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The Bliss Mistress Guide: Off Duty

by Edie Weinstein


I am a go-getter, go-giver, get it done, deadline meeting, recovering Type A workaholic, perhaps by nature, perhaps by nurture. All I know is that sometimes, as joyous as my work is, exhaustion sets in, and I don’t feel like doing nuthin’ no how. Huddling under covers, in jammies, cup of tea on the bedside table, listening to music, reading, Facebook meandering, ‘eaveswatching’ on the lives of peeps around the world, I regroup and re-energize. Sadly, I feel a need to justify that I am not feeling productive, by telling myself that even the classiest, high performance car can’t run 24/7.

Last weekend, I had a sustained opportunity to take the down the ‘Doctor is in’ (or in my case social worker/minister/writer/teacher/healer) sign when I attended a retreat called The Woman Within. I knew it would be a peeling off the layers of who I thought I was supposed to be, in favor of discovering who I truly am. My intention was to explore the deep, dark cavernous places in which my own scary monsters might lie in wait for me as I peered around the corners, lantern in hand. I knew I would be in the company of other brave souls taking the journey with me, as well as the staff who would be guiding us, having been through it themselves and trained to create a safe container for the processes we would be using. I was clear with myself and them prior to beginning the training that this was for my own healing, not to take care of anyone else, as would have been my default mode. I now know it to be a way of deflecting my needs and avoiding looking at the messy, mucky emotions that have accumulated over the past 5 decades of my life. I was determined to refrain from caregiving anyone else and was proud of myself for sticking to my resolution. Can’t say it was easy, since I was clearly not the only one with ‘stuff’ to deal with and hearing the stories of the others was painful at times. The difference this time was that I allowed myself to feel the pain; unfortunately in the form of a throbbing headache that lasted for days that neither medication nor massage eased away. It was only when body wracking sobs over my own losses over the years, took the place of my typical little Mary Sunshine persona, that the physical pain subsided.

As I am writing this, my mind rolls back to the events of a week ago, when I was sitting in a room with these soulful sisters; learning, loving and growing. In the interceding 7 days, I am noticing clarity of mind that I haven’t experienced for such a long time. It wasn’t just about processing my issues, but really, truly taking a step back from long held patterns of behavior that came from believing that in order to be loved and accepted, I needed to be a human DO-ing rather than a human BE-ing. I am determined to remember that my value isn’t simply based on what I do, but on who I am. Being off duty is good medicine.

www.womanwithin.org


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