Female Empowerment

In Sickness and In Health

I have been at home with bronchitis for over a week now. My energy levels are low. My lungs feel heavy. My need for sleep seems endless.

I am also one of those women* afflicted with the ‘superwoman syndrome‘ — the feeling of needing to be super-productive, super-happy, super-beautiful and super-kind-to-everyone, all the time (check out Dr. Mary Pritchard’s Blog if you’re interested in learing more about what she calls the superwoman syndrome and enoughness issues!).

Cue: Bronchitis!

If you relate to the SuperwomanSyndrome, you may know how difficult it is to be limited to a fraction of your mental and physical capacities… For me, the first few days I was torn between wanting to crawl up a wall and being paralyzed by self-loathing for not being healthy (and able to be productive!). Because, of course, I was blaming myself for becoming sick. Even worse, my inner critic (who likes to rear her head at these kinds of occasions) jumped at the chance and suggested that I might only be “faking it”.

Hello Self-Doubt!

Well, they say that in every challenge lies an opportunity to learn. So here is what I am in the process of learning:

Recovery is slow.

Recovery takes energy.

If I choose to throw that energy into hating myself, I have less energy to recover.

Recovery is a mindset.

And the most important one:

Slow is beautiful!

Constant availability has become the norm, but my body is simply putting a physiological limitation on that demand. I now take this as a beautiful gift. A gift which has made me realize how little activities fit into my waking hours, if I do them mindfully. And how rewarding it can be, to just sit on my couch, a cup of coffee in hand and know:

I have no where to go. Nothing to do. Everything IS. I can simply BE.

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