“Having a cold is really funny!” I told Hubby.
He begged to differ. “Not if you’ve had as many as I have” was his grumpy reply.
But seriously, it’s no biggie really, even if temporarily it saw me in bed for a few days and has kept me away from the yoga studio for more than a week now. (I’m all for sharing with my lovely fellow yogis, but I’ve been trying to keep this virus to myself.)
But I do find cold symptoms kind of interesting to observe! The staged appearance of different symptoms: first the headache, the odd sneeze, then fever, sore throat, and aching muscles, moving on to a runny nose, and the different qualities of mucus as the body cleanses itself…
Too much information? No, we’ve all experienced this. It’s just natural. A bit annoying, but it passes.
I actually almost like the novelty of being ill in a definable and obviously transient way. For anyone with any chronic health condition, something as finite and predictable as a cold is almost like a holiday. So although this might sound weird, I’m using this virus as an opportunity to practice some self-care and some compassion towards my body. I give it such a hard time usually. It gives up on me sometimes for no apparent reason and I find that hard to cope with. I find it too frustrating.
But maybe practicing nurturing it now when I can understand what it needs will help me handle it better on the days when it’s not playing along and I don’t know why.
Here’s my radical new thought: maybe I don’t need to know why! I could just accept the feelings of discomfort and weakness as a condition of the body without trying so desperately to change them or to justify them. Isn’t this something we learn in yoga — to observe what is and to accept it without imposing our will on it and trying to control it?
I read someone recently describing the days she spends feeling ill not as ‘sick days’ as I do, but as ‘healing days’. A time to hunker down and be soft with herself. Maybe I could try that? I really thought I had been practicing acceptance, but I see now (by comparison with my more detached attitude to the cold virus) that it was more like grudging tolerance.
So I’m back to the healing meditation my teacher gave me some time ago [I wrote about this in an earlier post]. Sometimes it takes me a long time to recognise the value of what’s offered.
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about learning, and the transmission and acquisition of understanding and knowledge. I’m amused by the notion that today the cold virus is teaching me something! Guru rhinovirus!
Gurur Brahmā, Gurur Viṣṇu,
Gurur devo Mahēśvarā,
Gurur sākṣāt, param Brahma,
tasmai śrī gurave namaḥ