Why is it that when I lay in my bed for a week, don’t hit the gym, eat whatever I want, and get TONS of sleep I feel guilty? Guilty. Women are taught to believe that if we RELAX for once in our lives, we are not being productive or efficient. In reality, healing ourselves every now and then is extremely necessary. In my case, becoming sick and slowing down has been the ultimate gift this week. Although I do get a lot of free time as a dancer on the Maasdam and don’t have to work during the day, I am usually extremely active—exploring towns, going to the gym and being outwardly social every minute of every day. Apparently, I really needed this week to reset my body and mind. I developed a terrible cold, which then turned into a sinus infection and ear infection. Not fun whatsoever. Yet this lovely infection forced me to stop eating so much, stop drinking beer and wine on the regular, stop working out intensely every single day and stop staying up late. In a way, although it’s fighting an infection right now, my body has never felt better. I’m getting so much sleep, eating whatever my heart desires, and not overexerting myself at the gym or on stage. Last week, I had a pinched nerve in my neck, my legs were so sore I could barely walk, and my back was in constant pain. This week, I’m a new woman. It’s funny that when life forces us to stop and chill, things fall together more than ever. My days have started simply and ended simply. I wake after 8 or 9 hours of sleep. I eat breakfast. I read, I watch Sex & the City on repeat, I eat chocolate and cookies and crackers and all sorts of carbs. I did my laundry and cleaned my cabin. Let me tell you—damn IT FEELS GOOD. I haven’t had a drink in 5 days or stepped foot in the gym. I’m noticing smaller pleasures. I take delight in writing, sitting and meditating because I very much appreciate my breath and my health. SO a huge thank you to whoever passed on this lovely cold/virus/infection. It has been very enlightening and enjoyable, indeed. It’s forced me to re-vamp my lifestyle, reevaluate my spirituality, and hone in on what makes me happy.
Why do we complicate happiness? Oftentimes, just changing our frame of mind is all we need to do. Instead of waking sluggish and annoyed of our daily duties, we should wake with gratitude. We are alive. We get to experience this place called earth that God created for us. We get to use our 6 senses. We get to meet new people and educate ourselves, learn, read, explore, and if we’re lucky– work at something we’re good at. We get to love and be loved. Every day this is available to us. We just have to learn how to use it, enjoy it, and BE.
And so I as I sit here in a coffee shop, I do exactly that. I smell the fresh aroma of coffee beans and steamed milk, letting my fingertips type away. I eat a decadent veggie frittata with roasted potatoes and wheat fresh baked bread, drink a warm Caramel almond milk Latte, and sit at a cozy table. My ears hear smooth alternative music. My eyes see people walking in and out of the cafe, each with a different story and soul. My taste buds delight in my abundant meal. My body feels relaxed and at ease as my mind slips into the world of writing and discovery. I am present, I am happy, and I am blessed. I am here, using all of my senses. I am alive.
I hope all of you take a few seconds to appreciate this day simply for the fact that it is NEW and it is a gift, and know in your heart that we have millions of opportunities at our fingertips in this life.
Sending all my love to anyone who reads this.