Putting the Illness in Stillness

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.


  1. Kelly Ann

    I'm driven – naturally (I'm a Capricorn!). I know how important balance is. I have a pretty good meter on my well-being and definitely take time out before the illness sets in. I also find myself productive, at peace, and balanced regularly when I do daily practices. Some are 5 minutes in bed stretching and waking up my body before I roll out, journal at least 3 pages in the am, and / or 20 minutes of meditation first thing.

    Great realization Debra! I'm happy to know you got the lesson out of it this time… How often do people do this to themselves – carry on with life while ill. We wouldnt do it to a child, why do it to ourselves? Love your body, mind and spirit and it loves you back. (:

  2. Joy Lynn Rosser

    Fortunately, i have developed a good relationship with my spirit guides and guardian angels. When I hear a high pitched ringing in my ears, I know they want to tell me something.
    This reminds me to take a moment to be still and quiet in order to see the message. If I am pushing too hard, they will suggest something to help me relax and follow the flow.

  3. Sheevaun

    Glad you're feeling much better. When energy gets drained from the body it is a sign that the energy has been waning in the energy body for many months. The idea energetic profile of the energy body is 12-24 inches and that denotes vibrant health. Downtime is necessary and I teach through Learn to Meditate in 2 Minutes for the Lazy, Crazy and Time Deficient is a fantastic way to get some intentional downtime every day. Keep up the great work. Hugs and peace,
    My recent post Mindful Communications

    • Debra Woog

      Hi, Sheevaun! Thanks so much for commenting. I love the name of your class – "for the Lazy, Crazy and Time Deficient." I frequently fall into at least 2 of those categories. 🙂

  4. Piña

    I have a new routine to lie down for the half hour before my kids come home in the afternoon. It feels so good! Piña

    • Debra Woog

      Oooh – that sounds yummy. Hope you started today!

  5. Stef

    I incorporate a lot of downtime and stillness into my schedule — for some reason it's never been a problem for me to do that. It pays off in a lot of ways too. So glad you were able to be still without stressing too much about it. I agree the body is powerful and wise. When we are in tune with and aligned with it, it will come through for us.
    My recent post How To Write Great Content When You’re Not Inspired

    • Debra Woog

      I'm curious – do your athletic pursuits count as this kind of downtime for you, Stef? I know you're not being still while you're training for triathlons. But does the training have somewhat of a meditative effect sometimes?

      • Stef

        Great question! The training often does have a meditative effect but does not count as downtime. Downtime for me is sitting, being still, reading, watching tv, petting the cat or the dog. Being purely "social" on social media. Writing fun emails. Occasionally napping. Which to put in a training context, counts as "recovery time" which is just as if not more important as the actual training.

  6. Nancy

    nice title

      • Nancy

        really? OL? There goes the stillness . . . ?