This has been my third cold in a month .... AND it's not even winter yet!! What is going on??
I am eating right, yoga-ing, walking, meditating, focusing, socialising, balancing my life better then ever, and then
It hasn't been pretty, the pile of tissues on the floor growing higher by the day, the edges of my nostrils almost bleeding because of the dry rawness that glows a bright red, the cracked lips that come from breathing through your mouth for a week, the brain fog that slows your thinking, slows your soul. I have finally come out the other side, with a residual, partial nose block, and constant tickle that sits right there, at the pharynx, tickling away like the infernal tickle monster.
But this blog post isn't about the disgusting journey through the mucus filled adventures of one Elizabeth Wright. Nope, not at all. It is about how I, Elizabeth Wright, chose how to "breathe" through a difficult time.
(image via pinterest)
In difficult times, whether that be health, wealth, or life in general, we can often feel ourselves unravel, like a bright red thread of yarn that unwinds and unwinds and unwinds into a mass of tangle knots (those tangle knots representing our frustration, anger, and sadness, don't you know!!). This can be something as simple as the cold that I went through last week, or as catastrophic as a job loss, or a mortgage issue, or a family crisis. The tangles become so so knotted that we start to panic, becoming blind to the truth of the situation. We angst and angst, and lose sight of the end of that ball of yarn, that end becomes just another tangle and we don't see a way out.
It is at this moment that we have to make a choice.
Do I "breathe"?
Do I calm my mind and start to work through the knots a knot at a time?
Do I feed the panic?
Do I take those tangles, throw them in the air, stomp on them, smoosh them , and make them more tangled, more complicated?
As I lay in my bed on the second day of the cold, my head aching, my nose streaming, my brow firey with fever, my throat feeling like hot irons were being applied to it, I wallowed in my misery; I thought I was dying .....
Get Real!! I wasn't dying, I was simply suffering the effects of a virus that had taken hold and these effects were proof that my body was doing what it was supposed too - fighting the infection. I should have been celebrating the fact that I was having these symptoms, going 'yeah body, you rock!! With all your snot and s#@t!' So, as I lay there I took my awareness away from the misery, the boredom, and the frustration, and started to focus on the way that I was breathing.
I wasn't breathing like I normally did - through my nose, in, out, in, out. I was breathing through my mouth, and each breath in dried my lips and tongue slightly, and each breath out was warming and moist. The tickle of air on my lips was extremely noticeable, the way I had to lick my lips every second breath, and the way I had to swallow the air down every third breath. It was a miracle really! Even though I couldn't breathe through my nose like I normally did, I could still breathe, and live, and think, and survive. This cold wasn't the end of me, it was just a small facet of experience that I was having and a facet that wouldn't last very long.
I focused on my breathing and the misery, boredom, and frustration eased away, I focused on my breath and each day passed steadily, freely, each morning noticing how I was feeling better, how now I could breathe in air from my right nostril, and then the next day the left. Today I have noticed that my nose is a bit blocked again and I am breathing through my mouth again. But it just is and so I accept it.
I untangled the knots of my cold and can see the end of the yarn.
What do you have to untangle in your own life? Do you choose to untangle? Or do you choose to stay with the anger and frustration?
"Your Determination is Limitless"
- Elizabeth Wright