Learning To Take My Military Boots Off

I’m having a sip of red wine and I’m sitting on a camper chair at my grandma’s attic, where I have my fitness machine and usually do my workouts. My laptop is placed on my crossed legs and my back is resting fully against the chair’s back. Why am I being so descriptive, you may ask? Well, I need some mindfulness in my life. Not that commercial mindfulness my academic colleagues were so eager to jump to amidst statistical analysis and lab results. I’m talking about the raw experience of simply being and feeling the blessing of breathing in and out. It’s a different level of awareness.

I’m not going to push mindfulness down your throat here though. It’s not exactly what this blog post is about. This post is about a personal realisation, after a few insights I got from Bryan, the astrologer. It’s funny how you might know what is going on with you and your life, and yet… you need someone to tell you back. You need a different voice, sometimes, other than the one in your head. That’s what happened to me yesterday, when I listened that it was time to take my military boots off and heal.

What does this mean? It basically means that I haven’t mastered yet the art of nonresistance. I stopped trying to fix people around, but I didn’t stop trying to fix myself and my life. I have worked and worked on a different set of layers of my shadow self, without giving myself a break. My body? Let’s fix it. My work situation? Let’s fix it. My broken attachment magnet? Let’s fix it. My mother and father wounds? Let’s fix it. I can’t say I’m not satisfied with my evolution, but I even wanted to fix my experience throughout this pandemic. I wanted to remain active and, in the end, I realised I wanted to change what is totally out of my control at the moment.

It’s like I have been fighting and fighting non-stop to fix everything I could about myself. I wanted to rebuild my whole life so badly after burnout that I made the very same mistake. I was going too far. I was pushing myself on a daily basis. Then, when I was forced to stay home, I broke down after five weeks. Like an addict, I started missing the rush. And the movement. And the energy. I was playing football and fixing behavioural problems in the playground almost every day. After work, I still had my workout sessions. Once my head hit the pillow around 11pm, I would fall asleep and only wake up in the following day to repeat the same crazy routine.

So maybe… it’s time to accept the natural tides of life and give myself a break. Time to live each moment as it is, something I haven’t been good at. I love being in the moment with my students, but I’m rarely in the moment when I’m by myself. Instead, I’m always looking for something else to do, because that way I know I won’t feel a thing. I’m terrified of painful feelings because, believe it or not, my body has nowhere else to store them. I keep locking those ones down. I bury and hide them deep inside so that they won’t come out. The trouble is that they have to surface and I have to make peace with them. In fact, the next step after stopping to put everyone else first is to tell myself that it’s ok to be sad and mad at people. I own the right to feel whatever I feel and, if that’s too much for some people, then I can’t take that as my problem. I need to stop being at war with my own feelings and needs.

Where are my slippers?


  1. Love this Vanessa! Feeling your feelings will help you heal and move on – sometimes we just need to wait until we’re ready (and it sounds like you are). Warmest wishes, Nicky (www.365daysofwellbeing.com)

    Liked by 1 person

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