Today is my first day back in the office after more than a week of being sick. My head was so chock-full-o-snot it felt like something was trying to press its way out of me. There wasn’t enough room in my head for my bones and my face. The snot in my ears had a heartbeat. I rubbed all the skin off my nose–even using the lotion tissues! I know I’m not alone- from flu to allergies, those of us that went through a very mild winter are now paying for it in the ooze coming from our face.
Its easy to think that we don’t have time to be sick. Our cultural tendency is to take some OTC and blaze through. Its why we’re seeing such vicious bugs these days. We ignore the body’s healing process. We plow over it. We dump antibiotics on it. Its clearly not working for us.
So when I got sick, I listened. I stopped. I let it run its course, and played cheerleader to my body’s battle with whatever was rattling through my lungs and making my head feel like it was going to split open. Is this how Zeus felt before he birthed Athena?
The body is amazing in the tactics that it uses to get us to behave. I could barely move. My body was using all of my energy to heal. That meant no energy left for me to sit up, or even hold my head up. For the first two days, even keeping my eyes open was work. Its not that I slept when I closed them… I just couldn’t keep them open. I’d try to watch something on Netflix, but would have to pause anything I started within 20 minutes to rest my eyes.
I rubbed doTERRA Breathe all over my face every couple of hours. The peppermint in that would cool my face down a bit- such a relief! I rubbed eucalyptus oil on my chest to open up my chest and make my cough productive. I took doTERRA On Guard capsules. I drank a gallon of OJ a day. It amazed me how I could be rubbing oil on my face all day, and it still feel so dry and crackle-y.
It was miserable.
By the 3rd day, I could finally watch a full documentary before I’d need to close my eyes and/or take a nap.
We actually have a TV in the house now. No reception- we’re using it as a monitor. I can’t stand commercials. They make me edgy. The being edgy makes me disconnect. I have a hard time finishing a show that has commercials. I just can’t do it. I’ll end up reading something on my phone that I know I can finish without being forced to emotionally disconnect or be exploited, so that’s what I end up doing.
The TV got moved over while J’s parents were in town. They’ve got a van, so J and my son moved J’s enormous TV over. Its like this black hole in the middle of the living room. It makes you scared to even walk over to that part of the room for fear you’ll fall in to it. I want to cover it with a cloth when we’re not watching it. I’d bought a turquoise sheer that I’ll be doing some kind of sparkly creature that you can’t tell if it has scales or feathers or whether its flying or swimming. Sequins and possibly feathers will be involved. The plan is to eventually paint the wall behind like the sky. Its a loft wall and scaffolds will be required, so it may not happen for a while. I also want to paint a huge tree with swirling branches on that wall and hang art work from its branches. I don’t know when it will happen, but it will.
I found some garden hangers that I’ll use as curtain rod brackets that will hold the curtain rod out far enough to get it in front of the screen. I moved the top of the castle (I have a castle–a pink castle– as my entertainment center. Are you surprised?) above the screen today. Once the curtain is hung, its going to look like a huge, fabulous, puppet theatre. Its the only way I could handle having a large-screen TV in the house. J thinks its a fantastic idea.
I love this guy.
Where was I? Oh yeah, documentaries.
We don’t watch that much, so we’ve hardly even explored all that Netflix has to offer, and have done almost nothing with my Amazon Prime membership. More than a week on the couch, and I’m now quite familiar with both. I watched a few documentaries on the Dalai Lama. I love his laugh. It reminds me of J’s dad. 10 Questions for the Dalai Lama was quite interesting as it had some historical background on the conflict with China and Tibet. Apparently, the Chinese saw the philosopher-king-type government of Tibet as elitist, and viewed themselves as liberating the Tibetan people and bringing them in to modernity. Watching it, I couldn’t help but think of the wars we’ve fought using the same sort of language. I guess all around the world and throughout time, folks don’t interpret being (forcibly) brought into modernity as very liberating. Why are we so afraid of moving forward?
I watched a film that Deepak Chopra’s son made about him and his experience of him as a father vs. how the world sees him. Very human. I love films like that. It makes me wonder how my son would portray me were he to do the same. All of us are made up of so many quirks and contradictions, but oh how it can sting when we’re confronted with them! I want to at least know mine. I don’t know what I can really do about them, but I’d like to at least have them in the realm of conscious incompetence. 😉
Speaking of bringing things out from behind the veil, I watched a film about Mary Magdalene on Netflix. I’m so glad that she’s emerging from the shadows. It brings a balance to Christianity that hasn’t been there since the Inquisition essentially wiped out all the different sects of Gnostics. Catholicism, with its rituals and saints, has a bit more balance than Protestantism, though the general misogyny of the institution keeps the scales tipped rather than balanced. Ritual is the feminine aspect of religion. Ritual grounds us. It connects us to time and space. It connects us to ourselves and each other via our bodies. Protestantism dropped ritual and focused on the Word- making the Protestant practice very heavy on Father Sky, and ignoring (let’s face it, denigrating) Mother Earth. When we consider this, its really no big surprise that Industrialism–and the raping of the environment that goes with it–was born in Protestant countries and carried around the globe from there.
Getting into my Amazon Prime account, I saw a film called Mythic Journeys. If you’re a Joseph Campbell fan, this film is for you. If you love stories, this film is for you. If you’re a human that struggles and wonders how in the world you’re supposed to know what to do next when what you’ve always done doesn’t work anymore, this film is for you. Its so beautifully aligned with the work that I do. Watching it was very affirming- I could just feel all the good vibes pulsing through my cells and helping my body heal. We are wired to learn and connect with stories, but as they said in the film, we’ve devalued Story and relegated it to the children’s room like an old piece of furniture.
I feel very passionately about reviving story and educating people on how they work. According to Jung’s work, there is a part of us- the collective unconscious- that understands what all the symbols, archetype, and storylines mean. We deny this and watch the spiritual/mental/emotional equivalent of the worst MSG-laden junk food, then wonder why we’ve lost our optimism, can’t connect to ourselves and others, have lost our passion, and feel unable to pull ourselves out of toxic patterns… What we watch and listen to impacts us on a very deep level. Not being conscious of what it means gives those toxic messages even deeper access to us because we’re not filtering at all.
I watched Hungry for Change. As I was watching it, I understood why so many people had asked me if I’d seen it when I spoke to them about the work that I do. From the trailers and ads, I thought it would be another film about food that sought to spur people to activism around the food and diet industry. It has elements of that, but it also covered our relationship with our bodies in a way I haven’t seen in the other films on food I’ve watched. Really understanding how our bodies work and moving from the assumption that it is our ally and not our enemy is key to having a healthy body as well as the foundation for our relationships to ourselves and others. So much of the dialogue around health and our bodies in our culture is adversarial. Our body is our enemy. We don’t trust it. Its working against us. We plan, plot and scheme to trick it, get around it, push it down, suck it up, and punish it when it doesn’t conform to our ideals. When this is the way that we work with ourselves, its no small wonder that our divorce rates are now pushing 70% in America, for how we treat ourselves is how we will treat others.
There was a part towards the end that burst me in to tears. Jon Gabriel is talking about the ways that the body tries to take care of us and how our stress can trigger these “fat programs”. “We think that the body is sabotaging us or working against us, but in reality, the body is saying “How do I protect this person who’s so scared?””
For whatever reason, it struck me deeply. I had to pause the film and just cry for a while.
A little later, someone was talking about how we equate love with safety and safety with love. Our national obsession with security certainly falls into this– we think guns or more stringent laws or surveillance will make us feel safe, but I’ve long said that what we really need to be truly safe is deeper connections to our loved ones and neighbors. A community that supports us. A sense of purpose. Jon Gabriel’s method seems to really tap into this equating safety with love. He calls us to see the ways our body is trying to make us feel safe. I love that he’s approaching the body from the assumption that it loves us and wants to take care of us. Its only from this perspective that we’ll be able to actually understand it well enough to work with it to achieve health.
I want to hold a screening of this and talk more with folks about their relationships with their bodies. If you’re in the Valley area, sign up for my newsletter to find out when & where and join us!
I emerged from my sick bed with a renewed sense of purpose and vigor. I also decided that I’ve got to start running my business my way, instead of trying to do what the lists and the programs and the gurus say I’m supposed to do. I think we’re shifting now. Folks keep waiting for things to go “back to normal”, but that place doesn’t exist anymore. Its our job now to define the new “normal”. I will forge it from the heart. From a place of authenticity and alignment. From a place that looks to build the future rather than just the bottom line. How could you shift your life into the same place? Let’s walk together…