Northern Coast, Barbados

We need time away from our routines to learn to ‘listen’ to the language of our bodies. They are like instruments always playing the ‘music’ we need to hear to bring us to healthier places That ‘music’ can be a feeling of well-being telling us we are right where we are suppose to be. It can also be a headache,  an anxiety, some irritability, or a pain that calls us to take a closer look at our lives. Sometimes the answer is as simple as cutting down on sugar to relieve a headache. Other times it is more complex and may require medical attention.

Last week I was in Barbados. The waves crashed and the warm trade winds blew as I sat under the stars and wrote, “We are headed to hear some reggae and feast on catfish and breadfruit under the stars. I have only been here a few days, but I already know the places I carry my New York tension–my right hand (the one I needle with and use on my computer) and my shoulders which have a tendency to creep closer to my ears when I overwork”.

I am all for vacations, staycations, retreats, a day of rest–whatever it takes to get an idea of what we need to ‘hear’ when we finally get off the treadmill. Often it is easier to assess our lives ‘from a distance’. Sometimes all we need is a new perspective to help us shine some light in the darkness and other times we need help from a trusted friend or professional. Giving the space to become aware of unhealthy patterns in our lives takes commitment, but looking at it as an adventure in self discovery and change for the better is a good attitude to inhabit.

As for me, the week away was enough for me to realize I need to relax my wrist more when I work and to take time out for some deep abdominal breathing when my shoulders start to rise. That is my medicine for the moment. What is yours?

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