Walking Back The Cat

Despite hyper vigilance to protect myself—I’ve been the one weirdo in the airport still in a mask—Covid finally found me. I had a good run, though. Three years and four months post-global shutdown. To the remaining Covid ninjas out there, let this be your cautionary tale. Re-order that PPE.

I must have known to be extraordinarily careful given how it has landed. If you are treating this strain like it’s just a cold, you are half right. The virus part barely registers as illness. A sweaty night or two, body aches, some dizziness. But the post-viral inflammatory response has been impressive. A leaden fatigue requiring all business to be conducted horizontally, bizarre full body spins and a cognitive fuzz that, mercifully, has begun to lift.

So. If I’m so cautious, how’d it happen?

To use a Navy term, I had to walk back the cat  i.e. retrace my steps to see where I split off from my integrity to make a choice around which I didn’t feel right. Doing so, I knowingly exposed myself to this still serious illness. At twenty-one days post onset, it has just TODAY begun to lift.

Weeks out from the decision that canceled all summer travel plans, ten training runs and 4 sunrise bike rides, I’ve had an opportunity to reflect.

Here’s what happens when you have an inner knowing that registers in your gut. If you don’t listen to it much, it gets very quiet and you live your life by committee. Most of us rely on intellectual reasons for doing things. Sometimes they are flimsy, sometimes really good. But. The left brain only has access to 20% of what we actually know. The other 80% of your information comes from your nervous system which has nothing to do with reason. You cannot verbalize what is in your gut. We often forget that we too are animals with instincts. We have been gifted with the same tools to keep up safe as any four legged, furry creature.

So. Ignore your intuition and you betray your innate knowing. On some level, I knew. I recall it registered as a little ache. That was me splitting off from myself. If you think it doesn’t catch up with you, take a second to notice that it does. Sometimes it’s in small ways—you don’t drink enough water and get a headache. Other times you enjoy three weeks of bad-trip style Covid.

It’s a challenge to listen to that inner voice when we are rewarded for self-sacrifice in this culture and conditioned by those messages that taking care of other people matters and our own needs do not.

Is it possible to stay true to yourself all the time every day?

I will grant you that most of us don’t have the luxury of speaking our minds in every situation or making the move that feels most aligned at the precise moment we feel it. Imagine if you told your boss what you really think of the office policies that serve no purpose other than to annoy you. Self-preservation comes first, obviously. But. Slowly and with intention, you begin to observe what feels right and what doesn’t.

This week, I was reminded again of the two questions Wayfinder Master Coach Natalie Miller likes to ask to cultivate the inner knowing.

What do I want?

What do I need?

One little choice point at a time, you begin to notice what is already there. To move into a life that matches up with your truth. Ultimately, that truth is a kindness to everyone around you. Doing things you don’t want to carries a low vibration that the other person may not get consciously, but they will feel it.

Always keep in mind, people who value truth in all things will always be for you. Will always be kind to you. Truth enures to all of our benefit. When you share yours, people know where you stand. They know YOU. To be fully seen and heard is a basic need for every one of us.

If there is an ache inside of you to be known, I ask you, what are you waiting for?

From that place of knowing, from living the same inside as you do outside, your true life unfolds.

Love, Elizabeth

WRITING PROMPT: Where can your insides better match your outsides?

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Know what you really know
Feel what you really feel
Say what you really mean
Do what you really want
-Martha Beck