How To Follow Through And Actually Go Slow

I climbed back into bed in my dressing gown and rolled over.

Surrendering my body to the mattress.

I’d already slept for 10 hours but after being up for not even an hour it felt necessary to climb back into bed again.

I didn’t arise for another 3 hours.

I’m so lazy.

Or, am I?

I wouldn’t have always listened to what my body needed. Countless mornings I’d just get up and “get on with it”.

Somehow only something completely debilitating in that moment – a high fever or migraine – felt justifiable to even “call in sick” for the day.

It’s such an odd expression that anyhow. So many implications and underlying tensions arise just saying it out loud. “Call in sick”. I’m sure most of it’s in our heads, but still, the tension is there.

Culturally we’re wired to believe we’re weak for staying home. For listening to what our body actually needs. So, we just keep going.

It took lots of practice and many years for me to fully surrender.

Over time, I’d get more and more used to that awkward feeling that would happen at even the thought of climbing back into bed, or not going in to work.

But it was much more than just that.

It was also about getting use to how good it felt, when I actually followed through.

How necessary that rest was for my body and my mind.

While culturally we may think we need to get up and get going every single day (and granted, there are certainly circumstances that call for that some of the time), there’s also so much we can take individual responsibility.

Instead of blaming the circumstances in our lives for how our bodies and minds feel. Or for how crappy we feel when we drag ourselves out of bed and just keep going despite our body’s cue to slow down and rest.

So, the other day, when I crawled back into bed, the decision point to do so was actually pretty easy. (Like I said, I’ve spent years mastering this!).

I knew I was choosing joy. I was focused on how good it’d feel afterwards.

I simply asked my body what it wanted in that moment, and what it wanted was rest.

It probably didn’t make a lot of sense. I’d been traveling and away from work for over a week. There were things I needed to get done.

Yet I knew what quality of work I’d produce in that state versus refuelling my body with what it needed most.

And while the decision to do so was easy, it doesn’t mean the follow through is easy.

I still woke up with a little pang of *guilt* that I quickly washed away realising how good I felt after more hours of rest. (I’ve had a full few months, have been traveling and am recovering from a cold, my body is crying for stillness right now).

So if you’re feeling like you can’t possibly give yourself what you need right now, ask yourself what you’re focusing on.

Is it on what’s stopping you? Or are you focusing on how good it’ll feel after?