Are you homesick?
Homesick is typically described as a feeling of nostalgia and longing for home. But it is also what happens when we become ill and are confined to our home. Then we say we are at home…sick.
I spent a lot of time at home this week. First we had the flu, and then came the snow. My cat was very happy to have the company, and I was grateful to be in a warm, cozy house while my kids and I recuperated.
When we come down with the flu, or a virus or something more serious we are dramatically reminded of our most valuable state of being, that of health and vitality. Without our health we cannot appreciate our lives fully. It is amazing how our body’s natural intuition and wisdom immediately kicks in to do what it has to do to support our healing and bring us back to balance.
Often before our immune system yields to disease or illness it has been whispering to us for a while that something is off balance. When we don't heed that quiet warning and continue to neglect ourselves, the body will begin to whisper a little louder. By the time you feel yourself on the verge of illness, your body has begun to yell out of sheer frustration. That is when we finally hear it - but by then it is usually too late.
When we take the time to turn our attention inward to our primary and irreplaceable home, our body, we are connecting to our most powerful wisdom. It is a wisdom that is in our DNA and has crossed centuries through generations to arrive in your body. It is extremely sophisticated and intuitive. It deserves our respect.
It may be telling you that you need more sleep, less sugar and caffeine, more water and fresh veggies, a better way to manage stress, or more time with your kids or friends or honey. Your brain and your ego can lie to get what it wants - but your body doesn't lie. If you want to know how you really feel about something, how you really feel about a certain person, job or event - listen to your body. It will tell you the truth every time.
This is what makes meditation such a powerful skill to cultivate. It trains you to listen - not so much to what is happening outside and around you - but to what is happening in your innermost spaces, and your deepest corners.
When we stop paying attention, stop listening, and stop respecting our bodies, we are in a sense leaving home. We may be focussed on a demanding job, taking care of our family or an elderly parent, or seduced by an unhealthy habit or addiction. What ever the reasons, these demands can allow us to become fragmented and disembodied. Tired and stressed, our adrenals begin to work overtime and our immune system begins to feel like a worn out old suitcase. We lose connection to that feeling of being at home - at home in our skin, at home in our own precious body and with our gentle heart.
Be more present in your life, by becoming more present in our body. Feel your breath caress your lungs and hear your blood flow through your veins. See the lines on your palm and move your fingers in awe. Let gravity hug you like a mama to the earths breast until you remember where you came from. Sit, breathe, meditate, move.
I hope everyone is staying healthy and warm. Your body is your beautiful, irreplaceable home. Pay attention to it, listen to it, make time for your self-care, and don't let yourself become homesick.