That is not a rhetorical question. It is personal, as well as pinpoints a dilemma for my clients.
I am recovering from adrenal fatigue. You can imagine how much stress a body must absorb to blow up its adrenal system. In 2017, I biked for two weeks in Thailand and trained extensively in Aspen, hiking and skiing, among many other things, as part of a painstaking six-month training in anticipation of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. My vigorous preparation proved a major asset as I ascended the Kilimanjaro peak at 19,341 feet without much difficulty. I followed that little adventure with a bike trip in Viet Nam, a few months later. And, that same year, my family endured extensive drama that had me flying back and forth bi-coastally to lend more than just my hand for close to a year. I had stress in abundance.
I am an endorphin junkie. I play hard continuously, a mental preoccupation that often deafens me to signals my body sends. My drive, which serves me well in performance, can become detached from my body.
Over the last year, my body issued many signs I chose to ignore. I plowed thru, as I tend to do. It is not surprising I didn’t appreciate the risk of developing adrenal fatigue.
I thought I had learned my lesson when six years earlier I weakened my immune system with excessive exercising and was unable to fight off melanoma. But time has a way of making us forget, allowing old habits to return to center stage.
I know the Universe is there to teach us, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stay alert to the signs our body wants to give us. To quote Kelly Kosow in her book: The Integrity Advantage: “If we don’t listen to our body, our body won’t listen to us!”
Last week I had a client who was mired in resistance to performing her action steps. I explained that the internal process we do together gives her answers from her heart (and not her head) and she owes it to herself to stay true to her commitments. When she doesn’t follow through with what her heart tells her to do, she is allowing her ego and her disempowering hidden beliefs to sabotage her.
She devised a straightforward action step: drinking two glasses of water a day. As a coach, I supported the action step and thought she would have no trouble getting it done. I was wrong. She didn’t follow through and, worse, became angry she made the commitment. I explained how resistance shows up in the form of excuses and rationalizations. We discussed terminating our work together because I didn’t want her to waste her money if she didn’t think she could commit to the work. She was frustrated and felt bad about herself. Coaching isn’t about making yourself feel worse! After some discussion, we chose to continue our coaching relationship.
A few days later she texted to tell me she had spent the evening in the emergency room with a kidney stone. She told me that the doctor sent her home with the instructions to DRINK MORE WATER! She said she got it now and was “IN”! As she put it, “If this was not a sign from the Universe, what is?”
This fortifies my belief that the Universe protect us from ourselves. It also brings me back to the original question. Why don’t we listen to our bodies?
I have had to modify the intensity and frequency of my workouts for months and now that I am in Aspen, it is even harder for me. But, my body is demanding it and I’m listening.
I hope this is food for thought. What is your body telling you? Can you trace back warning signs you have been missing? Are you ready to listen now? If you don’t heed the smaller lessons, the Universe gives you bigger ones. Take the small ones. What can you do today to support your body?
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In light and love,