Here I sit at a coffee shop in the Lisbon airport (NOTE: the airport code for Lisbon is LIS… just sayin), getting ready to fly back to the States after 6 weeks here in Europe, and boy am I ready to take a time out for self.
But first, Wow… I just spent 6 weeks in Europe!
In significant moments like these I want to be in a different mental and emotional space than I currently am.
I want to be in a reflective state, one where I’m deeply considering the immense amount of inspiration I’ve gathered over my time here.
I want to write clearly and concisely about all the new perspectives I’ve gained, and about how much “better” I am due to them.
I want to share romanticized scenes of European travel, and tell you how one can’t know the extent of how amazing it is unless they travel here themselves.
I can’t do any of this though, because it’s not what’s really going on inside of me.
Trust I DO have reflections, inspiration, new perspectives, and memories of the beauty that’s surrounded me. Trust too that I may even be able to share more about these moments with you in the coming months.
However, what’s really going on with me right now is that I’m tired… bone tired.
I’m the kind of tired where your entire being is running solely on adrenaline; where all you can think about is how delicious it will be to lay your head on a comfy pillow, but also where you cringe at your inability to even consider how you’ll muster up the energy to make it to that next pillow.
Yeah… that tired.
I’m not just tired from traveling to 4 countries, staying in 8 different cities, and taking 5 flights all in 6 weeks (while working full time).
I’m tired because despite doing all this physical movement I’ve been going inward as well.
Allow me to explain.
I didn’t realize how much WORK working on oneself is. I thought I could just follow the steps, take risks, complete the tasks, and “whammo!” self work achieved.
What I’ve learned is that self work IS partly those things. But, in addition to all the external shifting, there is a whole world of internal shifting that is happening simultaneously below my surface.
Said more simply, self work doesn’t just take place in the active moments, but it is also happening internally as well.
For example, when doing self work I could be focusing on being present and experiencing a lovely moment in a new book shop when out of nowhere I notice anger slide over the happiness in my heart.
In this example, the emotion comes on randomly, perhaps triggered by a word or picture I glanced at. If I’m engaging in self work, it’s up to me to notice these emotional shifts, accept or resist them, then move on to the next awareness.
Now, consider this. All I described just now is only happening in just one moment, and it’s exhausting enough to imagine.
When I’m in self work mode, however, I don’t just have this one moment. I have to go through this process moment after moment after moment; as each random emotional shift occurs.
Couple that with the physical tasks of walking through the shop, being present, and enjoying my time and you’re looking at a lot of activity going on as I walk through a book shop!
Nonetheless, I’ve chosen to do this self work, and I think it’s this choice coupled with the external travel and events which leaves me… well let’s just say I’m exhausted.
Giving myself permission to recognize how tired I am, I’m taking time over the next few days and weeks to just be.
I plan to focus on resting, celebrating with friends, and reconnecting with my heart. I’m taking this shavasana to rest and allow all that I’ve learned to integrate into my being.
(NOTE: for you yogis out there who want to know even more about Shavasana, check out this great article.)
PPS: In regards to taking a time out for self, this article helped! The 7 Most Important Yoga Postures For Relaxation.
So, here’s to a few days of enjoying life for what it is and not trying to make it what I think it should be.
Wish me luck!
Oh, and tell me what you think about my analysis here in the comments, please! I want to know how you do self work and integrate what you learn?!