Recently I had a crash. I was chugging along in my new business, feeling like things were going well. I was building my social media presence, promoting my book, updating my website with new services and meditations, and starting my new weekly Wind Down Wednesdays guided meditation broadcast on Facebook. I was also having some physical issues, but I was busy getting things done and trying to ignore my symptoms.
I was texting with my friend about not feeling very well, and she responded in her typical sweet and funny way. "I have this friend who sometimes subconsciously forgets her superpower (because she's human). Her superpower is that she can feel the energy and emotions of everyone around her. It's been a rough few weeks...it's been a rough 2020 I mean. I feel like if our superpowers were reversed, she would tell me to remember that can be super draining. Remind me to be kind to myself and to remember how important it is to take time for me as well. Thoughts?"
I did think about it. I mean, I THOUGHT I thought about it. Looking back I realize I registered it, but didn't process it. My head understood what she was saying but the knowledge didn't make it all the way into my heart. I was actively taking time about once a week to meditate, tap into my intuition, and do energy work on myself. I was exercising regularly and spending time with my husband and dogs. Obviously I was doing everything I needed for self care.
Fast forward another week or two and I was NOT OK. I was frustrated with my work progress, home projects, and with the fact that physically I was feeling even worse. My sleep schedule was disrupted, I was cranky, and everything just seemed off. I decided to block a whole afternoon for myself to really check in and figure out what was going on below the surface.
I went into my healing space, got into meditation, and things started coming up right away. I was furloughed from my ultrasound job in March, then laid off officially at the end of June. While that opened up time and space in my life to finally focus fully on making a living doing what I love, there is the pressure of losing that steady income and those benefits. Meanwhile my husband is also in the process of a career change, so we've got double uncertainty about our financial future.
I started to realize just how much I was holding in my energetic field. I could feel the uncertainty and anxiety my husband feels about starting a new career in his mid-forties. I could feel the discomfort and boredom of my 14 year old schnauzer, who has been dealing with loss of mobility and nerve pain. I could feel the extreme anxiety of my nervous little poodle. I could feel the disruption in the world right now with everything that has been shifting this year. We have all been anxious and uncertain, and that energy can easily get amplified when it's not addressed. In fact, since what we see around us is a reflection of what's within, all of this energy I felt coming from "outside" myself was really my own energy that needed attention.
So I started to explore the root of my current crash. What was going on with me? Why was I having a resurgence of endometriosis symptoms after months of feeling almost normal? Why was I in so much pain? Wasn't all the meditation and intuitive work I was doing on myself helping? What more did I need to do to step fully into a healthy and whole state physically, emotionally and spiritually?
The answer that came to me was nothing short of astonishing. I later told my husband, "I've either stumbled on something really profound or so obvious that I'm an idiot for never seeing it before."
I've been living, as almost everyone on the planet does, in a seven day week. We have set ourselves up as a society to get things accomplished for six days and rest for one (if that!). Even if we're not working outside the home, most of us have set working days or times (or all the time if you're running a home and raising kids) and then at least one day of getting things done domestically, whether that looks like cleaning, meal prepping, and/or running errands. If we take a day for rest at all, it's usually just one in every seven, and often that is a day we focus on family but not necessarily on our individual needs.
The message that came through from my intuition is that I am not on a seven day cycle of renewal. My cycle is more like four to five days. What do I mean by that? Every four to five days I need to complete my renewal ritual in order to start again with a clean slate. When I'm not doing this consistently I start to hold onto the energy that's in my field rather than letting it flow through me and be replenished with Divine light and love. If I keep pushing myself and I'm not paying attention to my emotions then my body starts to send signals that I need rest. If I ignore those physical signals they get worse until I finally pay attention.
Where did the seven day week come from anyway? I was curious because it felt arbitrary to me when I felt into it intuitively. Many of our cycles are based on astronomical events or natural cycles, but the seven day week didn't seem to fit into that. When I looked it up I learned that around the 6th century BC Babylonians decided to divide the week into seven parts based on the seven celestial objects they saw in the night sky. However further reading showed that as early as 2600 BC the Sumerians began using seven day periods due to their belief that seven was an ideal number.
I am not arguing that we get rid of the seven day week. We need a stable, regular schedule for society to function. But we also need to recognize our own cycle of renewal and honor it in a way that allows us to function in optimal health. What is a renewal ritual and how can we find time for ourselves when we're already stressed out and over scheduled? That stress and "busyness" are the exact reasons why we need to figure out our own renewal cycle and develop a ritual to honor it.
What came to me was this: every four to five days I need some extended alone time (at least a couple of hours) to recharge through primal dance/stretching/yoga, meditation, and a deep session of energy work and intuitive guidance (as opposed to the briefer check-ins I do throughout the day most days). If I go more than five days I will start to notice the ill effects: lethargy and fatigue, emotional upset in whatever form that takes (crankiness, frustration, depression, anxiety), and physical pain or other physical symptoms.
When you look at this clearly you will see that this is not just good self care; this is how you care for those around you as well. We often say you can't help others if you're not taking care of yourself, but I think many of us don't really know what kind of self care we're actually calling for. I encourage you to check in with yourself. Get quiet and meditative, use my Introduction to Guided Mediation or Meditation and Chant for Anxiety if you like, and tap into your own intuition about what your body, spirit and emotions are calling for.
Figure out your renewal cycle and ritual and commit to this practice. Put it in your calendar just like you would an important appointment. Then stick to it and see what changes in your life. Recognize how the universe opens up more and more to us when we are in a state of open, Divine flow, rather than restriction. If you are new to this type of intuitive work, you are not alone. Don't get discouraged. Reach out for help if you need it.
Honor those you love by honoring yourself. After all, we are all connected, and our self love will ripple out and affect the world around us. Stepping into our birthright of health and happiness within our own lives will ignite health and happiness in those around us.