I was driving yesterday, happily minding my own business and practicing my new skill of not texting while behind the wheel. (I’m doing very well, thank you for asking.) Suddenly, some light started blinking. It looked like a genie in an oil canister to me. I am a girl, so I am thinking; I need to change the oil in my car. As I was driving towards the gas station, I started thinking, hey- when does my dashboard blink to tell me I need something. Water. Sleep. Play? What are my indicators that I am running out of some essential component to thrive?
Maybe, my nose does not flash when I am dehydrated. Or my ears don’t let out steam when I need more sleep. But I still need to drink and nap. So how do I hear my signals that my inner car is not functioning optimally? They may not be as clear as a blinking light but you can learn to recognize your specific icons.
Check around you. What’s different? What are you doing more of, or less of? Increasing your coffee intake might mean you’re not sleeping enough. Snapping at people might be a sign you have had too much coffee. Eating junk, not taking your vitamins, cancelling on friend’s last minute might all be indicators that you’ve had it.
When your car starts blinking at you, you listen. For the most part. You push a little…because why not, the car manufacturers expect you to. And we all have different threshold for letting things blink before we do something about it. But I can guarantee you that if you do not take the car to the mechanic at some point, there will be deeper damage. Sometimes unrecoverable damage. Yes. You are correct, that is where we are going. You too. If you don’t develop an ability to decode your signals and you do not take your inner-self in for a checkup, you will permanently injure the one vehicle you can’t return before the end of the lease.
So, take a breath and assess the state of your Self. When is the last time you took a day off? When have you read something for fun? When was your last home-cooked meal? When did you consciously take a deep breath in? Please do that. On behalf of broken cars everywhere, please do something to take care of you. Please, take yourself on a gentle walk. Please look someone in the eye. Or take a nap.
On my way to the gas station, I had to admit to myself that there are moments in my life where I take care of my car better than I take care of myself. It made me sad. But while I was standing there waiting for my car to get fixed, I called my chiropractor…my back ‘s been blinking for a few days.
Sophie Chiche, catalyst, visionary, curator of characters and mom is the founder of lifebyme.com, a global community gathered around the question, “What is meaningful to you?” She has master’s degrees in business, journalism and psychology. www.lifebyme.com