that ‘second wind’ is lethal! Only last night I was feeling very tired and wanted to crawl into bed, but I thought I was hungry so I ate some food. That food gave me my second wind which kept me going for another hour, adding to my exhaustion. I woke up feeling a little groggy which I didn’t like and know was related to my choices the night before. I realise deeply now that my desire for food before bed is not hunger, it is my body asking for stimulation so it can stay awake if I’m not taking it to bed on time!

      1. Oh, that ‘second wind’ – lethal is a great word for it Suzanne A. Everyone has experienced it, and I even used to be a bit baffled by it until Serge Benhayon explained how we can trigger our nervous system to over ride tiredness and exhaustion. After this, I really got to see it in action. If I pushed on when I was tired and did not honour my tiredness by moving with more care or going to bed early, not only would I not feel tired, I would feel wide awake and find myself going to bed even later when I really needed to be in bed earlier.

    2. Great comment Aimee, “I find when I’m tired everything seems bigger than what it really is, and I feel this odd sense of not caring about anything…. yet this is completely the opposite to how I usually feel.” I have been a little ignorant about it at times but my bedtime does really have an impact on how I feel big time. So indeed how simple is it to make a change in this by being honouring of our body when it is time to go to bed?

      1. I got a little clue from this Lieke thank you. When I am tired and push through, what I am doing becomes more about “getting it done”, so my movements are more functional and less connected. I move more abrasively, harden and shut down my heart when I make getting something done more important than how I do it. If there really is no energy to move gently then it shows that the body really does need to be honoured with rest or sleep.

  94. Honouring my feelings; these simple yet powerful words really resonate with me.
    I love the way you have learnt to honour your feelings and have committed to constantly take responsibility to listen to your body.
    A wonderful reflection for us all Lieke, thank you for sharing.

  95. It’s so awesome that you found the courage to say a respectful ‘no’ to your Dad, Lieke. Beautiful work, and clearly done in a way that did not offend. And even if he had reacted, I suspect you would have held true to the path you had set for yourself. Women, we need to be really strong in learning how to do this too.

    1. I would say this is something that applies to us all men and women. To both honour ourselves and each other and to communicate lovingly and openly to each other. It is very beautiful how Lieke described her interaction with her father and he was completely fine with it. So very often we are actually projecting all sorts of things onto to the other and creating all issues that don’t even exist until we invent them!

      1. What you write is so true and HUGE Shireley-Ann. Rejection is a massive issue and reaction trigger for almost everyone to different degrees and yet it is actually impossible. Imagine if these tinted glasses were removed and everyone woke up free of rejection how the world would completely change!

      2. The changes that can happen in relationships when one openly and honestly expresses their needs can be astounding. I experienced this last year when a very dear person in my life expressed truthfully what she needed, which I could have taken as rejection, but because I stayed open and loving to her and respected her needs something was lifted from between us, opening us to more honesty, love and respect for each other. Through taking the somewhat frightening step to honour her needs, and my remaining open and loving in reply, a heaviness that had been there for some time was lifted and replaced with a lightness and understanding for each other which continues to deepen and expand.

      3. Yes rosemarydunstan, understanding brings a lot of love to relationships. I am understanding others more and more and I feel less hurt because of that in situations and I feel more love between us instead.

    2. Rosemary Dunstan, your experience with your friend highlights how we can let our relationships (of any kind) get heavy, foggy and rest in a quagmire when we hold back expressing and communicating when the potential is there for love, truth and lightness between people. I have heard a friend explain dealing with these situations as ‘being an adult’ or ‘a grown-up’, actually being responsible to ourselves and another by bringing the things that are not flowing to the table for discussion.

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