Friday 12 September 2014

I feel like I've had a holiday

As I made my last 8am 6km walk of the holiday I reflected on how well I was feeling. My mind had taken a break and my body had had what it needed - nutrition, plenty of water, sleep and perhaps more importantly - movement, stretching and the odd pamper! 

How often have you gone on holiday saying you really need the holiday, and return saying you need another? I suspect most of my holidays have been like that - until today when I return feeling like I've had a holiday and raring to go! 

Depends on our reason for a holiday I suppose - after 9 months of constant work and lots of travelling I had a huge desire to stay in one place, to give my mind some much needed time off, and my body some TLC.

The problem with many holidays in the past is the TLC for the body hasn't been very present - late nights, too much alcohol, indulgent food, inactivity and so on. As a result my head hasn't really managed to turn off either. Which means I've returned to work with a body and mind that both still need a holiday!

After so much traveling I booked a retreat with the intention of just eating well and taking part in the activities that interested me. I return with so much more.

I appreciate 3 days just drinking juices followed by 4 days on a vegan diet without alcohol, coffee or tea wouldn't be everyones cup of herbal tea :-). That said my body loved it - good food (none of the baddies), exercise and rest. 

I remember many years ago an internal conversation between my body and mind that went something like this:

Mind: Why the hell am I up this blinking mountiain in the wind the rain in the dark?
Body: Because it's challenging and fun.
Mind: There's better ways of achieving those than this.
Body: But I'm enjoying this, and you never let me have any fun and do what I want. 
Mind: No wonder if you make me do this.
Body: But this is making me feel alive, and stretching me - and 'you' I might add.
Mind: Surely there are better ways.
Body: Not sure I've noticed many 'better' ways recently - you've not really listened to me for months - you just expect me to be there for you to do what ever you need me to do. It's as if you just drag me along for the ride without thinking about what I need or what would make me happy. 

At that time I returned from the mountain realising I'd underestimated my body - its ability and its need for attention. Over the years I've perhaps given a little more attention to my body - although often only out of necessity however due to for example arthritic knees or perimenopause! I can't honestly say the body has had as much attention as my mind and soul - I bet my library has 15 books for mind and soul to every 1 for body!! 
This holiday has re started the conversation with my body - I'll let you know how I get on with future conversations once I return to work on Monday.
What would your body say to your mind if it was given a chance - and perhaps more importantly will you listen and take action on its request? 
Alison Smith
Inspiring change inside and out

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