To pee or not to pee – should that even be a question?

I was recently advised by my GP to keep an eye on my blood pressure as we worked together to find the causes of some health issues that had arisen.

After attending a specialist appointment one lovely, warm day, I took myself for a rainforest walk and then walked my gorgeous labradoodle to the local dog park. We were both thirsty from our walks so I shared my water with my dog, who was most appreciative. I was feeling lovely – connected with nature and purposeful in having started to attend to these matters of personal health.

I felt so good that I decided to pop into the local pharmacy before going home and have my blood pressure measured, so that I would have a reference for ‘feeling lovely.’

My friendly pharmacist welcomed me warmly, as always, and we attached the sleeve to my arm to measure my current blood pressure. As the sleeve deflated and the reading appeared on the screen, I observed how the pharmacist had started to mask a sense of alarm: the diastolic reading (the bottom number) was registering a reading of hypertensive crisis – 124. (1) My usual reading is around 75-80. The systolic pressure was also higher than usual for me, but not alarmingly so.

The pharmacist asked me, with genuine care, if I had drunk any water recently and also if I needed to go the loo. I replied that I was a bit thirsty as I had shared my water with the dog and that, yes, I did need to visit the loo but wasn’t aware of there being a toilet in the immediate area. Solicitously, she directed me to a ‘shop’ toilet and then brought me three glasses of water in succession.

We waited for five minutes and then took a second blood pressure reading.

The diastolic reading was 85: it had dropped 40 points from a point of crisis to super normal after I went to the loo and then drank some water.

This was a very humbling moment. As I stared at the machine, I was both relieved to be back to normal but also aghast that, even feeling as lovely as I did on that day, the simple acts of not attending fully to my body’s needs to pee and to rehydrate completely had placed my body into a state of intense stress and me into a position of danger. My stubbornness in overriding these needs by pushing on to the pharmacy, rather than going home and attending to them, was completely exposed in that moment – necessarily so.

I began to reflect on how many times in my life I had overridden the needs to drink water and go to the toilet, as well as many other bodily needs, deferring all these needs to a time that was ‘more convenient’ – a time when I wasn’t busy or engaged in other activities.

Moreover, I’ve observed how we see it as a mark of a child’s maturity that they can control their bladder for an extended period of time in many social situations.  This applies to we adults, too, and we are the role models of bladder and thirst control.

I could not but marvel at my body’s exquisite sensitivity – how ignoring my bladder and the need for water affected my whole body adversely. I felt a deep appreciation for how instantly my body responded and returned to equilibrium directly once its needs were met. And I decided that, henceforth, any bodily need, no matter how insignificant or basic it may appear to be, will be addressed by me immediately… in line with my body’s communication of it. I reflected how a true rhythm excludes nothing – it is in the flow of all life. So I will never again be ‘too busy’ to attend to these basic bodily needs because I am engaged in ‘more important’ stuff… not even for a minute! My body is now an equal player in my life, no more a 2nd class citizen: we are now a democracy.

Inspired by Serge Benhayon who has long presented the need for us to care deeply for, and about, our bodies, as well as role modelling an absolute integrity in attending to the minute details of such self-care.

By Coleen


Read more:

  1. Self-care at work makes sense – why is it not common practice? 
  2. Your body is a living experiment

830 thoughts on “To pee or not to pee – should that even be a question?

  1. Gosh how many of us put off going to pee because we are in the middle of something and then forget to go until we are busting for a pee. This is just one way we over ride what our body is communicating to us.

  2. How vital it is giving the body signs the importance they actually have. Most of them are apparently simple but truly significant movements we do during the day.

  3. Coleen I feel you were guided to your local pharmacy before going home so that you could have the physical reality before you of what happens when you/we switch off from listening to our bodies. The more we listen the more they tell us and we can change the relationship to one of deeply caring for ourselves and each other so that we do not rely only on what our mind is saying because that will always lead us all astray if it is not in unison with our bodies.

  4. Coleen, you have bought to many’s attention the importance of not ignoring the body’s communication no matter how trivial it may seem and, we continue to do this at the detriment of our bodies. Every aspect of our body parts has a purpose to serve, to keep it functioning and flowing healthily, it is that simple. Why abuse it?

  5. We think nothing of holding a pee, but this makes it so clear how overriding our body’s simplest need can eventually lead to a form of dis-ease. Really, nothing is nothing.

    1. As nurses and midwives we continually do this, hold back a pee or avoid drinking water so that we don’t need to pee, it is ludicrous. And then we wonder why we are tired, have headaches and are miserable in our positions when it is really a simple act of self-care, loving and nurturing thing we can do for our bodies.

      1. Teachers do this too. How ludicrous it is that we don’t feel comfortable to take care of our most basic of needs and that we put function ahead of any meaningful quality of care.

  6. This highlights how sensitive our bodies are and if we are not taking care of it, it will let us know. It is worth listening to our body in every moment to care and love it the best we can.

  7. Thank you Coleen, this has been a blog that’s changed my life as since I last read it I now make sure I attend to going to the toilet when I need to. We don’t realise the care needed for our body, it may not seem like a big thing to delay going to the toilet but it puts huge pressure on the body. The philosophy of self care presented by Universal Medicine to listen to the body and attend to its needs as a priority is simple common sense – yet not so commonly understood.

  8. Thank you Coleen such simple acts as drinking water at intervals during the day and going to the toilet when our body is nudging us to do so seem too simple to mention but I am just realising now that I do not always follow these messages immediately and in delaying could be causing undue stress and tension. I do get headaches occasionally and this could be something that is contributing to that.

  9. ‘So I will never again be ‘too busy’ to attend to these basic bodily needs because I am engaged in ‘more important’ stuff… not even for a minute! My body is now an equal player in my life, no more a 2nd class citizen: we are now a democracy.’ I know this is not yet something I live at the moment, there are still too many situations where I choose to not listen to this basics needs of my body, your blog makes me once more aware, shakes me up a bit to deepen the love for my body and let all other ‘more important things’ come second.

    1. It is interesting Annelies that we put so much attention to what is going on outside our bodies rather than listening to our bodies. I wonder why we put our body’s needs second to the outside stimulus.

  10. A very wise man said, and I quote “the body is the marker of all truth” SB.
    There is no denying these words of wisdom, as our body will indeed tell us immediately if we mistreat it. Whether we choose to listen or not is the key.

  11. The expectation of children to learn control of the bladder and needing to visit the toilet is one example of how we teach children early to override the most amazing source of wisdom, our body.

  12. I know that feeling to do something because it is convenient and ‘saves time’ perhaps to save making an extra journey or to save money but boy do I pay the price for it afterwards or the following day. We know and when we listen and take heed to what our body is communicating with us it not only supports us but also supports those around us too.

  13. Such are the basics of our functioning system and what our body is communicating to us, so to ignore and postpone is just demanding our body to be out of its divine sync. When you are obedient to what it is signalling and asking for it really does feel super loving and supportive. Today I sometimes override it still, and when I do it stands out like a sore thumb, so it is about appreciating when I do honour my body.

  14. Brilliant blog Coleen clearly showing us how easy it is to ignore our own body to its, and our, detriment. I, for one, will be more aware of attending to my body’s needs in future, making sure I do not delay going to the toilet when I need to and also always carrying water with me.

  15. The key may be to live in a way that we notice our body earlier, not just when the message is urgent and to live in a way that we can then do what our body needs without disruption.

  16. Ignoring our body’s needs always has consequences, and the more in tune we are with our body the easier it is for us to support ourselves.

    1. Very well said Sally, our body is always communicating to us. Choosing to listen to it is a very wise choice.

  17. “A true rhythm exclude nothing” – wow, that is something I really need to embrace. I can feel a sense of control when I feel into what I consider how I might be living in rhythm, that there are more dominant parts and there are some that are less so and in fact a bit neglected. It’s amazing how we can so cleverly convert a true wisdom to fit into what we envision as right.

  18. That’s quite simply astounding Coleen, that drinking water and going to the loo can make such a difference on the internal pressure happening within the body’s vascular system. And as we know, nothing in the body works independently it is all interconnected and responsive, so these simple self caring gestures are indeed impactful on our health, all of the time.

  19. I feel myself get impatient and irritable when I do not go to the loo when I need to and instead try to block out the feeling and race to get everything done first. Going to the toilet and drinking water are basic necessities and yet we repeatedly override these simple messages.

  20. A very insightful sharing Coleen, offering us a testament to the fact that our body is always, without fail, reflecting the truth of how we are living and what quality of energy we are aligning to through the choices we are making. When we do listen, we know and are guided as to what is precisely needed to live in greater harmony with the rhythm of life, that which we are inescapably and intrinsically connected to.

  21. It is incredible how we can put other people, animals and things as a priority but forget to nurture and care for ourselves on a functioning and necessary basis. I have been through years of this neglect and to be remindered how important I am and I am worth looking after has been deeply inspired by the teachings of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.

  22. ‘My body is now an equal player in my life, no more a 2nd class citizen: we are now a democracy.’ It is our compass and instead of listening to my compass all of the time there are still moments I can take it for granted, small things but your example shows that what we consider ‘small’ is not small at all as the consequences are truly detrimental for our health

  23. Such a great reminder to listen to and honour what our bodies are telling us. So often we can override things and think they do not have any effect on us when, as you have proven, they do. Thank you for sharing.

  24. The more in tune we get with our bodies, the more we feel how sensitive it is. So the neglect of not peeing when the body needs to now stands out so loud to me now, it is impossible to ignore it. Thank you body.

  25. A great and very simple example for us all as to how our body responds when we ignore its messages, and especially to this normal need of having to ‘pee’ several times during the day, and sometimes at night. It really brings the consequences of the neglect of our body, even for one moment, right in front of us; for you in your blood pressure reading. Since first reading this wonderful blog I have definitely brought much more attention to my body’s messages to head to the toilet and I am sure I can feel my body thanking me.

  26. Great to respond to the body without any delay. Will reflect on how much I do or don’t do this as I go on. Eating comes to mind as I can feel how I will often carry on eating a meal when my body has already said that my tummy is full.

  27. ‘The diastolic reading was 85: it had dropped 40 points from a point of crisis to super normal after I went to the loo and then drank some water.’ Interesting how we can dismiss these basic needs putting the body into a pure state of tension. It just goes to show how super important it is to ensure we nurture ourselves in each moment, not taking anything for granted.

  28. It’s fascinating how the body is so in tune with all the systems of the body, and although we want to isolate them and tell ourselves that it’s only this part of the body that is struggling, we often find that there are other parts of the body which show us our disregard.

    1. Julie I agree its when we look at one part without the rest that we fall into the trap of trying to fix the ailment without considering what is causing that in the first place.

  29. This is a great example of how quickly our body goes into stress when we override what it needs, the body is also remarkable at how fast it is able to recover once we address the situation of what is required.

  30. Yes, I love that the body doesn’t say – “you neglected me so I am going to neglect you for the same amount of time – see if you like it!” It doesn’t hold a grudge, it simply recognises its needs have been met and rebalances.

  31. “I reflected how a true rhythm excludes nothing – it is in the flow of all life.” Yes, it excludes nothing because it comes from the knowing it is part of a greater rhythm. We can deny this all we like but our body still has a sleep wake rhythms, a period cycle, a monthly, yearly and even lifetime cycle. Nature and the animal kingdom are such a blunt yet divine reflections of that.

  32. Yes Colleen, unfortunately for a lot of health care workers the question of whether to pee or not to pee right now is a real question. So often we put our patients before our bladder and ourselves and whilst we think this is a virtue it is not. In fact it is pure disregard and something that we need to learn not to do.

  33. It is so humbling to be reminded of the delicateness and sensitivity of our body. How every part works together to keep it going. It seems that our mind is the only thing that has another idea.

  34. What an awesome science experiment that is! It proves that self-care is important and that the body does not work with ‘we will do it when it is convenient’. The body just is and when it does not get tended to when it gives the slightest signals, let alone the big ones, it will have to go into a ‘managing mode’.

  35. The moment our mind thinks in discordance to what the body feels is the moment we hand over the reins to the part of us that does not have our best interests at heart. Our Soul is our true self and will always move in and with respect to the body it is enhoused within. Whereas our spirit is the part of us that moves in opposition to this and uses the physical form as a plaything to joyride through life with no respect for it as it knows it is immortal and will get another one when the body eventually withers and is discarded. It is always to our benefit to discern in which moment who exactly holds the reins that steer us through life.

  36. When we override our bodies signals and what it needs, it really puts a lot of pressure and tension on areas of our body that needn’t be affected, so by our simple choice to do what is needed at the time, our bodies are left to do what they do so very well.

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