What’s Your Canary?
What the f are you talking about John?
It’s the idea of the canary in the coalmine…
They used canaries in coalmines in the nineteenth century because these beautiful poor yellow birds are very sensitive to carbon monoxide.
If the canary became distressed, or died, even if the miners could sense nothing, it would be a sign to get the f out of the mine.
So when we talk about the canary in the coalmine, we’re alluding to an early warning sign of danger.
Now, we don’t keep a canary (though we do have a couple of non-yellow carbon monoxide monitors in our house).
But when I talk about my canary…
I’m referring to the physical symptoms I get that something is up.
It’s usually a sign that I’m pushing it too much, and need to slow down.
Some people get headaches, others belly aches, or back issues.
At the moment, it’s my neck, an old whiplash injury causing its niggles, as it does occasionally.
So I’m listening, and taking it easy.
So, what’s your canary?
And do you listen to it?
Listening to ourselves, generally, is a very good idea.
We do far too little of it.
Listening to ourselves when we have any physical, or mental, symptoms, is critical.
You could say, in fact, that any symptoms are an invitation to listen, to pay attention, and to act (which can often mean relaxing and slowing down).
Listening to ourselves is an important element of both being able to RELAX (my thing) and BEING MORE OURSELVES (Gaia’s thing).
So get to know your canary.
And listen to it.
Preferably long before it drops off its perch.
John & Gaia xx