Three days ago, I woke up with a frozen shoulder; I was unable to sleep the prior night or get out of bed. This has happened before, but this time, with the help of my amazing practitioner, Jenny Ellis, I really listened to the message being offered up. I came to understand the message along with fixing the actual physical pain. And this is what I discovered…
I work in education, and it had been the school holidays – a chance to rest, rejuvenate, catch up and be with family and friends. But I had to be super honest and realise I had not given myself the rest I needed. Each day did not feel complete unless I’d addressed cleaning an area of the home, walked the dogs, been with the kids, done some marking, caught up with a friend. I couldn’t say no, and if I did, I felt guilty.
There was such a drive, a pushing through, I could feel a momentum of rush, a high. It was like a drug – and it felt like an ancient behaviour. I was aware of it but couldn’t seem to stop it.
Jenny supported me to understand that my shoulder had frozen because it was reflecting the hardness I go into to get things done. I had seen another practitioner earlier in the week, prior to the shoulder freezing, and he could sense how I was living. In the session, we talked about addressing my nervous energy. I asked if my body was exhausted as a result, and he said, not really; it was more the high of the doing I was getting off on: I was drawing satisfaction from the outcome and not paying enough appreciation and attention to the aspect of what just being me brought to everything.
What does this really mean? Well, this is something I have been deepening and addressing for years – that I was valuing myself by what I did and not from who I am. I tended to not feel really good about myself until I had completed or done the task.
What my body brought to me, reflected back to me via my practitioners, was that I had to start understanding, accepting and really live the fact that it is first the quality of who I am within any activity which is key: that I am enough just by being me. Yes, of course things need doing, it’s not about sitting around and contemplating my navel, but knowing and feeling that my WORTH and VALUE are not solely derived by the doing.
I fully felt this yesterday as I surrendered completely to my pain and tiredness and lay in bed for most of the day, with my two children watching movies and chatting. I DID nothing, yet I was EVERYTHING for them. It was the BEST day.
So it is about quality. I can be doing, but it is a doing with the appreciation of my quality, which is in the doing; a knowing that the unique ‘me’ in it all, is already enough – before anything is done.
I also felt that it was not just about appreciating my quality as something separate, but to express it from a deep love and acceptance of myself. This naturally ensured I was embracing, honouring, valuing and caring for myself in each movement and thought, and I was fully worthy of that. As women, what could we bring if we were simply enjoying being ourselves, first, before any of the doing?
I know for a fact what all this brings, from the relationship with my own mother. When I look back, there was a lot of doing; my Mum was busy and Dad was often away. But when I feel her love, it is her QUALITY I feel. I felt her deep love – it didn’t even have to be said or expressed but boy did I feel the QUALITY and essence of her love – the quality and essence of who she really was/is.
When I reflect on that, I feel a deep holding, a feeling of being nurtured and deeply loved by the quality and essence of my Mum. A huge warmth. Reflecting back, my friends felt the same – they always ended up chatting with her, and all her work clients – the same. All felt a deep holding and care, and an ability to surrender and the space to share their deepest thoughts and troubles with her.
How little do we pay attention to and appreciate the essence of who we are and how we express? If we close our eyes and sense the essence of who our sisters are, our friends, this becomes very clear. Yet, do we acknowledge and allow ourselves to feel this unique aspect of our own quality, how palpable and amazing it is, how clearly felt it is by others, before we even speak or do anything? An example is my sisters and girlfriends who are all on the other side of the globe to me. I do not interact regularly with them, engage in activities with them, yet I KNOW them and I sense exactly what quality it is about them that I feel and love.
Learning to acknowledge and pay attention to feeling my qualities and what others sense about me has been life changing. I’m starting to appreciate and claim what I bring before I even get up and do or say anything. I don’t have to prove myself in any way – I am simply enough.
It is that quality of me, which gives permission to accept and love everything about that quality of you, no matter what you say or do. And it is that quality in you which accepts me back.
The more I connect to this quality of me, and cherish and appreciate it, the more I bring as a mother, a wife, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a teacher. I’m less lost in the angst of not being enough and the ‘trying’. I just am.
Thank you gorgeous body for offering this super important lesson to me, which I’ve been able to bask in for the final few days of the holidays, and truly rest in preparation to return back to my busy life.
We all know each other’s quality as women, our personality, essence, and it is this that we need to appreciate. I have come to realise that for women, it is not what we ‘do’ that everyone enjoys, it is the quality of who we are that we are appreciating.
Published with permission of my mother.
By Anonymous, Australia
For more inspiration…
Women belong to themselves… exploring who we are as women, underneath the roles, expectations and the pictures.
From exhaustion to vitality: Esther’s story on learning to listen to her body and live in a revitalising way.