Hare or Turtle - what kind of body is yours?
‘We are fragile beings - I think we’re like a really beautiful vase, if we are knocked around and not looked after we fall and break but if we take the time to love and care for ourselves the true beauty from within really does shine through.’ Kath Targett
‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’ Reinhold Niebuhr
I have always been a bit envious of people with great bodies. I don’t mean to make a judgement call on beauty, or shape or build. I mean bodies that work well, seem effortless at sport, are resilient and whose owners seem to not have to do too much to maintain the status quo.
I’ve never had a body like that. Mine needs constant management. I learnt at an early age that sport was not my thing – in fact the only time in my school life I got a D grade was for year 9 sports. I was mortified, but the reality was and still is that I don’t really have a ‘great body’ – at least not in that sense.
It obviously has a genetic component as to the why. My dad was a very resilient man, but had a lot of ongoing management to do for his body as well. If you ask my mother about me growing up, she will tell you that I cried a lot. In between crying I was a pretty outgoing happy kid, but as far back as I can remember, my body needed a lot of attention. I was told by my doctor when I was 13 that I was the happiest person he’d ever diagnosed with Glandular Fever. That’s because for the year leading up to the diagnosis, all the other doctors told my parents my issues were ‘mind over matter’, and in my early years I’d had my tonsils, adenoids and appendix removed just to see if it made me feel better. So glandular fever finally gave a reason as to why I felt sick all the time – at least until I healed from that.
As it turns out, my body is just really sensitive to all things artificial and over processed – refined foods, preservatives, flavours, colours that are man-made. I don’t have the best joints in the world, and my spine has a few ongoing issues. I had a wonky pancreas and low blood pressure. So my body pretty much hurts most of the time. It took a while to find all the reasons why.
I have had multiple broken bones in my body, including my tail bone – twice, and had a major high speed car accident which requires ongoing management skills to keep everything working properly.
Why am I sharing all this in my blog? Good question.
It has something to do with desire to let go of the ideal of perfection. Letting go of the need to always be in control. Understanding that in the stillness of life amazing things can break through.
I am a ‘doer’. I am a hare in a turtle’s body. I have had to learn that I cannot be on the go all the time. When I used to get frustrated that my body needed more attention than many others – and that made me not as available to do some of the things others were doing, I learnt to let my body rest and let my mind learn.
I have discovered much joy in listening and learning, in reading and discovering. In sitting in the stillness of life and finding peace. I have found joy in the surrender to rest. I have learned to meditate – to help my mind relax as well as my body, and coming out of that peaceful space I have found that creativity flourishes. I found my creative side and I am constantly aware that the busier I am, the less creative I am, so I have learned to rest. My body may force me to do it, but I am now grateful for that. I hate being nauseated, but I have found that nausea is actually my friend. It is the signal that it is time to stop and rest my body. I hate headaches and fatigue, but without my rest time, that is what happens, so I learn to rest.
I also know that with the routine of 9 – 10 hours of sleep a night – which is what I need, I am more creative, more functional, more productive in the remaining hours than many people who only need 5 – 6 hours. It all balances out. I have learned to trust that.
Now those of you who know me will be saying – but she is always busy – yes I am, but that is because to maintain balance, I call my 9 – 10 hours of needed rest part of that ‘being busy’. I have had to prioritise. To maintain the music and speaking touring schedule we have takes courage, but into that I factor the needed rest. And if that need is not met for a few days, then I have to factor total time out when I get back. I tell my friends I’m hibernating. I need to eat well and drink plenty. That for me is being busy. I have learned to say no to over demands, and yes to rest.
The beauty of this is that I still live a full and productive life. I am constantly creating and being the person I want to be. I love life. I have the time to ponder some weightier matters, and I have time and strength for my family.
What kind of body do you have? And are you treating it the way it needs to be treated? Are you allowing your mind to do what it loves to do best – explore, create, learn, grow?
After a lot of years of learning and learning nurturing, I now think my body is a ‘great body’ and I am thankful. I am looking after that beautiful vase, and I don’t mind being a turtle!
Merelyn’s writing is supported in part by the sale of her books. Autobiography - ‘The Deepest Part of Me’. ‘Inspire’ – inspirational reflections for your life’s journey. ‘Stories behind the Songs’ and her first children’s picture book ‘To The Moon and Back - Grandma’s Rocket Ship Adventure’. To find out more about her work and to support her through the purchase of her writings and music, please go to www.carterandcarter.com.au