I think it started ten years ago after my daughter died. People said I should “stay busy,”  to help keep my mind off grief. I definitely took that advice. I went from project to project and now I have become comfortable operating in overdrive. I have been working to learn how to relax and practice the art of “not doing” because my mental and physical health depend on it. Doing nothing, keeping my mind free of to-do  and should-do lists has been  extremely difficult for me. In  the last two years I have been teaching, managing and editing a school magazine, moderating a service club, trying to get a children’s book published, completing requirements to earn a MFA, and writing a memoir while keeping up with all the deadlines for home, work, and Converse College.  Obviously, no human can keep this up without losing sleep, patience, and her hair. I have lost a lot of all three. And  my allergies, skin eruptions, and asthma  have all intensified. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to stop myself. I have forgotten how to  live any other way. Two weeks ago, I went to the allergist and had a full and pleasant conversation about how I had been improving after a month  on the allergy shots. I told him I felt great. Ten minutes later, I took a breathing test and found my lung capacity was working at less than  60%. I didn’t even notice. I read this book called, Heal Your Body by Louise L. Hay where Hay gives an affirmation for each medical condition. For my rashes and itching skin, she recommends the affirmation: “Harmony and peace, love and joy surround me and indwell in me. I am safe and secure.” I will be working with this affirmation and others because more than anything, I want to be at peace.  I want it to  surround me and fill my heart and lungs. I want to feel safe when still. I want to live and breathe at 100%.

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