So tired…..

I’ve been sick this winter, actually, officially sick with a diagnosis and antibiotics and all of that.   While I am healing well, I am left with lower-than-usual energy and a sense that fatigue overtakes me quickly.

One of the mindfulness practices I learned while taking Dr. Bill Cook’s Body-Mind Awareness program back in 2009 was about attending to where in the body intention arises.   That sounded terribly foreign to me at first;  if I intend to get up from my chair, it seems to me that the intention arises in my thoughts.  But no, if I am careful, take time, and bring attention to my body with the question, I can actually sense into my body where and how that intention arises.

So with this fatigue, I have been using this practice to locate “tired” in my body.  This is probably easier than the intention to change position.  What I notice is this:   my mind will say something like, Oh, I feel tired….then I turn my attention to my body.  Where in my body do I sense this “tired?”  What is it like?   When have I felt something like this before?   What does it remind me of…and what else might be there, along with “tired?”

That last question is a good one.  What else is in there, in this felt sense that I have labelled, perhaps too quickly, as “tired?”  On Saturday, I took to the dog for his weekend walk along the river.  We plowed through shin-deep snow, watching the sun come up through snow clouds, and feeling the barely freezing temperature rise a bit and fall a bit, shifting the nature of the precipitation.  When I turned to walk back to the car, calling for the dog, I was suddenly aware of sensation in my calves, like melting butter, achingly draining to my heels….there it was!  That was my fatigue.   Internally, I named it and asked, what else is there?  As I breathed into my belly and let my attention rise from my legs to my abdomen and diaphragm and chest, I realized that there was more there.   I felt a sensation that I labelled tears;  tension that I wanted to discharge in my core, tension in my pelvis that hard sobbing would release.  So there was more than tired;  there was a deep tension of holding back sadness, right there.

Tired happens when you have been sick.  Tired also happens when things feel like just too much, and when you need to cry and you don’t give yourself the space to really experience those feelings.  Having to “hold in” and “hold on” to yourself to keep those tears in check is a really exhausting way to live.

When you feel tired, where in your body do you notice it?  What else is in there?

It doesn’t take much for me to feel wiped out these days.  But how do I know that I am tired?
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9 thoughts on “So tired…..”

  1. Hi Leslie! I read some of your posts here, and this one really got my attention. You know, when I got so sick some years ago, i do remember it took me a whole year just to be able to fonction normally again. I remember coming home after work and beeing so drained and at that time, I was not as busy as I am today. Even though i made a great, but slow, recovery, I never really got back to a 100 %. So i do understand what you mean by having ‘lower-than-usual energy’ There is a part of your post that I didn’t really understand..the sobbing part…maybe it’s because I haven’t labelled it myself yet? I don’t remember the last time i cried….It’s hidden somewhere in my body and i didn’t find it yet. Anyway, to answer to your question, when i feel tired, i tend to feel it around my eyes. They kind of burn a bit and i rub them a lot. Sometimes, my muscles are kind of achy too. I also feel tired when I have too many requests at the same time from the outside world…

    On another note, one of my co-worker sent me two links today about wellness and I thought maybe they could interest you : Meditations for women, which offers daily medidations : http://www.meditationsforwomen.com/meditations/ and 1000 awesome things : http://1000awesomethings.com/

    I hope that whatever illness you got is gone!

    Roxanne

  2. I forgot too…i feel it in my voice too…when I’m tired, I cannot sing as well as I would with proper sleep. My voice won’t go as high and some notes ‘cracks’. I also tend to sing off pitch….

  3. Sometimes fatigue is related to trying to hold in our feelings. So when we allow the fatigue to surface, the feelings that are being pressed down and in also start to show themselves. Over a long time of doing bio therapy (as a client) and doing my own bodywork, I learned to recognize the little sensations in my belly that are present when I am trying to NOT feel something. But after forty plus years of suppressing all of that, I am still VERY good at hiding it from myself! Letting down into my fatigue, which is helped by physical exertion, allows me to “find” my feelings.

    Thank you for the comments, Roxanne! Great observation about what happens to your singing voice when you are tired, too.

  4. Thank you very much for the explanation Leslie! So would it be why in bioenergetics, we do some movements? To get our muscles a bit tired so that the feelings pressed down can come up? If so, I’m still very very very good at being numb!

  5. Hi, Roxanne,

    It isn’t quite that simple; if it were, then everyone at the gym would be having feelings all over the place! The body work helps us to become more aware of how we suppress feeling in the body. As we increase our body awareness, we become familiar with the places that are numb, the ones that are tense, the ones that maybe hurt a little bit, and even the parts that feel good. Unfortunately, we often suppress the “feeling good” parts of our bodies! Increasing awareness is only the first step; we also want to begin to “make friends” with all of the sensations of our bodies, and begin to learn ways to express ourselves beyond just using our words. We express a lot with our so-called body language, but we are not always aware of what we are saying. When we become aware, then we can start to be explicit about what we want to express.

    With experience and awareness, sometimes actual memories will become more obvious, or will even show up after a long absence. Those memories that feel like they are stored in our muscles will usually have an emotional content to them. When we can allow that material into our conscious self, then we can begin to see how old stuff has actually limited us in our daily lives. Over time and experience, we become more and more our own person, less constrained in our behaviour by our remembered traumas, and freer to feel and act and be ourselves.

    See, I told you it was a bit more complicated! But we’ll talk more about this on 29 February and do some exercises to increase pleasure and fun. Or at least increase body awareness.

  6. Opps, I never meant to say it was easy! I just wanted to know if they was a ‘link’ between the movements we make and the feelings that can come up. Anyway, I will learn more about that next week! Thanks again! And of course…the session will be fun :-).

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