REST UP: Treat yourself with patience if you are feeling unwell.
REST UP: Treat yourself with patience if you are feeling unwell. iStock

Learning the hard way

Well, the flu season is here!

I took a major hit this past week and could barely move, let alone think coherently. Yet the world wasn't going to let that get in the way of demands on my time, resources or energy.

I found I had to become very focused on using what little energy I did have to ensure I could use it to get the best outcome for effort expended.

This is not the first time I've had this experience.

What I found myself doing was remembering when I had been going through a very tough chemo-type therapy for 12 months in 2007 and how I had to manage each day and moment with the same level of focus just to keep moving forward.

It was a good reminder of how these experiences provide the lessons and learning for our practice to become more effective and engaged human beings.

While it reminded me how far I have come in my own development, it also served to reinforce that it is a never-ending journey, as several times this week (just as during my 12-month stint) I found myself feeling frustrated, stressed and anxious. My mind wouldn't settle on one thing and seemed continually distracted by random, incomplete and fragmented thinking.

In observing myself and the feelings generated, I realised that my mind and body were responding to this virus as a threat, as it was attacking in so many places.

The brain was doing what it does so well. It was mustering internal forces to work against the threat and in doing so was diverting energy normally available for other things - like attention, sustained focus and clarity.

While that may seem an obvious thing, in becoming conscious of that, I recognised that rather than becoming concerned or anxious the best thing I could do was to accept that for the duration I was in the hands of something that had my greater good in mind, and if I allowed it to do its job, then I could assist by being relaxed, make myself as comfortable as possible and let it get on with it.

Of course, the other thing was that a visit to the doctor for support was also a very good move. You've got to acknowledge when you need help. Another lesson learnt previously.

I hope the flu season treats you gently and if it doesn't, that you treat yourself with patience.