A quick restorative practice – or how to re-juice yourself.

So, on Thursday I handed in the last of my assignments – a day early mind you. I was pretty proud of myself actually: I hadn’t been stressed, I had really enjoyed doing the last assignment, I had organised myself so that I had enough time, I wasn’t burnt out or exhausted. Yay me! So, I went off to work, feeling pretty good and helped the kindies and their teacher on their last day of school before the two week Spring break: all their work from the term had to go home, their classroom tubs had to be cleaned out and we even had a little party. All good :). I had to go to the shops before I went home to pick up a couple of things, and that’s when I started to notice something different going on inside my head. Instead of my normal beauty-hunting self, there was a nit picky voice with a nasty edge. My inner voice was judging and criticising other people, and even when I told it to hush and apologised energetically, it was still there, sniping away. Uh oh I thought to myself, hauling the shopping to the car; I need to get out of here, and away from other people, because I only get internally snippy and nasty when I’m scraping the bottom of the energy barrel.

I thought about it as I was driving home – I’d done really well, but when you shut yourself at home and write essays solidly for three weeks, pouring all of your effort and understanding onto the page, only stopping to tend to your family and house – well, I guess it has an impact. By the time I had unpacked the shopping, I knew I just needed to go to bed. The next morning I woke too early and felt the same – not so cranky, but hollowed out, like an orange that has had all the juice squeezed out of it. I didn’t sleep well – tired and wired – and I had a full day ahead of me: four hours work in the morning, a monthly writers group meeting and then packing and cleaning to go away the next day. I could feel the little hum of irritation all day, even when I was listening to my podcasts – even Liz Gilbert gave me the shits because of her relentless cheeriness. I know. Things are bad when you get annoyed with your besties, not just random strangers on the street.

When I got home, I thought to myself, right, you’ve got to fill yourself back up. What is the best way of restoring your energy? Yoga. So I rummaged through my folder of yoga sequences and found one labelled Yoga for when you’re sick. I wasn’t sick, but I was depleted, and certainly didn’t have any energy for anything active.

It took me about 40 minutes, but I started to feel better, much better. I went back to the house knowing that I needed to clean and pack to go away, but not feeling quite up to that yet, so I decided to start with my room. If I am at home and need to nourish myself, cleaning my bedroom will magically do that. So, I put my sacred music play list on, and the second song that played was the Medicine Buddha chant, a sacred mantra for curing illnesses of the body and mind.

Tayatha om bekandze bekandze maha bekandze radza samud gate soha
(The second song on the playlist)

I sang along, cleaned my room and packed. I started to feel good, like I had been re-juiced. I am so thankful for all of these wonderful restorative practices that I have picked up over the years, I tell you. This morning I woke up early, but not too early, and my first thought was that I must share these practices with you guys, because hey, you might be scraping the bottom of your own barrel too!

Love to everyone and may you be blessed in all ways ❤

31 comments

  1. What a fantastic insight, getting cranky means you are scraping the bottom of the energy barrel. That resonates with me and I must heed the signal next time I’m feeling it. I’m still listening to Liz Gilbert via podcast every morning on my walk. Love it. I don’t want to come to the end…can you suggest someone else equally wise and interesting? I hope your break gets you all juiced up again. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it’s a good clue 🙂
      I know what you mean – I listened to Liz and Martha Beck yesterday – seriously, can it get any better???Some of my other favourites are the Robcast, The Good Life Project and On Being with Krista Tippett. Also, have you listened to the first season of Big Magic?

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      • I think I am listening to the first season of Big Magic, about to finish it…you mean there’s more?? Thanks so much for the additional ideas. I’m now a podcast junkie. Yay you, for finishing your assignment (early) and even more for knowing how to fill yourself up again. Such an important skill. xx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on getting all your assignments done Sara and it’s great that you had the insight to recognise you needed to restore your energy and some tools to do it. Tidying up is one of my anxiety boosters – I was feeling anxious about going back to work after my holidays but after I tidied up the house I felt much better 🙂

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  3. Thanks be to the Universe for bloggers who are wise & real friends, mobile data and coverage. Between you -this post- & Ardys’ recent post It’s not over ’til it’s over, I’m certain my sanity has been saved. I’m not sure why it’s taken me until now & your once again timely enlightenment to understand that scraping the bottom of my energy barrel brings out the worst in me. But I had worked out hangry thanks to the Snickers ad…
    I truly thought life post-work & city would be be wine, roses etc, and travel.. a cool no effort gypsy lifestyle.
    Yep. Right.
    Any life is rewarding, often fun but hard work.
    Except for the second last, I could probably manage the restorative yoga positions… so long as no-one was watching. I’ll try them when I get home and have space & privacy. But cleaning, much as sometimes it’s an effort can shift negative energy, as can music. I love the Medicine Buddha chant.
    Thank you for so generously sharing your time & words, the tools, and the humour. Enjoy your break ♡

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,
      I had such a strong impulse to share, and now I know why. Even fun burns us out if we have too much of it, and even a free, travelling lifestyle has it has things that need to be done and hard work, as you know. Life is never a fantasy 🙂 I’m sure you could do all of those yoga poses – you are very welcome to come around and do yoga with me when you get home, just to show you. I’m not even sure how it works, to be honest, but it does, again and again. Be well my friend xo

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  4. First Sara congrats at handing in your assignments early.. And I would think your assessment of how you were feeling was spot on.
    I know how I have felt in the past when studying and doing courses when I was in Support Work, just how draining it can be.
    so I am delighted some Yoga helped rebalance your energies.. I also forget it is Spring in your hemisphere.. While we are into Autumn..

    I hope you now have time to relax with your children for a while.. Loved the music too by the way Sara.. xxx
    hugs Sue

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so glad you posted this – I’m winding up for a burnout right now and although I know much better now, and can read all the signs, I am still not very good at turning it around and doing things that actively restore me. I tend to just dial back on what I’m doing and wait for it to subside, but I can do better than that.That internal snippiness and judging is also one of my signs – I know exactly what you mean! Dx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Diane, I tend to think that dialling back and resting up will fix me too, and that’s what I tend to do first. It works, but it’s kinda slow 🙂 And then there’s that feeling of being so tightly sprung that resting isn’t really possible until you unwind yourself. Maybe that’s one of the ways that yoga works. Plus, and you would know this too – I had been doing so much head work, so much thinking and analysing, that I had become quite unbalanced I think, and just needed to get back in my body. Anyway, I hope you restore yourself very soon xo

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      • You’re so right! And yes, I always find myself thinking just relax just relax, which of course, doesn’t ever work. So I distract myself with some more head work…

        Definitely getting better at it though – any progress is good! Tomorrow morning I hop on a plane – with half the contents of my study desk because it’s the middle of term – hence the crazy headspace for the last week. But I have done your sequence for the last two days, plan to do it again today, and I’m feeling better already.

        Love and hugs xx

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for sharing these lovely practices & resources! I know just the feeling you describe, and it’s not a happy place to be. At all. Good for you for being able to pull yourself out of the downward spiral in a healthy and loving way. I do my best to handle my own funks that way, but sometimes I need to wallow for a few minutes first. 😉

    Guess it just serves to remind us, once again, that balance is so key. Everything in moderation (and with love).

    xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • What i have discovered Jamie, is that I have a lower capacity for feeling bad than the average person 😊 Which I guess gives me a motivation to figure out what is making me suffer and then put something in place so that my suffering is as short as possible! It most definitely is about balance, as you wisely observed ❤️

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  7. Well, this just confirms that nothing is coincidental. I’m glad I was led here because: 1. I’ve been writing all week (took one that one week post-per-day challenge last week). I’ve always viewed writing as something that fulfills me but I see how it can also deplete. This post was important for me to read for that reason. 2. I’ve also been sick for a week and skipped my yoga classes. I am familiar with most of the poses you describe here and will definitely practice them. 3. My bedroom is in dire need of TLC (tidying loving care) and I’m going to listen to your playlist as I finally tend to it today. 🙂

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    • Yes! We can get depleted doing things we love, even things that fill us up normally, if done too intensely can empty us rather than fill. Those posts you wrote were not just little bits of throwaway journal entries, they were finely crafted essays – and seven of them is a marathon. I predict that you will feel much better very soon 😊

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    • Yoga gets me in my body really fast, and combines a spirit practice with a body practice, which in my mind is two birds with one stone 🙂 I am not sporty, I hate the gym and I only run if something is chasing me. But, I love yoga. The more I do it, the better I feel, and it has all these unexpected run offs, like being calmer, more focused, and more tuned into my body. So good 😊

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  8. I love this post! I’m all about the practices that keep us balanced so appreciate how you put yours together and shared them here. And that sequence looks nice! It must’ve felt great to settle into those poses when you needed it most.

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