by Sara Harris, BHSc, Melbourne, Australia
For the most part of my life I have been very conscious of looking after myself. In fact, I used to pride myself on how healthy I was, even as a teenager. I went to the gym, played all sorts of sports, didn’t eat sugar and was careful about the amount of food I was eating. I was also one to do very well at school. Always on top of everything, producing quality and quantity and getting marks to confirm me as being a ‘good’ student. I was also involved in fund-raisers and the 40 hour famine each year… out to save the world!
Looking back now, it would be fair to say that I was living in a bit of a ‘drive’ – a drive to do well, to be good, to succeed and to be the best. It may seem as though there is nothing wrong with all of this, however my body was telling me that there definitely was. I would push myself through anything, constantly, at the expense of my body. Here I was thinking that I was looking after myself by doing all the right things, but I hadn’t considered that simply listening to my body ‘first’ was actually what was needed. I see now how I kept going to the gym when my body was tired, or how I was eating food because of what I had read or what I was told was good for me, without listening to what my body really wanted. And I would work until all hours of the morning to get things done, thinking that the work would be better the more time I gave it. But why did I not give the same consideration and dedication to my body, when it is the one actually doing all of the work?
Throughout these teenage years I suffered from severe period pain and had hay fever – I would begin each day sneezing a ridiculous 20 sneezes in a row!! It used to drive me craaaaaazzzzzzy, not to mention everyone else in the household. It was only when I began to consider the pace at which I was living that these things began to slowly change. I recognised that I couldn’t keep living in the same way because as much as I thought I was doing ‘good’, I was actually draining and exhausting my body.
It was around 3 years ago that I began to attend Universal Medicine events and, in particular, the Esoteric Women’s Presentations, where I began reflecting more on my life and how I had lived and how that has affected my body. So, granted, I had shifted gear and already seen the error of my ways in the pace that I was living, but now I was learning that there is also a quality that I can bring to life and to myself which is even more regarding of my body. I was beginning to learn about honouring myself and living in a loving way. This took it all to a whole other level, one that I welcomed with open arms. In doing this, it has been quite a journey to unravel and feel the layers of disregard and the dishonouring and unloving ways which had simply become part of the way I lived. But knowing now the difference between what I would call living a ‘good’ life and living a ‘true’ life, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I now have no hesitation in saying that anything less than living in a very self-loving way is abusive to my body – and there are no two ways about it! What I know now is that there is an enormous power in the delicateness and loveliness of being a woman that I was missing before, being so caught up in the drive of succeeding and ‘being good’. There is actually nothing to ‘do’ as such, but the ‘doing’ is what I had so erroneously believed in all my life. However, it is certainly not the case that I now ‘do’ nothing either – I simply make sure that whatever I do is done while I stay present with my actions and aware of the feelings in my body. This may be in the way that I get out of bed in the morning, the way that I wash and dress myself, the way that I am at work and with people, the way that I prepare my food and the way that I eat. It is the way that I do all of these things whilst feeling my body and thereby honouring its rhythm. This is what is so lovely to feel; the tenderness in my body when I am truly honouring myself and living lovingly… because I’m worth it!