Like many people over summer, I caught a summer flu/virus. Let’s not get hung up on what it was or the name of the virus – no need to identify with it. As with any sort of discomfort or dis-ease, it’s always better when you’re on the other side of it.

I can be impatient at times, so I’m fortunate to be surrounded by teachers, guides, parents, a partner and friends who remind me often how important it is to rest when you’re unwell. If my body had a voice that used words rather than sensations, I reckon the daily conversation would have gone something like this:

Please rest. There’s nothing for you to do. I need you to fully surrender to this flu so I can heal all our cells. Did you hear me? “Rest” means lie down, close your eyes and just allow me to heal.

Oh – and can you keep me really well hydrated and feed me with nourishing foods? Thanks.

One last thing. Please watch your mindset and your self-talk while I mend your cells. I’m trying to allow the sickness to leave your system, and any negative talk, fear or worries will create resistance to this.

I can see just how loudly my body was talking to me during the worst of the illness and appreciate, more than ever, how important it is not to ignore it, if I wish to fully mend.

To approach health holistically and for the long term, you must practice awareness: awareness of your physical sensations, awareness of your intake of food and liquids, and awareness of your mindset and mental chatter.

When the body is signalling that it’s unwell or under the weather, it’s important to acknowledge it rather than ignore it. Acknowledging it takes awareness: listening to what the sensations are signalling and then responding intuitively to what your body is asking.

Once you’re attuned to what your body is saying, it’s then a matter of accepting that mending fully takes time. It’s a game of patience, slowing down the busyness and “doing”, so that new cells can form – which means new opportunities.

“Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.”

—Hippocrates

Question

When you fall ill, what would be the consequences of stopping fully and healing completely before returning to your normal pace of life?

Practice

When the body shouts out that it is under stress and needs healing, can you listen to it, as a source of knowledge of what’s best for you? Ask your body, “What do you need right now?” and honour it if it asks you to slow down, even just for a day.

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