By Tricia Scott
When I was younger we were always at the beach, that's one of the great things about the place in which I live, ten minutes into town and twenty minutes to the sea. The best of both worlds. Memories of climbing and jumping from sand dunes that seemed massive at the time, almost like mountains, which, upon reflection as my adult self are small and easily surmountable. Laughter, sea splashing, and adventures were plentiful even when the weather was dull.
As I grew up I forgot all about my happy place, I got into work, lots of work. Life got busy and over the years I pretty much stopped listening to my body. In hindsight, I realise now it was screaming for attention. For as long as I can remember my brain has always worked at a speed of around 400mph, long hours, little sleep and a poor diet became the norm to me. If I'm really honest I barely gave it any thought, I was always pushing forward, never content to stand still. If I wasn't progressing at work I felt like I was failing, the corporate world became me and I, it. Of course, you can see where this is going, can't you?
I became burned out, my get up and go had gotten up and gone and I was knackered. looking back I'm surprised my body went on for as long as it did before saying enough was most definitely enough. But that's the thing, we're pretty resilient creatures. It's relatively easy to push your luck and carry on regardless. Well, that is until it's not. I write more about that period of burn out here. Suffice to say my body eventually got through to me when I could do no more.
Thankfully at that point, I took the hint, I rested, ate better and started tuning into myself every day. I've never been great at meditation, my mind chatter is ridiculous. It always felt like a bit of a waste of time until I learned that it was ok for the mind to wander. I literally just went back to basics and took it easier on myself, a lesson harder learned than you would imagine. I was used to pushing myself, so a slower pace was hard work for me to get my head around, dare I say it actually felt harder than the years of pressure I put myself under. Go figure.
With a clearer mind, I remembered how much I used to love the beach and as soon as I was able I went there. It was windy, the sea was wild and the beach deserted but I sat there until my fingers were numb. It was cathartic and I knew, on a soul level, that it was the place my body had been crying out for. Something about it felt right.
I promised myself on that day that I would put my soul back on the agenda, ahead of everything else. Now, I regularly visit the sea, the weather doesn't even matter, it's just about plugging myself in to charge so to speak. I always feel like I've had a power nap afterwards. It's wonderful. Sometimes I work, write and record ideas while I'm there. My creativity goes through the roof when I simplify and allow my brain to receive the messages the universe has to deliver.
Do you have a happy place? It doesn't have to be a space in nature, it could be as simple as your own bed with a large cup of your favourite tea. Are you listening to your body and the messages it's giving you every day? If this message is hitting home with you then please, take some time and explore it. I promise its so worth it.
Do I still work a lot of hours? Yes, I do but I'm far more mindful when my body needs to rest and I honour it with that time. If I have to I'll go to bed earlier, or I'll cancel a weekend engagement to curl up in my bed and read. I value those messages so much that I'm prepared to prioritise my health and sanity over everything else.
Can you say the same?