It's funny to me how we arbitrarily decide where a story begins. This story starts a year ago pretty much because I said so, and because it's just too much to start way back where it really started. I've got enough to tell you as it is.
About a year ago, I began to notice persistent feelings of heaviness that I couldn't really account for by examining my circumstances. I was slightly depressed and slightly anxious and slightly out of breath most of the time. I felt like I was walking in molasses, like I had to be very intentional to lift one foot in front of the other. I became less and less motivated, and more and more sleepy. I swear, I could have slept sixteen hours a day and I still would have felt run down. And most disturbing of all, I couldn't think straight...like the molasses had seeped into my brain and was mucking up my synapses.
Outwardly, things were going very well for me. I was just approaching the end of a year of diving into old spiritual practices with a group of amazing people, and I was basking in the glow of a successful writing project that was used by my church to introduce people to imaginative prayer. In fact, the project was such a success that the church was looking at ways to rework my job description so that I would be doing more writing. That was very exciting to me. I was spending lots of time getting to know my little grandbaby, settling into a new and rich stage of my life. I could go on and on here. Really, everything was great, so the heaviness was a puzzle to me. I decided to ignore it and hope it would just go away. (Brilliant strategy, huh?)
I realize, looking back, that this was the first of many "smoke signals" my body was sending me. It was trying to get me to pay attention to something that I didn't particularly want to notice. Bodies are amazing, really. They know stuff. I wish I was as smart and creative as my body. It's a flippin' genius. I think I'll spend the rest of my life saying "thank you" for all the ways it tried to get me to listen, and "I'm sorry" for all the ways I plugged my ears and said, "la la la la...I'm not hearing this!" My poor, ignored, unappreciated body is still suffering from a psychic sore throat because of all the screaming it had to do to finally get my attention. Things had to get very ugly before I began to turn to it and say, "Oh, I'm sorry, was there something you were trying to tell me?"
But at this point, my body was just sending me nice, polite little notes. It didn't pull out all the stops and take me hostage for quite some time...