Last autumn I made a commitment to myself to try to approach my least favourite season of the year with a lighter attitude, hoping to lessen the winter darkness with a bit of positive thinking and some constructive actions. Now we’ve passed the shortest day I’m breathing something of a sigh of relief. I’m on the home straight, even if it’s a long one, towards springtime.
It hasn’t been plain sailing and I’m sick again to boot. Just a passing virus or whatnot, so nothing to make a deal about. Except that these transitory illnesses really do knock the body out, don’t they?
So since I’m too sick today for any obvious yoga practice I’m using this experience of illness as my focus — it’s my arena for observing habitual reactions and fears, my practice of equanimity and patience in the face of discomforts, trusting in improvement when the time is right. It’s pretty much just like asana practice — except that breathing through it is even more of a challenge!
And actually it is kind of interesting. I’d not before considered that diarrhoea and a runny nose are just different ways of the body trying to cleanse itself and return to equilibrium. I won’t say I’m exactly feeling grateful for these symptoms, but I do have a certain admiration for what my body is doing to help itself even when it seems to be in a freefall of disintegration!
Part of my new healthier (less fearful) attitude to illness, perhaps!
And when physical frailty reduces your world down to essentials, the simplest things seem amazing. I’ve just stomached a tiny serving of gnocchi, plain but for a sprinkle of herbs. And those herbs — such an amazing assault on my senses, full of flavour, the taste of mediterranean sunshine. Lovely!
I’d still like to feel better soon though… I’m not finding the symptoms all that interesting!