There is no doubt that getting sick, sucks. Over the weekend, I came under attack by a serious cold bug.
ON top of that, my monthly lady cycle, my husband is out of town, and I am a mother of a two year old.
Oh shit. yes, that is what I was thinking. This sucks.
But, as I lay myself down to sleep, I felt the flood of resistance to what was happening take over me. My body tightened, negative thoughts echoed, and I felt even worst.
THEN… I took a nice long exhale. And closed my eyes and just breathed.
“You must surrender”, a voice from the depths whispered.
Sometimes all you can do is breathe. And for the next two days, that is all I did. This not only kept my sinus’ clear, but it kept me calm. My son took epic afternoon naps, I followed his lead. WE ate soup. We called to herbal reinforcements from chinese herbs, to Be well dragon lady tea, to Kick-it wish garden tinctures. We read books. WE watched TV. We just rested.
Rest. Something I often forget to practice. And it is a practice in our world. A practice our system values greatly.
This experience is and has brought me to think about people living with chronic illness and pain. It sucks, and even worst Doctors are telling you it will not go away. As I laid on my bed, I thought about the one advantage of being ill is that it is a real opportunity to surrender into the shadows of life. The aspects of life we all hide from. The vulnerability of the body, death, negativity, anger, sadness and all we chose to not admit we experience. Being ill brings all of this to the front, and it is an opportunity to honor it for what it is, and then surrender. SURRENDER and respond to what is. Surrender does not mean give up, but give in to the situation at hand. And as you surrender and cease the resistance, you are able to respond with clarity because the mind is not caught up in the resistance of the illness. As I surrendered, I felt my breath open up, I was able to fall asleep. I did not feel so isolated. I felt supported by my Self. I heard this voice within and felt mySelf more deeply, as I found compassion for my Self.
There is something else that is unchanging, and it is the surrendering that softens the mind to feel and listen to this unchanging place of support and wisdom within. In yoga, it is called puruṣa, or the dweller in the city. And we all have a dweller within, whom is always speaking through us, it just depends if we are listening to it or not. The more I softened with my breath, the more clearly I could hear the voice whisper words of support and love. The voice will rise up like a whisper, or sometimes it will shout through a bull horn. But it is in the surrendering to what is, that allows for the voice to be heard.
And I must say, this surrendering actually helped me kick this colds ass, because I was able to nourish myself completely without the negative feedback that comes from resisting what is.
So next time you get fall ill, or break a leg or come down with a chronic illness. Honor the emotions that come, and then surrender to what is. So that you can listen and support your system with nourishment, rest, and compassion. From now on, I am choosing to see illness as an important step on my spiritual journey. That does not mean I will be happy about it, but rather I will let the anger fuel my actions rather then build walls of resistance to healing.