The big area that plagues me is asking for help.
Growing up, I was taught to be self sufficient but my needs weren't always met. Asking for what I needed or wanted was scary. Most likely, it would be shot down as a bad idea or very unreasonable that I would asking for whatever it was. I guess growing up, my needs weren't really considered because the needs of others were top priority. This taught me to take care of others first, and let my needs be swept aside.
I've been working on getting my needs met and speaking my truth for many years now, but when I am sick or not feeling well, it is still a challenge. I feel like a cry-baby and that I'm absolutely lazy, and when I need to relax and take it easy, I feel I'm just absolutely lazy!
It is funny, I have learned from my boyfriend that if I don't act like I'm sick, or lie around asking for help, then I won't get what I need. Even when I am feeling really poorly, I still try to push myself and it usually backfires. I find myself still whining because he won't help me, but it is really my own fault. I am not communicating that I am sick and the poor guy can't tell.
I actually admire how when he is not feeling well, he can lie down and relax and ask me or others for what makes him feel better. I have to be honest and say I am not the most compassionate when this happens, because I feel I can't be that generous with him, because I can't even let myself slack! He'll take care of cooking and/or cleaning, but I still want to micromanage. I appreciate his directness about me because he'll tell me to go sit down. I've learned a lot from him modeling what I should be doing: relaxing. Isn't that what you do when you are sick?!
How many of us have been trained, taught and encouraged to push through when we are low? Who is that helping? Isn't our body telling us something when we don’t feel well? I know I try to remember my body is communicating to me through discomfort, as maybe it means I have been doing too much and I’m supposed to give myself the chance to relax, instead.
There are little signs our bodies give us every day to take care of ourselves. Our bodies are not machines that are just here to power through. We are lucky to be here and have bodies that process our food, provide fuel to every cell, give us the sensation of touch, help us solve family, community, global problems, fill us with emotions, and so much more.
This post is about how we can honor our bodies more. This means really listening. Our body speaks to us every day with aches and pains, fatigue, excitement, joy and little whispers of ways we can take care of ourselves. So often we get so involved and wrapped up in our lives that we barely listen to the body we are living in. I believe it is the ultimate gift we have been given, and it should be nurtured.
It has taken me many years to see all this and to know that I deserve to be taken care of. We all deserve care, and the person we can always depend on 100% should be ourselves. We know what we need the best, we are the only ones who can hear our body speak, and we are the ones who can implement any best plan of action.
I like to imagine myself as a child, and think about my body talking to me as a little girl. What type of mom would I be? I would like to think I would get on my knee and say "What do you need?" in a way that communicates I really want to know. She may whisper in my ear, talk to me while tears stream down her face, or with such enthusiasm that I can barely understand what she is saying. I may need to ask again what she needs, or what I can do to help because I don't understand, but I know eventually we will figure out something together.
Our bodies are a precious entity that must be taken care of for as long as we are on this planet. Take the time to listen. Give it a break! Take the time to relax, and release the idea that “doing” is the only thing that makes you valuable. Your heart, mind, actions and words give you value, and each new day is an opportunity to share them.
Now it is time to move onto the recipe. One way I listen to my body is tune in to what my body wants to eat. On this particular day I was wanting those crunchy onions that come in a can but thought I'd attempt to make them myself. They are definitely different but satisfied my desire. Kale is a favorite in my house, at least for me. Hope you find this dish satisfying.
Crunchy Onions and Kale
1/2 cup of flour
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
1 bunch of kale, chopped
1 tablespoon of canola oil and olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter
1- 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
1. Slice onion and cut slices in half so you have half moon shapes. Take the egg and put in bowl. Beat egg. Place flour on a plate. Add canola oil to a pan, put on medium heat.
2. Dip a half a ring of onion in the egg then in flour. Repeat. Fill pan up with coated onions. Cook till they have a nice brown color. Flipping throughout to prevent burning. Put a paper towel on a plate and place the onions on top. Set aside till kale is ready. (I felt a half an onion was good but if you like more do the whole onion).
3. Chop kale. Heat a pan on medium, add olive and butter. Once melted add mushrooms. Cook till nice and brown. Then add kale and cook 1-2 minutes, mixing frequently.
4. Once kale is tender but still a nice shade of green. Add a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and mix well. Taste and see if you would like to add another teaspoon. It should be tangy but not over powering.
5. Put kale and mushrooms on a platter and lay crunchy onions on top. Serve warm.
Take a moment to tune in. Tune into to what you need at this juncture. Know that it might be something you are resistant too but it could be just the thing that takes care of your body, mind or spirit. We often don't take the time to listen to what we need. Every moment is an opportunity. Take just a few minutes to see what your body is waiting to tell you.