Keep Your Promises or Else
As you may already know, I talk to myself.
Ever since I discovered the amazing connection
between the mind and the body (which houses those mysterious messengers we call emotions) I’ve been checking in with The Team on a regular basis.
Especially when I’m feeling sick.
And you should read the minutes from those meetings! Mind: (speaking to Body) Hey! You’ve been dragging us down for almost a week. Enough with this ear/sinus thing, already! We’ve got important things to do! Stop being the weak link in the chain! Body: (bristling) “Weak link in the chain? You’re the one not listening! We’ve been sending messages to your department for over a month and they’ve all gone ignored! Mind: “So, this is an ultimatum? You’re honestly going to be sick until I give in and let you go outside for a walk?” Body: Yup. This is how it goes, dear reader.
The analytical mind often forgets that it’s part of a team and starts to act like a dictator. It narrows its focus, directing all of its attention towards its own special interests, leaving the rest of its colleagues out in the cold. Suddenly, the body finds itself working for a tyrant. Things begin to swing out of balance. The body calls a meeting, but the intellect closes itself off in the executive centre of the brain, convinced that it’s the only thing that matters. It starts treating the body like a second-class citizen, not caring about its physical or emotional needs. “What?” Intellect asks, “You want to stop and take a yoga break? Are you kidding me? We’ve got a quota to meet!” “A painting class? Are you delirious? Stop jerking around and get back to work!” There’s a reason this part of the mind is often referred to as the EGO. We’ve been trained to use the thinking part of the brain to make every decision, to solve every problem, to plan every life event, but it was never meant to take on that burden by itself. That’s why we’re often stressed and sick and disconnected. When the mind sets itself up as the almighty King, the body rebels. It doesn’t want to spend all of its time “working for the man.” It wants to live by its values, to go after meaning in life, to do what truly feels good. But the mind has a different agenda. It wants to succeed. So it sets deadlines, driving the body forward with a club. Because the only way it knows how to get ahead is to work harder. It doesn’t understand that there is power in relaxation—in love and joy and bliss and rest. It says “yes” to the obnoxious client and the life-draining dinner party and all those late nights at the office. It answers emails at 1:00 in the morning and eats lunch in the car and runs at full speed trying to put all the fires out, not realizing it’s running on a treadmill of its own creation. When we let our intellect lead (instead of leading the intellect) we start forgetting the promises we made to our heart. We start to compromise, putting our dreams in the corner where they slowly curl up. And that’s when things go terribly wrong.
Because the most important promises are the ones we make to ourselves. And when we don’t keep our word, it's the body's job to remind us. At first it's a tight stomach, or a sense of unease—but pretty soon it’s sore muscles and tension headaches, or a dragging sense of fatigue. After that, the memos turn into a full-on revolt. White-prism migraines. A body rash that feels like fire ants eating you alive. Ignore this, and the sub-conscious will personally hand-deliver the message via a sledgehammer. So how do you get the mind/body team back into balance? You bring in the Peacemaker.
Because you are NOT your mind, my love. (Or even your physical body.)
You're the part that's observing the whole kit and kaboodle.
And whatever you call it—Awareness, Higher Consciousness, or your Soul—this is the part you must call in to resolve the imbalance.
Because you don’t create peace by overthrowing the dictator with force! You create peace by treating each part of yourself with love and compassion. Which means you’ve got to step off the battlefield. The analytical mind needs to be guided back to its rightful position—as supportive council to the inner intelligence. Which means helping the mind and body negotiate. You want harmony and peace? Then you’ve got to keep those deep promises to the heart! For me, that means putting rest and play and fun back on the agenda. It means walking outside in nature or painting in the studio or listening to Frank Sinatra on the Sonos while I cook in the kitchen. It means allowing myself to say NO to things that truly drain me. (Let me hear a Hell Yeah! for emotional and mental-health!) Mind-stress is a sign of imbalance. Which usually means there's an absence of leadership. And guess where that leadership needs to come from. YOU. The Mind (thoughts) and the Body (feelings and emotions) are meant to be partners, not enemies! So start paying attention to your body’s signals. Start honouring them. Because you, my darling, are sacred. And the promises you make to yourself mean something. And if you sometimes forget that, don’t worry. Your body will kick up a fuss to remind you! Sending you so much love,