Category Archives: meditate

I will float

 

Yesterday, I took on one of the most challenging tasks for those of us who live with chronic illness. I rested. There’s more to this than meets the eye; I actively engaged in resting. When I walked past my desk, I glared at the disorderly piles of unopened mail and paid one bill online because I knew it was due. I answered a couple of emails, after which I rested. I laid down after breakfast, and again after lunch, and after supper.

The signals to do so had been gathering strength over the last few days. Going to bed tired and waking up tired. Turning the corner from my bed to the bathroom at night, I had to hang onto my walker for fear of losing balance. While scraping the yogurt out of my bowl at breakfast, my left hand felt rubbery. Something was squeezing my upper left arm, I will call it MS. None of these symptoms are acceptable to me. Add to this list: grumpiness. Quietly, in my own head, I found fault with everything. Combined with the tiredness that I could not relieve myself of, I decided after breakfast to call my friend and postpone our luncheon date for a few days.

Actively engaging in rest requires that I shut off my mind and relax. Trusting that rest and even better, sleep will bring back some energy and quiet the symptoms that have been bothering me. This is what I call “an MS day”. A day when I take on resting as something I must “do”.

And so I go to rest. Lie down on top of my bed cover and stretch! Wiggle my toes. Give my lower back a break. Close my eyes and breathe. Breathe in. Breathe out. Remember those breathing exercises? Breathe in…2…3…4… hold…2…3…4… breathe out 2…3…4… hold 2…3…4… In 2…3…4… hold…2…3…4… out…2…3…4… hold… 2…3… 4… Turn on my side and sigh. The breeze from the window smells fresh and cools my skin. Summer wind… I hear rustling leaves and imagine whitecaps on waves. Will my teenage son and his friends at the Cove be snorkeling with waves cresting? Close your eyes and breathe. Listen… bird song and traffic noise. When will the boys be back from snorkeling? Hear a car squealing to a stop. My car’s brakes need looking after. I’ll call the mechanic tomorrow… Breathe…. Breathe in… 2…3…4… Hold… 2…3…4… Out… 2…3…4… Hold… 2… 3…4… In… 2…3…4… A door opens in the next room… young deep voices mumble… heals stamp the entrance and velcro straps are undone. The boys are back! I wonder, will they hang their wet clothes? But, I’m not getting up. I am resting… breathing…

Stubbornly, I lie on my back and close my eyes. Trying to ignore… Choosing to trust. Some days I can rest. Some days I do shut off my mind. And those days, I float… and breathe… quietly…