Mind and Body

Today my thoughts are on how easily negative thoughts can become physical illness. I do not want to get too esoteric, just share my experience. My efforts to keep painting and hiking were going well. I started to feel success. As soon as I realized this, I started to self-sabotage. Too many other parts of my life needed attention. My home started to get cluttered again. Tasks at work piled up. I took a few cold and cloudy days off from art and exercise and worked long hours on those days. The whole time I was resentful of how those tasks were stealing my time from what I love to do. Even after working long hours the task list is still long. I started making silly mistakes. Working harder caused more mistakes. It was time to take back my time.

Probably I am not alone in this struggle. Obligations of our time are never-ending. Sometimes we make promises to ourselves: just hang on until after the next deadline. After that deadline is another obligation and promises to ourselves are broken. Illness forces us to take a break.

Most of today I slept. 

When I awoke, these words were in my head, “Are you an artist? Then…art!” I sketched some leaves and drew some patterns which was satisfying, but it was not reaction to being outside. Drawing houseplants has become like fat-free creamer in my coffee. It is ok, but leaves me aware of what is missing.

12.7.18 Houseplant Patterns

By this time it was 2pm. Only a few hours of daylight left. Ugh. It is cold outside. I will need to dress in more layers. I do not feel well. No shortage of excuses. Even after I was in the car on my way to the trailhead, I almost turned back because I forgot my phone at home. It was not all that many years ago that I walked all the time without a phone. My safety crossed my mind but what bothered me more was that I would not be able to log the walk on my hiking app. My old habits almost won.

The sun was shining for the first time in many days. It was so beautiful. The temperature was about 30 degrees F. White snow, golden late afternoon light, dark tree trunks and raw sienna oak leaves fascinated me. I walked until the sun was on the horizon. My mood is so improved. My vague symptoms almost gone. 

When I focus on what is missing, weakness follows. When I act like a healthy person, I feel stronger. Just my experience.

Close up of 3 Oak Leaves in Snow
12.05.18 Oak Leaves

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