When we are sick with a cold or flu, have bronchitis or some other infection that makes us feel yucky, we know what you need to do, right? Lots of rest, lots of fluids and warm soothing broths and soups that are easy to digest. Most of us know this. And many of us fight the process, don’t we? “I don’t have time to be sick right now.”
I hear it all the time. One more: email to send, day at work, client that we can fit in before we rest. So often when we feel crappy, we wait until we can bear it no longer before we throw in the towel and crawl under those covers. Yet that is what our bodies need the most. They need to be laying horizontal, with all the pressure off, so we can fall into that deep state of relaxation or sleep, where our bodies naturally heal themselves. Our bodies naturally heal themselves. All the time. What they really want from us is simple: permission and participation and a little bit of stillness.
Why is she telling me all of this, you might be thinking? I know this stuff, so what’s the point in writing it? Well, there are a few good purposes for me to be sharing this with you. First. No matter how much we “know” something, we need reminders – something that activates the knowing so we can actualize the doing – of whatever it is. The breathing, the resting, the receiving, the allowing. All of these things we know, and we need to reactivate them all the time so we can embody them.
The real purpose that I write to you is to talk about permission, participation and stillness. I have noticed the last word, stillness, to be an interesting one. We aren’t really accustomed to being still, but once we understand that the body heals itself well when we are still, it seems worth it to figure out how to call this in to our lives. One of the best ways to try this is to sit for 3 minutes at a time. Just three minutes. You can offer 3 minutes to this. It takes longer than 3 minutes to sip a cup of coffee so I have faith that you can all do this successfully. Sitting is only one way to explore stillness. It happens to be the way that gets the most attention, but it’s not the only way to get there.
You can practice it in the shower, while laying in child’s pose, standing and swaying back and forth, or by walking slowly in a pattern or even a straight line. (I do believe the ancients knew this and that is one of the reasons for the creation and participation in labyrinth walks.)The first thing to do is just give yourself permission to try it. That will help your body and your brain to come together and start to understand that you want to begin something new (or revisit something in a new way). And the next piece is participation.
To participate in something, we simply must show up. Be there, at a certain time and hang out for what happens. The best way to participate is to show up, and to keep showing up. We know that anything worth doing is done more than once, right? So practice the stillness for 3 minutes, a few times a week and then more often. Put a reminder in your phone and commit to it. Ask your partner to meet you after work and do it together. Make a cup of morning tea and do it. You will notice something about those 3 minutes. If you give yourself permission, and allow yourself to participate – the three minutes will turn into something else. You might realize something more than you knew before. And it can be so easy. Permission. Participation. Stillness. You.
Loving you all ~ Brighid