What Get's You Out of Bed?

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Not having work be my purpose for getting out of bed each morning, I wondered what exactly was getting me up and going each morning.  Other than the obvious reason for getting up, I could just crawl back into bed and stay there as long as I wanted.  At one point in my life, I was up at 5am and literally running out the door. After a 5K run, I would do a little yoga, shower and get ready for work.  After working 8-12 hours, there was maybe a bit more exercise (ice-hockey in the winters), dinner, and some television and/or reading before heading to bed. On days I wasn't working, I might sleep in until 630 a.m.

Presently, work is not what gets me out of bed. I am sitting upstairs in the bonus room of my home, looking out over the ocean towards Salt Spring Island. The sun has crawled a quarter of the way into the sky. The ocean is calm. A beautiful, peaceful morning. One of the mornings it would be nice to be in the kayak.

This week my energy level has been about 60% of what I consider my normal.  Learning to go with the flow and give the body the rest that it needs is a tremendous challenge for me.  Right now I know that there is only so much in my tank, and running the tank dry does not benefit my immune system. The purpose of my course of action post diagnosis of stage IV colon cancer has been to build my immune system. I was already 2 years into the process, from a nutritional perspective, when I received the diagnosis.  What I had not changed in my life was the busyness and the stress. 

Busyness is what you give your time to. Purpose is what you give your heart to. 

- Robert Holden - 

A couple mornings every week, I rise early and head to my friend's farm to help out with the calf feeding. It is my outdoor strength and conditioning program.  On my way, I pass by an older lady, who is out pushing her rolling walker with the seat. She must be into her 90's by now. I have driven by her for the past 11 years. The only days she doesn't go out is when we have snow. She is out there pushing her walker in the pouring rain, and in the darkness of the dawn. This is a time when the birds are gloriously singing in the new day. There is a certain amount of peace and tranquility being out in nature at dawn. I recall being on the water once at 5 am, and paddling through a herd of at least 50 seals. I was elated. I not sure they were as happy to see me. 

I have given up the busyness, though I can feel the pull back into the blackness of it.  

My morning routine has changed.  I might lie in bed, listening to the birds, and to one or two, Entering the Castle lessons. Once up, I make a warm  lemon/ginger/honey drink, and read or write/journal. After at least 30 minutes, I will drink the 16 oz. of pure celery juice, recommended by Anthony Williams. Since having the colostomy surgery, I can vouch for the benefit of pure celery juice as a digestive aid.  My system does best, if I follow this with an apple, banana, green juice, or the Anthony William's liver rescue smoothie.  I continue to read or write during this time of the day.  I have discovered that having the time to enter my day this way provides me with a sense of peace and calm that carries on throughout the day. 

Qigong and meditation have become part of my daily routine, though I may miss a couple days, if I have been swept into the vortex of busyness again. Using Zoom, I have been leading my father, who is back in Ontario, through about 20 minutes of qigong. We often now talk for at least 20, if not 40 minutes as well as doing the exercise. Then there is the daily walk on the farm with Bauer, and my friend. 

Going back to the former way of living is not an option for me. My intuition says it would be the death of me. What is next on my path, I still do not know. At the moment, I am still grieving the fact that my get up and go, seems to have got up and went. On one hand, I can feel my sense of gratitude for being alive, for the warmth of the sun on my face. On the other, I still struggle how to live in a world where value and purpose is measured by what you do for a living. Where being productive can be valued more than connection with people. 

What gets me out of bed every morning is the knowing that I will have the opportunity to connect with nature, my dog, friends, family, and others in the community. Some days, I will be fortunate enough to enjoy the sun warming me during my morning routine. Other days, when the rain greets the new day, I relish sitting by the fireplace as I read and write. This morning routine is a connection with my Self and with Source. Whatever it is that is getting you out of bed in the morning, may it be wrapped in joy. For I do believe that joy is the best boost you can give your immune system.