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One of the key parts of Intentional Living is paying attention to our bodies. What are we feeling? Where do we carry our emotions? Where do I feel joy or fear or anger–my back, my chest, my stomach?
As the ‘darker’ months of winter approach and we start losing more and more daylight hours I notice my body slowing down, I am forced inside more so I don’t take my evening walks anymore or do afternoon yard work. Rather I notice I am sleeping longer, hanging on the couch more and longing for quiet relaxing moments rather than the energetic bursts I had throughout the summer months.
In the past, I would have belittled myself for this lack of energy, wondered what was wrong, made myself feel guilty and shamed for not doing enough or being productive. But after years of paying attention to my body I recognize–this is a natural shift for me–an organic progression into the next season one of rest and renewal where my body does shift into a desire for more comfort and care than in previous months.
The trick is to first pay attention to yourself and recognize these natural shifts and secondly to embrace them. On a Saturday when your body needs an extra hour of sleep because it is still dark out take that extra hour. When you crave time just to curl up on the couch and read a good book but the dirty dishes are calling your name–pick the book. Intentional Living means listening to our bodies and the natural rhythms they give us. The more we listen to and embrace our bodies messages the more joy we will experience on a daily basis.