Even a crap mood can serendipitously lead us to what we need.
It was one of those days… mood was low, energy was lower. I was dragging my feet. I was feeling crap. Trying to get productive simply turned out being unproductive. Instead of relenting and just yielding to some time out, my productive self (aka diligence going TOO far), I thought, “I’ll just do one small thing, at least I’ll knock that off the list”. That ‘small thing’ that would’ve taken me 5 minutes any other day, took way too long this day. I was pushing s*#! uphill and my workaholic was going to achieve that goal no matter what!
That’s the little devil on my shoulder speaking there. It’d been 2 months that I was in Rome and I’d simply hit the fatigue wall. Two months of my partner and I going full on finding an apartment, figuring out how to set up utilities, a bank account (wow, what adventures there!), lets hook up with a good accountant for my business, how do you order a coffee. All while understanding the language. While I fluently speak Italian, in the early stages, I was often asking very helpful Italians, “Please repeat what you just said, A LOT SLOWER please, your Ferrari pace isn’t in my way of doing things… yet!”
So my little devil on one shoulder of course has its counterpart!
Thankfully my calm, fun loving and cheeky leprechaun on my other shoulder could see some reason in my energy drag and kindly whispered, “C’mon, it’s a nice day outside. Maybe go for a walk, you’ve wanted to go chill out at Tiber Island since you got here to Rome, now’s a good time”.
Yes, my little devil and cheeky leprechaun have become obvious characters to represent how I nag myself (little devil) and be kind to myself (cheeky leprechaun). I’ve helped clients get to know the “little voices” that rule their thoughts and mood, I’m no exception for my personal experience. I’m a walk the talk kind of psychologist! It’s better having our loving and gremlin self-talk thoughts CONSCIOUS, where you can make the best of it or change what’s doing us no good. Instead of them being unconscious and letting the little suckers take over your day, leaving you wondering what happened! Besides, it clears the head traffic so I can hear my intuition more easily.
So back to my walk to Tiber Island, or Isola Tiberina. In the spirit of my energy low, I dragged my feet out the
door and made my way over to Tiber Island. I even took the long way there just to add to my energy drag. I realised once I got there that I did actually know the shorter route through Via Arenula, but of course, in my cruddy mind frame, didn’t remember it! There’s making life harder for yourself hey.
The Tiber or Isola Tiberina – a cool, boat shaped island.
It’s one of two islands along Rome’s River Tiber, or the Fiume Tivere. If you’re in the historical center of Rome
and near Campo dei Fiori, (blog “Hey Bruno, are you the leader of the heretics, can we chat?”) you’re close to a bridge (ponte) that will get you there, Ponte Garibaldi. From there head east or downstream for the next little bridge that will walk you over onto the island itself. There I walked through the arts and crafts vendors, the solo musicians filling the air with lovely sounds and across the car park to the ramp down to the island itself.
The sound of the rivers powerful running water soothed over my minds chitter chatter that was doing me no good. The sunshine and humidity were quite distracting but the light breeze overrode it. A relaxing, short stroll around the island led me to discover a great hermits pad under some tree branches. And here I sat, watched the water and listened to its flowing power. The tension in my muscles slowly dissipated as I simply yielded.
Like my fellow travelers and locals around me, I lay back on my bag and took a short nap (the photo to the left shows my view as I laid down). With some renewed energy, I recalled the
walking tour I’d done here two years earlier. When I’d come to Rome with residents eyes instead of visitors eyes to decide if this place was truly to be home. We know how that turned out!
On that walking tour, the guide described the history of hospitals on this island. I’d forgotten. This island had become known for its health focus and healing of the people. I googled the island and discovered, the Fatebenefratelli Hospital he’d mentioned, run by the Order of St. John of God is still going strong. Just behind where I was sitting, on the other tip of the island, upstream. Where there’s a huge grass patch area for sun baking on Italian summer days!
Do you know what the literal translation of “Fatebenefratelli” is?
It translates to “get yourself better brothers”, generically speaking. I had a chuckle when I realized that. Quite apt for how my day started hah?!
A bit of fun trivia…. I learnt that this boat shaped island had been dubbed the Island of Healing. In the 2nd century B.C, an ancient temple had been set up for Aesculapius, the Greek God of Healing and Medicine. Since then, several shrines and buildings in honour of various deities were built, including the River God (Tiberinus) & God of Healing (Vejovis). I love this one, a shrine for Jupiter known as the “guarantor of oaths”, I didn’t know a God existed as a guarantor, nice. And of course, in this historical area where Empires were at war many a time, a shrine for the Goddess of War, Bellona! That’s a nice touch, the little devil on my shoulder still gets a glimpse to maintain the yin/yang of it all!
So as the Hawaiians say, “No Rain No Rainbows”. My energy drag, low mood and fatigue wall could have made for a hellish day. Thankfully though, my creative meditation practice sharpening my intuitive prods, helped me find my rainbow. A prodded walk to Tiber Island, the Island of Healing and Medicine…. the healing power of the Gods and the “get better brothers” healing hospital! Serendipity at it’s best.
Thanks Universe, that was the healing I needed today. You never cease to amaze me as to how you use my environment, like nearby Tiber Island, as a means to get me re-centered. Back to work!