A Forced Rest and Its Gifts

A Forced Rest and Its Gifts

For the past week, I’ve been in bed sick. I have cancelled an entire week of classes. I have relied heavily on my husband to take over absolutely everything and on my mother and brother-in-law to help out with my son even more than they already do so that I could just try to rest. I’ve actually been fighting something, the flu, a cough, fatigue, headaches, etc. for about a month now – mostly because I just wouldn’t rest. Well, my body, my husband, and my doctor finally said, “Enough! Stay in bed!”

So I listened.

The first couple days were feverish and spent coughing incessantly and all the other fun things that come with the flu that turned into a respiratory infection.


And after those couple days, that’s when I normally would’ve gone back to work, taking medication to keep my cough calm while pushing through my classes, nervous about if I looked healthy enough or if I’d have enough energy to get through the day. And that would’ve been disasterous.

This time, I’ve stayed home for a week. I’ve left the house to go to the doctor and the pharmacy – that’s it. And here’s what has happened…

1) I haven’t infected anyone else. Bravo me.

2) I’ve slept (as much as the coughing would let me) according to my own natural rhythms.

3) My anxieties about all the work that I have on my plate have disappeared; not because I have less work, but because even work that lights your soul on fire takes a distant second when you don’t feel well. And that helps put it all into perspective. Why do I let myself worry so much about being perfect at everything all the time?! It literally makes me sick. That’s why the flu/repiratory infection has had me laid up for so long. I let all my fears about how well I’m doing what I do turn me into a bundle of anxiety – and get this! – unconsciously!! My conscious mind can talk me into calm and control my breathing and do all those other cool yoga benefits we read about breathing exercises, physical exercise, meditation, etc. But guess what? I’ve learned that it didn’t cross over to the subconscious side, which held onto its favorite fear through every single breath, the fear that if I’m not perfect all the time, I’ll lose it all. Yes, you read that right. I know I’m not perfect, but I still seem to hold myself to an impossible standard and expect a certain type of result from myself with every single activity, large or small, important or insignificant. No wonder I’m exhausted and sick. I’m a bundle of nerves about getting the new dream company I’ve created off the ground. I’m focusing on expectations – something yoga tells us not to do – and I’m getting so attached to some persona I’ve invented in my head about who I have to be in order to do all of that – yet another thing yoga tells us not to do – that I’ve forgotten to enjoy it as a whole. I don’t mean to say that I’m like this every moment, but overall, I’m so worried about “making it work” that I forgot about what makes me “work.”

4) With the free time that lying in bed offers, I’ve been reading. A lot. A couple books. Dozens of articles. And in that time I came across one that is (finally) the point of today’s blog. “How your personality type affects your parenting style.” I thought that looked interesting. So I read it and then took the link to the test that is a modified version of the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, which is based on theories of C. G. Jung. Here are the links to two more sites that offer free tests, require no personal information, and aren’t too obnoxious when trying to sell you their pay-for products.

www.16personalities.com (They have the test in 25 languages!!)

www.truity.com (Test only in English, but it’s cool to take both and see if you get the same results.)

5) No, I’m not going to tell you which I am. But I will tell you that when I read through some of the traits that were listed for my type, I laughed out loud at how spot on they were, and my anxiety about work and life and parenting and being enough disappeared.

6) These tests don’t hold the key to being perfect or instantly being forever happy or anything even close. But sometimes it is nice to have a bit of external insight on what’s going on internally. It’s somewhere in between the type of ice-cold-water slap in the face that wakes you right up and a soft, tender voice in your ear telling you, “Honey, of course you’re all right just as you are.”

So, what’s my point? As my mother-in-law says, being sick is good for you – it makes you stronger. I’m not any closer to perfect today than I was a week ago, but being sick and completely disconnected has given me back my own poise, something I lost a bit of in the whirlwind of creating Poise. It’s given me insight on how to practice what I preach and reminded me that all the sides of who I am deserve time and attention and care.

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