How to be sick

I know to use a neti pot when I feel a cold coming on. I know to do yoga and exercise on a daily basis, to eat right, to sleep well, to stay balanced, get into nature….I know, I know! Yet, when my daughter recently came down with a cold, I neti potted once, then went into Mom mode and forgot to keep caring for myself! Oops! Guess what happened? I got the worst cold I’ve had in years! Why? I kept asking myself. So, I listened. My head was too dizzy to read, to think! What was this all about?

Day #3 revealed the answer. Here I was, being sick. How do we Americans do sick? We hunker down, when possible, and watch tv and lay there until we are either needed or feel so disgusting that we actually get up and take a shower, or we go through the motions of our daily lives and down some medicine or other in hopes that it will make us feel somewhat better.  So, when I got to that point…the so disgusting I needed to take a shower, I thought, this is how I learned to be sick!  Now, here I am, with all the knowledge I have, doing the same old behaviour! Yikes!!!!


So, I vowed to put the remote away and step #1 get out that neti pot and cleanse my sinuses…..wow, did I feel a million times better, just doing that! Next, I meditated. A nice calm, untimed meditation, first with the vision of myself feeling better soon, then off to a gentle zen state. Then, I sat on the balcony for a long time with a sketchbook in my hands. Mostly I watched the clouds move across the sky. Then, I wrote a short poem. Watched the clouds more…nature gets you into the present, I remembered, nature is so healing. Again, I was so improved by this day of really staying with myself, not escaping because I had been invaded by a virus.

The next day I took a walk, tissues in my pocket, but oh….how nice it was to breathe fresh air and have the kind of magical moments nature can bring you. I came upon about 13 deer in the woods, 3 of them were taking a little nap under some trees! Now, those deer know what to do!

I am trying to redefine what being sick looks like. If you stay home sick, you’re supposed be laying in bed, right? What if your boss saw you taking a walk? Rest is absolutely important and some laying on the bed is a very good thing, but seeking out what heals us physically and emotionally, is a road to a more meaningful and perhaps quicker recovery.

Now, I’m recovering, but deeper still, I realized how I am always reaching for perfect wellness and while that is a good goal to have for lots of reasons,  is it healthy to expect any aspect of my life to be perfect all the time? The imperfection of life is what makes it so beautiful.

-Amy Roemer 3-15-10

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