I read Patti Digh’s post about an online workshop participant who shared that she didn’t get her homework done because she “had the opportunity to have the flu.” (What a gem Vickie, I bow to your wise perspective.) For the month of January I have felt organized, balanced, whole, immersed in the process and journey, I was ‘on plan’ as we say in Weight Watchers nothing could stop me—February here I come! Oh, really? chuckled the universe . The daggers in my throat struck on Tuesday, January 31st after I had wrapped my most productive month in ages. Uh, oh. For the past week I have railed against being sick, having to stay in bed, slow down, feel pain, experience lack of sleep, and not be able to accomplish anything on my action list.
I railed and this is what it accomplished: I was still sick. A few days into this snuffling-coughing-my-guts-up-achy-head-exploding experience I actually GOT what friends and family were telling me to do: rest and get well. My MasterMind group coach wrote: Put the MUST do on the calendar for this week and let the rest go… oh my resistance was strong but I had already worked through the weekend at WW and was physically worse off for doing so. I had even managed to pull a muscle under my ribs from coughing so violently!
I came home Saturday exhausted and whiny and wiped my action board clear of everything but a few minor work tasks, Verb Tribe, and writing. Visually nothing remained on my board but wide open spaces. Without realizing what I was doing I shifted into this place Vickie spoke of when she said, “The opportunity to have the flu.” As Patti wrote in her post, “In such a way, everything is an opportunity.” I agree wholeheartedly, there is always a gift inside if you’re willing to look for it—even inside deep grief there is the gift of deep love.
I’m grateful for the gift I discovered inside being physically unwell—the opportunity to be still. To experience space. To linger. To accomplish without doing. To be. I’d much rather create this space without the yucky physical symptoms. My wise self suggests I integrate these wide open spaces as an essential part of my action plan so I won’t need to experience illness to gift them to myself.