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What Else?

Inspired by Kristine’s blog on the Mindfulness Associations website today I decided to take
a different approach to a virus that had taken over my body, turning it into a body I didn’t
easily recognise.

This body… usually has strength and stamina and these past days has been listless, tired. I
watch myself shuffling along breathless with every effort.

This body… usually filled with chi from my daily mindful movement energy practices of chi
yoga and tai chi, now hot with fever rather than radiating chi.

This body… usually healthy and vibrant, now causing thudding in the head, a deafness in the
ears, tightness in the chest and a hacking cough.

This body… usually well rested from good sleep, now oh so tired from lack of sleep due to
fever and coughing.

As I drop into the body in my mindfulness practice, I notice the resistance I have to this
illness. I become aware of the aching, pain, tightness, tension and tiredness as this virus
courses through my veins, chased by fighting cells from an over worked immune system.

I allowed the last line in this poem to drop in…

“And so, what else can you do
but let yourself be broken
and emptied? What else is there
but waiting in the autumn sun?”

… and I do just that. My body feels broken and empty and I take heed and comfort from the
words and just wait as the Autumn sun gently warms my body as it streams some beautiful
golden beams through the window.

And I sit and allow and take my mind into my entire body and ask it what it wants… what it
needs. And it tells me just to be calm, to be quiet and to just be. It utters gentle messages
of needing rest and that actually, all is well. It’s just doing its job, and I need to allow it the
space, time and stillness to just do that.

I drop into the warmth, the gentle ebb and flow of my breath. I follow the gentle waves of
energy moving through my body and let go. I just let go of all resistance, of all irritation, of
all wanting things to be different. Suddenly an unexpected smile reaches my face… I feel
comforted, I feel alive and I feel still. I feel kindness and compassion for this miraculous
body as it knows exactly what to do.. I just needed to listen, trust and allow.. and rest in the
process.

And so in Kristine’s words, I allowed myself to be a compassionate mess, no longer arguing
with the reality of my virus and my suffering body. I find relief in succumbing to the power
of the virus and my body’s response. And I just allow myself to be emptied and just wait.. in
this afternoon’s Autumn sun.

Jacky Seery

Jacky Seery is an MBLC Teacher, member of the Mindfulness Association and an MSc: Studies in Mindfulness graduate.

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