I am a fire sign. Not just astrologically (I'm a Sagittarius), but also my ayurvedic dosha. I want to do all the time. Resting is the complete antithesis of my natural tendencies but it has become clear to me in recent months resting is of the utmost importance.
My latest interest is growing my self-love tree, which means loving me on an even deeper level. Christine Arylo, the author of Madly in Love with ME, advises every morning asking, "What do I need today?" or "What do I need to receive today?" Every day for months now the answer has been "rest." She also advises conducting an energy check-in to gauge how full your energy tank is. My energy level today is a -30. Christine says don't give of yourself unless your energy tank is at 75-100. Whoops.
I need to be like the butterfly and cocoon.
I say "whoops" like it's an accident I'm so depleted, but it's not. I've pushed myself so hard to do everything, anything. As soon as my energy tank gets even a little full I empty it completely. Guys, this is not sustainable. My temporary relocation to Washington, D.C. was supposed to be an act of radical self-care, and it was, but I need more than a little time out; I need a full-on hibernation. Actually, I need a cocooning.
When I was in Europe I kept seeing butterflies everywhere. Not live ones, decals. On my hotel door, on the window. Yesterday I saw one on a girl's dress. I think the universe is constantly communicating with us, so of course I looked up what butterflies meant in shamanism. One of the most obvious is transformation. I want to be transformed. I want to be full of energy. I want to break free of all the mental prisons I've constructed for myself. I want liberation from the darkness and I want almost everything about my life to change, so of course the butterfly is showing up. Like the butterfly, I want my magnificence to shine brightly. I want to flit from place to place, soar high in the sky, and dance with other butterflies. However, in order to become a butterfly I need to cocoon.
I need to shore up my energy, allow myself time to rest, to say no to things that drain me. I need to focus on myself so that I can become a butterfly. So I can help other people. So I can be of service. So I can live the bright and exciting life I've always dreamed of. It's incredibly difficult for me to cocoon, to withdraw my energy from the world, to concentrate on me and only me for a change. It feels wrong and selfish and uncomfortable. If I don't do this, however, I'm going to remain a caterpillar and I don't want to remain one.
I'm writing this blogpost because I'm sure there are other people out there like me who run themselves ragged, who are burnt out on doing. Listen, you and I are important. We deserve to rest because we are not machines (and even machines aren't running all the time). We deserve to receive as much as we give. We deserve to take time out. Sometimes we need to cocoon so we can serve the world in an even bigger way.
I dream of a world where we all take time out to rest when we need it. A world where we balance giving and receiving. A world where we love ourselves so much we treat ourselves with care. A world where we know in order to turn into a butterfly we have to go into a cocoon.
Another world is not only possible, it's probable.