Change of plans…

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Under a bridge in the Prairies…

Just when you think you’ve got it all worked out, life has a way of reminding you that you’re not always in control.  I slipped and fell on the wet, wooden patio on Saturday and then basically overworked on Sunday to the point of major pain in my hand.  They don’t know if it’s broken or a tendon/muscle thing so I have to go back for more x-rays in about a week.  Until then, it’s goodbye to all my jobs, yoga, bike riding and now typing with one hand.  Writing and cooking are an almost impossibility with this plaster splint.  Just hoping it’s a short-term injury.  Sunday was NOT a good day overall and I even capped it off with an argument with my mother-in-law.  I suppose this time off will: a) give me some time for reflection and b) as my best girl J told me, maybe think about slowing down a bit?  We’ll see…but until this is off, and unless it’s replaced with a cast, please accept my blogging hiatus for a week or two.  😦

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sitting with uncomfortability…

Well, I’m sick.  The first big sick I’ve had in a long time and definitely the strongest cold/illness I’ve had in the past two years.  It was kind of inevitable that I would catch it as the in-laws brought it back from Nova Scotia with them and let’s just say there was quite a bit of coughing without the covering of one’s mouth! What do you say when someone does that? Surely you can’t say anything when you are in someone else’s house!? Yet, now I wish I had. Har har.  Anyway, brutal sore throat, coughing which is keeping me up all night.  Can’t swallow, nothing working.  This is the first extended illness I’ve had in a while that has just made me want to stay in bed all day and I’m moving onto Day 5 of this now.  So since I’ve had a lot of time by myself (the husband is avoiding me like the plague seeing as he is the last man standing in the house), and because I can’t sleep due to the coughing and sore throat, I have been working at employing some mindfulness techniques to get me through the more “challenging” of evenings.  I have had some points in the night where I can’t stop coughing and can’t swallow and can’t sleep and more than any medicine, this is what has helped me the most and has even helped me to fall asleep: rather than try to evade the uncomfortability and the pain, I have been trying to sit with it, to get familiar with it and just become friends with it.  So often we are trying to escape bad feelings, pain etc.  We use many methods to distract ourselves from it or medicate ourselves so we don’t feel anything.  I have found what is working for me is to sit and really think about how it is feeling while I am trying to fall asleep.  To contemplate the nature of the pain in my throat and to practice some visualization and tonglen, breathing out the illness in the form of black smoke and breathing in refreshing health in the form of white light.  I guess this is kind of a self healing reverse tonglen.  Anyway, like I said, it seems to be the only thing that really makes me fall asleep or feel any better.  All I have is a simple cold/flu.  I know it will pass and this also makes me feel better.  I can imagine that using this technique gets a bit more difficult once you are a patient battling cancer or another terminal illness.  Yet still, people use it and it seems to have a lot of positive results.  You can read more about tonglen here: http://www.shambhala.org/teachers/pema/tonglen1.php and a great article on sitting with uncomfortability can be found on this blog I just came across here: http://inthefootstepsofthebuddha.com/catching-a-cold-a-lesson-in-discovering-non-duality/.

In other news, I have just started reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin as part of an online book club I have been loosely following over the past few months.  There are lots of tips in this book and as I get further into it and clear my current brain fog, I will write a bit more about them here.  If you are interested in the book club, you can find it on Kimberly Wilson’s Tranquility Du Jour blog here: http://blog.kimberlywilson.com/2011/07/august-online-book-club-announcement.html.  There are always good recommendations for books here on a variety of topics and the comments are not always plentitful but usually insightful. 

Back to bed for me!

PS-Apparantly “uncomfortability” is not a word! Whatev’s!

Hello Ms. March!

It’s March-thank god. February is not my favourite month. Dark, cold and unforgiving. I am so tired of sideways rain and dark mornings. Now we are very close to changing our clocks again and that is something to look forward to! Also…spring is trying:

Despite the latest blast of -8c and snow, she persists:

I try to feel blessed for living in a place that has green all year round. One of my favourite times of year is when the cherry blossoms start. It reminds me of Japan and hanami.

I have a cold right now-first in at least two years. I credit my ability to stave them off to a combination of mind-over-matter, exercise and proper diet. Oh and greens smoothies! Yet, I guess they are inevitable, especially when you work with the public. My attempt at staving off the cold has included:

-Vitamin C, B, D, Echinacea, garlic and cod liver oil pills
-Lemon ginger tea
-Zinc lozenges

And when I finally acknowledged that it was here:
-Neo Citran
-Sleep
-Contact c
-More lemon ginger tea

So suffice it to say, I’ve been really reaching to see the positive side of being sick. What I can come up with so far, and what has been making feel better (more than any of the above, actually!) is that when we come down with a mild illness, it allows us the opportunity to slow down, think of ourselves and spend more time with self-care/self-nurture. Hot baths, lovely teas, hot water bottles, extra cream for our sore noses. We can pause to read in bed, order food in, and just take that extra time that we may not always allow ourselves, even though we should! So this is what I am doing!

Anyway, it’s just a mild cold and I’m sure I’ll be fine soon! I will blast it out of my system tonight with a hot and spicy laksa soup-recipe to come soon!