I have learned in the twenty years of Coaching people on life transformations and transitions, that the body gives clues to how your life is going. I have seen migraine headaches go away after a divorce and back ache disappear when a person has created more healthy support in their life. I have seen the body react from what is going on in your inner world.
My husband and I divorced when I was 31 and I was a single Mom for sixteen years. During those years I worked in retail and then in business development. The first years were pretty rough financially and we lived month to month on the money I brought home. Later, after finding a career that used my strengths and skills and creating success, I had more money to spend on fun and on me. Spending money on the kids or family activities was great with me and I was happy I could do it, but spending money on me was a different matter.
During the summer one year some of my friends from work asked me to go to the desert with them for a weekend, stay in a hotel, and go shopping. The kids were spending some time with their Dad and I was free, so after some thought, I said, “Great”. We went to a wonderful resort and were having a super time. It was very beautiful there. I was in the pool and noticed some tingling on my face. I asked my girl friends if they could see anything on my face and they said, “you have red welts on your face”. I had broken out in hives!
I had hives once before on a very emotional day; the day my husband came home to pick up all of his things after finding his own place to live when we separated. My body had spoken to me. It was in distress. I was in distress.
When I vacationed with my friends I was stressed by spending money on me. I was not used to taking a few hundred dollars to go on a “solo” vacation all about fun. My whole life focus had been on my children and what their needs were and I had not paid equal attention to my own. I felt guilty for having fun and enjoying myself. I felt guilty to spend what I considered a large amount of money on me. I felt guilty to be away in that lovely place without my family. I did not know how to take care of my needs.
Today, I know good self care is taking care of you in ALL ways. Time with friends talking, playing and having fun is crucially important. Taking trips to change your scene, explore, learn, and just get-a-way are important for the soul and the spirit. And if you have children you are teaching them self care through your actions. They learn by watching how their parents live their lives.
In coaching, I do a life wheel and together we look at how my client’s life is balanced. Most often it is not. And more often than not, one area that is really not satisfactory to them is the area of fun and recreation. We as adults are not playing enough. We are not spending enough time with our partners playing. We are not in integrity with our own inner needs and balance. Most of us need more play, more fun, more laughter, and more quiet time to watch the sun rise and the clouds go by. We will be healthier by doing so.
Your body gives you the signals. What is your body saying to you? Ask your body. What do you need?
Kathy Nelson provides Life Coaching in San Diego and also via teleconference worldwide