Last week, after three weeks of running - Florida, Arizona, Florida again - I crashed. Hard. My husband even got sick (AND he has an amazing immune system - AND he didn't do the AZ leg of that trip) and while I was sniffly, I managed to mostly avoid a bad cold. But I was WIPED, both physically and mentally.
So I did what my body told me it needed - after more than twenty years with Fibromyalgia, I have learned that if I don't, things will be even worse - and rested. But...I did not enjoy it. Because when I rest, I tend to start getting "head stuff". The hack voice, the noise that says you're no good, you'll never be any good, everyone is doing much better, more complex, more exciting work than YOU are...I could go on but I suspect most of you know this voice very well.
And then I thought about the lotus.
I have to say that for years I thought the Om-y people, the Yoga girls, who were all about the lotus were....well, lotus-freaks. I'm all for Zen and calm and betterment. But for a while there, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the lotus / Yoga / Om "stuff" was everywhere, and I got tired of being smacked in the face with it.
But then, years later (maybe when I was ready for it, hmm?), I came across the phrase, "No mud, no lotus". The first time I ever read that, it felt like someone had shouted "EUREKA!" into my ear. It just clicked. The lotus begins in the muck, in a swampy pond, and grows into a singularly lovely bloom. In Buddhist culture it represents spiritual awakening and enlightenment. I think of it often, as I am pushing through my own muck.
We all go through ups and downs, and you just have to work through the downs until you find yourself up again. Whether that's resting your body when it hurts, or pushing into new designs, or taking a mental break, scheduling a massage...maybe just a few hours with a good book and a hot tea. For me, this time, it was about a week of literally nothing.
So I'm at the end of another long week..but a week made possible by the one before it. Some lovely new works are in process. And I've pushed through the "head stuff" (for the moment) and am still moving toward my goals. For some weeks...that's more than enough. :)
I hope you are in a good place for this weekend!