I was sick recently. Had a raging sore throat and headache and generally felt wiped out physically. Surprisingly, it lasted a few weeks. I knew I only had a virus, albeit a somewhat nasty one, so I wasn’t worried. But deep down I knew there was an energetic reason for my symptoms.
Fortunately it was immediately clear to me the key to my recovery was deep rest. So that’s what I did. I slept many hours every day and another 9-10 hours each night. During my sleeping hours I dreamed in intense Technicolor storylines. During my waking hours (the ones when the kids weren’t home) I read or stared into space. I let my mind wander. I rarely left the house (other than kid pickup and drop off).
During this time I missed a few meetings that I usually attend regularly. One friend, noting my absence, emailed me with the subject header “putting the illness in stillness.” Without having talked to me (I made and received practically no phone calls during this period) she hit the nail on the head.
My body is powerful and wise. Why did I get this sickness that lasted so long? Because I had reflections to process and experiences to integrate.
I’ve come to acknowledge that I play full out. When I am healthy, which Thank G-d is most of the time, my mind and body are typically moving from the moment I wake to the moment I collapse into my bed. And I always expected that constant high from myself. Until very recently, I criticized myself whenever my energy dipped.
Now I see that my body put the illness in me so I could experience stillness. Because it was much needed. And until I’m willing to add more stillness to my daily routine (probably adding more mediation, journaling and/or gentle yoga) I’m likely to continue having these extreme energy highs and lows, with little in between.
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How do you make regular time for stillness? Have you experienced illness that may have been your body’s way of compensating you for lack of downtime? Please comment below so we can learn from each other’s experiences.