What Do You Do?

Today, I was in my little office. Some admin was done, a bit of cleaning, and then meeting a student to chat about Stuff.

One of the questions that was asked – and which is often asked of me – is what a Druid Priest actually does. And every time, I have to pause and think.

There wasn’t a moment when I suddenly looked around and realized ‘Wow, I’m a Priest!’ Rather, it was a process of doing the work and being called by that title, until I had to face up to the fact that I was Doing It.

I’ve written about it before in other places, and no doubt will do so again. But today, it got me thinking in a new way.

Yes, Priest-ing is looking after, guiding or otherwise holding space for folk. When working, I do that.

But as time has passed, and my health has created interesting new speed-bumps to life, I’m having to Priest to myself as well.

I’m very easily tired. I give my all, and it wears me out. I’m not going to stop doing that, by the way, so don’t ask! I willingly do what’s needed, saving some energy to get myself safely home, and then setting aside time to rest. But it’s the question of how best to recharge that’s been in my mind lately.

Doing things that I enjoy helps, certainly. Sometimes, distractions that make me laugh, such as comedy movies or television. Knitting, with its repetitive but focused creativity. Books – absolutely. If the right one can be found, total engagement as I let myself sink into that particular world for a while.

But I think more is needed now, otherwise I’m finding myself wiped out for longer each time. So perhaps ritualised ‘wind-down’ is needed more than ever – something I’ve tried before, but found difficult to get into the habit of.

I’ll no doubt explore this and natter about it as I move forward. But for today, the inspiration from another led me back to myself. Unusual, but needed, I think.

Holding the space to stop doing, and simply ponder…

Spirit Food

I’ve been working out this morning, running and moving weights, stretching and such. My body is now tired but feeling fitter and stronger. Time well spent.

However, I’m feeling tired in myself as well. I’ve been working a lot this week (and it’s not over yet!) – so how do we recharge our spirits after a hard workout?

My body feels better once it is fuelled and rested. No reason that mind and spirit cannot be maintained in a similar manner, as they are all interconnected. But it’s easy to neglect these areas, because while we feel the lack of energy when they’re run down, it’s harder to quantify what we can’t see.

We ‘work out’ our entire selves in different ways, after all, through stimulation, testing and exercises of various types. What’s the spiritual equivalent of a nice massage?

For me, it’s situational – whatever I feel that I need to do at a given moment. Sometimes that’s relaxing with a good novel; at other times, an interesting non-fiction book. Or knitting, from an easy garter-stitch mindless creation to an involved lacey work of art that demands focus. A nice meal with good company, or a quiet evening alone. We get to know ourselves and what we need best.

Sometimes others have to provide a ‘prescription’. Rest has to be enforced or help obtained; we have to call Stop, for the sake of our own wellbeing. As I’ve said before, it’s recognising our flows and riding them, ups and downs – not in a judgmental, positive/negative sense, but simply what life Is.

I’ve a long and busy day tomorrow. Today, jobs will get done – but with some healthy spirit recharging included as well.

Honest Rest

I’ve met a few dogs (and their owners) in recent days, and the same comment has come up each time.

Dogs cannot fake it. They are intrinsically truthful (even when trying to be sneaky). If they love you, they show it.

Today, I learned one of their lessons all over again. It was a day of Enforced Rest, after overdoing it working too hard lately.

Sometimes, you just have to stop. And as you live (work and play) with full focus, so it can be good to rest in the same way.

Until you’re ready to face the hard business of chasing, walks and playing again tomorrow.



Allowing Time

Some days, we need to take time. To rest, recharge, heal… whatever is necessary.

The key word here being ‘need’. We will physically and mentally collapse if we don’t take that break. This is not laziness, not an excuse. We are simply not able to run at full tilt, every hour of every day. Nor should we expect to – not ourselves or others.

We all know what that is like, working to the point of collapse. But this makes the rest days even more difficult, because of that undercurrent of ‘must be doing’ constantly in the back of the mind.

Today has been a balance between doing and resting. A morning of work, an afternoon of knitting and reading. Because that’s all I could do – my brain required focus, but I simply didn’t have the energy required for anything too strenuous or complex. It was all spent during the morning. (And I appear to have badly wrenched a muscle in my leg, which makes walking painful, so physical activity was limited as well. Sometimes the Universe does teach via pointed messages.)

When does an excuse become a reason? When it’s true. When do we let ourselves take time for us – or those we love? Perhaps not often enough.