Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Lessons Learned from the Flu

Here it is flu season, and for the first time in years, I've caught the darned thing. Like most people, I hate to be sick, and so my first impulse at any sign of disease is to ignore it, which of course, doesn't work. This time, I'm choosing to pay attention. Here's what I'm learning from the flu:

1. Ignoring illness is like ignoring a child: the more you try to pretend it doesn't exist, the more aggressive it will become. Keep working right through your fever, and the fever will go sky high. Stick to your routine, and you soon won't be able to. Instead, whenever you get sick, treat your illness as you would a needy child, giving it love, attention, and pampering--or else!

2. If you can't take time out in your life to heal, then your life probably needs some healing. If you really have that much pressure, if taking days off creates problems--it's time to rethink your life.

3. When you have only the tiniest bit of energy because of high fever and malaise, notice what things you feel relieved to bypass. Those are the things you probably need to drop or change in your life. Are you relieved that you're too sick to call a certain person? Relieved that you don't have to do certain chores, or go to work? Pay attention!

4. Listen to the rhythm of the disease. Don't tell your illness how long it can last so that it conforms to your schedule. Illness is here to tell you that your schedule needs changing, so that you can rest. Let the illness play out in it's own time--although you can certainly introduce healthful routines to cut short it's visit.

5. Befriend the illness--don't fight against it like it's the enemy. Make sure to ask it what it wants to tell you. Your illness really does have a message for you. It might be: eat better, or rest more, or give up your friendship with Alvin, or find a new job. If like me, you get the flu, ask yourself--what is really congesting me, inside?

Hopefully, you'll stay healthy all season, but if you don't, I hope this helps you find the blessings hidden even in the flu.

Best wishes, Hiyaguha, The Life Change Coach

1 comment:

Dorothea "Dee" Buckingham said...

Ah, we spent 2.5 weeks of our 3.5 weeks vacation in Hawaii in bed with the flu. We were not so happy to miss our grandson's T-ball game, and just "hang out" and watch him having fun.

Yes, we did get flu shots. Yes, both Jack and I flew home, had a week of good health then...zap, it came back. The boomerang was eve worse than the first round of flu. I'm still dragging and you are so right. I couldn't do a lot in Hawaii--publishers, research, interviews, visit, and I am not so sad about a good number of those things!