How do I know I need to drink more water? I’m thirsty.
How do I know when I need to eat? I’m hungry.
How do I know when I need to sleep? I’m tired.
There are many ways I know when my body needs something. It’s programmed right into my DNA through 300,000+ years of evolution. These warning signals are great and they work as tripwires to help me live a relatively healthy life.
Some other things are a little more difficult for me. There aren’t the direct and clear alarm bells like hunger, thirst, and sleepiness. Rather, there are a jumble of signals all together that need to be pieced together in order to translate and put meaning to.
This morning I woke up exhausted. Last night I ate supper after 8pm. I had a drink because it sounded good and I wanted to take the edge off. I laid in bed staring at the ceiling as my thoughts raced. I felt a decline in motivation by the end of the day. I didn’t have my normal conversations with the boys because I felt exhausted. I didn’t feel like I spent any time with Becky. I didn’t sleep well and woke up several times. This morning on our run I was tired and just wanted to go back to sleep.
Thirst, hunger, & sleepiness are so much easier to figure out. What did my jumble of symptoms mean? So many different things that could come from many different causes. But when I stand back and looked at them as a whole, they meant one thing… I needed some stillness.
Instead of hopping in the shower right after our run I instead changed into a dry sweatshirt, set an alarm, laid flat on my back in bed, and covered my eyes and head with two pillows. I focused on my breathing. I chose to feel the beating of my heart slow. I thought about nothing besides the blackness behind my eyelids. I was never close to sleep, I was awake the entire time. When a thought raced in I did my best to quietly shoo it aside, I’d deal with it later. I instead laid with my mind quieted, my soul at peace, and simply existed in the serenity of stillness.
Fifteen minutes later I feel so much more refreshed, at peace, motivated, and rested. Yet again I’m amazed at the power of true stillness to bring peace to my soul.