Breathe and be still…doesn’t seem like a hard thing to do, does it?
I’m home on day six of a brutal battle with bronchitis (try saying that three times fast – especially as you’re trying to get a breath between coughing sieges!). I am exhausted from nights of moments of fitful sleep interrupted by hours of gagging, wheezing fits of coughing that sound like they should be accompanied by the appearance of a mutilated lung birthed from the respiratory trauma. Yes, I’ve been to urgent care where even the medical personnel showed appropriate interest and concern in the strangled sounds that came from me between trying to move around and take a breath. After the appropriate tests and x-rays, and more than one consult with the radiologist to confirm that it wasn’t another bout of pneumonia (a plague of past years of not taking care of myself and listening to my body when it was sick), I was sent home with medications and inhalers and told to rest. And so, I find myself on day six of blearily moving from couch to bed with ever-present drink in hand, trying to stay in the sweet spot of getting enough air into my lungs to take a minimum breath without triggering an onslaught of coughing spasms that have already pulled abdominal muscles tense from the effort of keeping my abused lungs contained in my chest.
Ironically, I think I picked up my virus of misery at a women’s retreat I attended last week. Both the instructor and the participant who sat next to me were visibly sick during the weekend that focused on being present and mindful in your life. I was drawn to the opportunity to be immersed in slowing down and focusing on life issues close to my heart. Little did I know that my life lessons were to be practiced AFTER the retreat ended.
Breathe and be still…it seems to be an ongoing effort in my life. The struggle to stay firmly rooted in the present, not getting pulled to past regrets or future worries. The hard journey of breathing and clearing your mind so you can fully inhabit your present. That’s where I find myself on day six of a brutal battle with bronchitis. I am focused on breathing and being still. It’s a good way to live life…minus the bronchitis!