I learned a lot this Winter Solstice in Florida... though I didn't realize I signed up for the class.
Operation Failed Expectations:
On the day after I arrived, I contracted what most people would call "sickness."
-congestion, -sore throat, -aches and tiredness, and -difficulty breathing.
This was not how I had expected to spend my vacation.
A Blessing In Every Tissue:
I spent about half a day feeling really sorry for myself. How could this happen to me? I was supposed to have fun, sing, meet new people, stay up late and get up really early... just like last year.
Completely unprepared in terms of "get well supplies", I decided to contact the resident doctor. I had a beautiful conversation with him, which forever changed the way I will see "illness."
Everything is New:
He explained, the terms "sick", "ill", "cold", "flu", or other ways we describe our dis-ease are too generic. They reinforce the illusion that each experience is exactly the same as our previous ones. When we generalize our "illness", we have a particular idea about how much time it will take to get better, what we have to do to get better, and what caused it. We are ignoring what is actually occurring.
Instead, he encouraged me to notice the particular sensations that made this experience unique. What elements we at play? Was it dry or wet? Was it hot or cold? I answered that it felt sticky, damp, and dirty.
He asked me something that no doctor has ever asked me before:
"What other parts of your life feel sticky, damp and dirty right now?"Ah, clarity!
You Get What You Need:
While I did spend much of my time in Florida experiencing not-so-sensational sensations, I know now it was an opportunity to transmute old ideas and stored emotions around "sickness", into the fertilizer for radiant health—mental, spiritual and physical.
This year I experienced a lot of change, and this minor inconvenience gave me what I needed: quiet time to myself, deep introspection, and true grit.
Thank you Winter Solstice.
Thank you God.