Dealing with my first cold in three years--ironically I came down with it at the tail end of a Florida vacation--I've noticed something odd about illness. Everything else seems to disappear. If someone has a fever, stuffy nose, or constant cough, there's little (if any) energy to think about anything or anyone else. The mind seems to crave relaxation and quiet. Personally I find a bath with my ears submerged while repeating inwardly, "I allow my mind to relax and be at peace," does wonders to relieve mental congestion.
Point is our typical thoughts disappear, at least mine do. Things that used to seem ever so important drop away as all inner resources are about healing. I realize this is only true for those that stay home from work to nourish themselves. I've been sick while caring for a baby and a toddler; let's just say that paints quite a different picture. But to stay in bed with some tea and allow your eyes to shut when they like and just to focus on the bodies needs is somehow meditative.
Now before you think I've gone off the deep end, let me explain. When we meditate, there is a hum or lightness to the body. The observer or witness takes over and thoughts are seen, but no longer control us. As meditation continues, a sense of calm inner peace soaks through us.
If we fight being ill, which I've done, the resistance builds and tension is felt everywhere. If we allow the illness to be there while focusing on nourishing the body and bringing it comfort, along with this acceptance is that same meditative detachment from the body, that same observation and peace.
Since I've been healthy for quite a while and love being in Florida, this particular illness baffles me. Being one that likes to learn from all of life's experiences, I look back on the vacation. I stretched my body every morning, skipped through Disney world (literally!), and enjoyed my mom's company. So, why get sick? Deepak Chopra advices we stop asking "why". Sound advice, yet I ask--slow learner I guess.
Thinking about it I realize that during the vacation, I didn't practice any hatha yoga or meditation. Days were packed and my mind and body were running on "excitement mode" for almost seven days straight. The adrenaline kept me moving and jumping; I felt like a kid again. This is all cool, but maybe, just maybe, my body and mind craved that down time. Peaceful time found during meditation and moving slowly with the breath. I was too busy having fun to even notice this lack of quiet--to busy loving the sun and warm temperatures--so my body decided it would force the time for stillness by getting sick.
I might not be correct in this reasoning, but just in case next time I'll just meditate!
Today is the first day of the rest of your life!