That reminded me of my time in ministry, It was my first charge and my first year. Now I know you are probably thinking on ministers/pastors/vicars easy life they only work one day a week. I know I heard the jokes before, I guess there may be a minority for who that is true. But I know there are some out there who really put their heart and soul into their ministry. I was like that. I was chaplain in schools and college, I did visitation, all kinds of things and I was very busy. My day off was a Monday but I found it difficult to do something on my day off for me. I had a fear that someone might need me, seriously. The upshot of that was I started to find it difficult to sleep. Months had passed and my wife and I went on holiday, we went to visit another couple who were in ministry, Bett and Duncan, God rest him. It was a fairly long drive about 4 hours so after pleasantries and dinner I had an early night. I think I woke the next day mid-afternoon. I remember going down and Duncan asking me how I was, I still felt tired and he said something that made me sit up. He said he wouldn’t have been surprised if I had died. He spoke of how grey I was looking, that was before my hair started to go salt and pepper thank you! He had obviously been briefed on my working practise by my wife. He quizzed me on my days off, BUSTED! He asked me if I had ever done archery, actually I had in my youth. He asked me how I treated my bows, he spoke about removing the string from the bow between uses as it couldn’t be kept in that position of stress or it would snap. He went on to say I was like a car running in top gear and that I had no reserves to pull on should I need to. I was running my life in top gear and all that was likely to happen was, I would blow my engine.
I have to admit I found that week away very refreshing as I dropped down the gears and I would like to say I learned my lesson and went home and immediately made sure I took time. It took me time to adjust and relax and I learned that if something cropped up on my day off, I found another day that week to take off for me. I think this is something that is especially prevalent in the caring profession. Is it being driven to help others? Is it a need to be needed? I don't know why but it is dangerous, burn yourself out and you are no use to anyone!
Somehow our natural pace has progressed to a state of constantly rushing around! We have perfected multi-tasking into an art, trying to accomplish more than the day before. We seem to have forgotten how to relax and enjoy ourselves. It's rare that we set aside time to be refreshed. To be healthy in mind and spirit, allow a time to be just for you! It is so easy to think if we weren’t there that the world would stop, it can be a sobering thought to know that isn’t the case. It is good to feel needed, valuable and useful but here’s the rub, if you don’t look after no. 1 you will just be a memory. So my friend, what gear is your life in? When did you last drop a gear and relax? Is your engine about to blow, if so take it from one who knows – take time out before time takes you out! It might mean that you actually need to block out time in your diary, I would put it in code so if someone sees your diary they won’t pressurise you to sacrifice what I like to call Me Time. Talking of diaries, I knew a guy I used to work with called Iain, I don’t think I have ever met such a highly disciplined guy. He had his week planned out, I’m talking down to when he would go to the toilet and for how long, now that worked for him. Sorry but that would never work for me, my body tells me when it’s time to pee and pooh! And how do you cope if you have had a very spicy curry the night before? This worked for him and maybe that kind of thing works for you, if it does I tip my hat to you. But that level of regime to me is like a straight jacket I couldn’t wear that for long, but having a diary with specific planned events does work for me. A diary sets our intention and that is what is important.
From an aside hypnotherapy can help with many issues and conditions but I think its biggest and most profound effect is that it relaxes us. We live such busy lives, often the first thing a client will say after a session of hypnotherapy is, “that was great I felt so relaxed.” (that was a paraphrase) But it is true, people find reaching that place of deep relaxation like disciplines of meditation and prayer can be so rejuvenating. I find it interesting if you say to people that you are coming for therapy they will probably say, “why what’s wrong with you?” It is funny because those that come for therapy are there because they care for themselves. It would be prudent to answer, “wrong with me nothing, I just like to look after myself, don’t you?” Some of those I have helped with hypnosis are using those skills personally to take time out, some before the start of business, some as part of lunch or after work. That time might be just 5 minutes but it is time where they drop a gear and they know the benefit of it.