Over the weekend I was speaking with a friend who has a lot going on in her life right now. After telling me about a particularly intense experience I said to her, "Never a dull moment."
Her response to my statement was, "It would be good to have a dull moment or two around here," to which I said, "Yup, we have to welcome the dull moments."
Not everyone may have a the kind of life which necessitates inviting dull moments to come in but for those of us that are overachievers, perfectionists, workaholics, busy bees, or stimulant junkies it's a pretty sound piece of advice.
It took shingles for me to learn how to welcome the dull moments. For those of you who aren't familiar with shingles, it's a viral disease, the same one as chickenpox, and it travels through the nervous system, bursting through the skin in a painful rash of blisters.
When I was diagnosed, I was told there are three causes: age, compromised immune system and stress. Since I was in my early thirties and my immune system was healthy I had to accept that stress was the reason I now had what felt like small knives stabbing repeatedly into my back.
Because shingles can recur, my body now has a built-in stress-reducer. If I don't ever want to experience the pain of those blisters again, and believe me I don't, then I need to be careful about how much stress I invite into my life.
The key word in that last sentence is "invite". What I learned from the shingles experience was that I was actually creating the experience of chaos in my life. It wasn't happening to me. I was making it happen.
This was a big wake-up call. Not easy to accept at first, certainly, but once I did I could then begin to make the necessary changes.
The biggest change was learning how to welcome the dull moments. Learning how stop, to rest, to say no to things that caused stress or burn-out or exhaustion. I learned about self-care in a whole new way. Today, my well being comes first, period.
Admittedly, I do not do this perfectly. I can still tend toward workaholism and over-stimulation but I am light years away from where I was when those blisters burst on my back and said, "Celia, we need a break."
Thank goodness they did and thank goodness I listened.
Inspiring Message of the Day: Today I will welcome the dull moments. In the dull moments the Silence awaits us. In the Silence there is Peace. I deserve this Peace.