I was very fortunate this past Thanksgiving week to be able to take time off to rest and restore. Between the sinus infection that still seems to linger and some family health issues, I’ve been in a somewhat constant state of low level stress for the past few months. Nothing completely debilitating, but aggravating nonetheless. It’s just kept me from having the energy to do a number of things (including writing blog posts).

I have been told many times that our bodies are very wise and let us know when we should do something. From that gut reaction that any opportunity in front of us is right or wrong, to the overwhelming “clue-by-four” that we are tired and need to stop and rest, to the smell that leads us into a great restaurant, we are led by our bodies more than we think.

In the Christian calendar, we’re in the season of Advent. I’ve seen this defined as expectation, waiting, or arriving. Whatever it is, it’s definitely a time for slowing down. With the darkening days, our bodies know this instinctively. Unfortunately, our commercial culture tells us that this is the time to speed up and get crazy. I personally think that this I’d the reason why do many people get the blues in January. They are so out of touch with the rhythms of the year that they crash.

Much of my career development work is to get clients to listen to their own needs as far as what will make them happy in their work. Too often, people have been programmed by culture or family to deny what they really want and what really makes them happy. I’ve found almost universally that a dream deferred will pop up somewhere in life to disrupt your plans, much like your body will shut you down if you don’t listen to its needs.

So, what needs are you denying or ignoring and how is your body or spirit screaming to be heard?  What actions are you doing to start to hear?