When You Are Sick

It all started with a “tickle” in the back of the throat. Then came the runny nose. Pretty soon, it was a full-fledged cold.

I’m not going to get into specifics about my cold (yuck!), but I want to invite you into a little exploration of the lesson of sickness.

Don’t worry; this won’t hurt a bit.

A week doesn’t pass where I don’t answer at least a few questions from someone – a client, friend or even a relative – about how to increase their intuition. I give my usual answers (meditation, learn a system, etc.), until the one that usually makes them stop in their tracks: listen to their own body. Believe it or not, the human body is an incredible intuition alert system, and, when it comes to sickness, the body can be a living opportunity to teach us volumes about ourselves and our relationships.

My own sickness had plenty to teach me, especially about spiritual identity and the role of spiritual practices in my life.

How did I get to that realization?  Let’s back up a bit.

Sickness is a sign of something out of sync or dis-ease in the human system. Notice I said “system,” not “body.” As human beings we are a composition of body and soul together, so dis-ease is not just a body problem; it can be a soul/mind problem as well.

Now that doesn’t mean that every physical problem can be directly traced to mind/soul problem. There are books that create numerous connections between body problems and life issues. These systems are interesting, and certainly have validity in some cases, but I don’t see a 100% correlation between the two. Sometimes bodily sickness simply happens.

Regardless of whether the sickness is a sign of deeper mind/soul problems, our response to that sickness is the same: we stop. The body wants to stop. We respond to that desire by attending to the needs of the body, making sure that we get appropriate medical care, adequate rest, and proper nutrition for efficient healing.

While attending to the body, it is also important to attend to the mind/soul as well. Many times there is a lesson or two that we are being taught in our sickness, which couldn’t be learned at any other time. This is the beginning of “hermit time.”

How we use our “hermit time” in sickness is very important. There are really three ways that we can use this time. First, we could use it as “poor-me” time, bemoaning our illness, lost time at work, our own personal suffering, and finding ways to ensure that everyone around us feels our pain in as many ways as possible. As we pursue this tactic, we generally feel our illness for a considerably longer time.

Second, we could use our hermit time as “extended work time.” We could get caught up on all that extra work, start a few more projects, and fee like we’ve accomplished a great deal. Of course, we also end up feeling worse for a longer period of time.

Finally, we could use our hermit time as time to listen. After all, our bodies are finally in a holding pattern, in a sort of desert where the heart can finally speak to us without being interrupted by the next urgent task on our list.

“I want to listen,” you say, “but how?” You certainly don’t want to fall into self-delusion where your mind wanders into strange territory, and you also don’t want to miss important insights.

There are four steps to listening to the heart during your hermit time:

  1. Get quiet
  2. Ask what the lesson/problem is
  3. Listen for the answer
  4. Treat the answer as the beginning of a conversation with the heart

1. Get quiet. To get quiet, I mean really quiet. No electronic devices. No phones. No Facebook. No television, Netflix, or movies. No radios or mp3’s. No books (you thought you could get away with that one, eh?). In other words, no input from outside. Picture yourself as being stranded in a literal desert, with no connections to the outside world. You cannot hear your heart when you’re distracted by everything else around you.

2. Ask what the lesson/problem is. Ask your heart what the actual problem or lesson is that you’re supposed to learn. Keep this very simple. Your heart is the core of who you are, your True Self, that contains an immense amount of wisdom. It is also your intimate companion through life. Ask this wise friend your deepest question, expecting the perfect response.

3. Listen for the answer. When you listen for the answer, pay attention to everything: your thoughts, feelings, even your memories, as they emerge in your consciousness. As you listen, disregard the first two or three answers that come up; they are often answer from the ego, trying to derail you from the work of genuine growth. If one of those answers happens to be the important one, fear not; it will come up again in a few moments!

At this point, it is helpful to have a notebook handy for insights as you receive them. If you rely solely on your memory, you will probably forget about 30-60% of what follows. So take good notes!

4. Treat the answer as the beginning of a conversation with the heart. This is where people usually don’t go. Go off the beaten track, and explore the answer further. Start talking to your heart, and also to Source/Higher Power/God about the answer you’ve intuitively received. (Yes, this is your intuition at work!) Have a very simple, loving and honest conversation about what it means for you, and how you can apply the lessons in your life. As in the previous step, pay attention to thoughts, feelings and even memories as they emerge; they are often veiled responses in your conversation. Yes, this does take some time, but I promise you: the conversation is worth it!

The result of this process is a conversation and insights that either set you on a new path in some part of your life, or fine-tunes the path you are walking right now. Sometimes, you may even find that your sickness will last a shorter time, since the lesson has been learned.

Every sickness is an opportunity for growth. The next time you get a cold, or your body is telling you to get some rest, try the approach I’ve outlined to get the most out of it.

Don MDonMarlette(558x800)arlette is, among many other things, a member of the No Limits Life team.  His unique blend of psychic insight, mediumship and practical wisdom guide spiritual practitioners and everyday people through the perils of everyday getting by to build lives that feel like they are singing their heartsong.  Learn more at www.nolimitslifeinstitute.com

 

Holiday Hell – A Survival Guide

Yes, the holiday season is here.  Gift lists are starting (or getting longer!), the sales are on their way, and the hustle and bustle is just around the corner.  Stores are already bursting at the seams with holiday cheer, and the constant beeping of the credit card reader can be heard long into the night.

Wait.  Can we just skip this and get right to January?

Nope.

No way.

You see, I think this is the best time of year for learning how to be totally present (no pun intended).  To be fully and completely present to yourself, others, and the world around you.  The chaos is instructive.

The other 10 months of the year are usually spent lying to ourselves that we’re calm, peaceful, collected, and connected.  We’ve read the books, done the 30-day meditation marathons, and felt what we believe to be real spiritual progress.

Then, when November and December roll around, it all flies apart.  We discover that we’re far from the Golden Gates of Nirvana, and much closer to the Flaming Doors of Neurosis.  We’re frazzled, frustrated, and stressed, longing for some moment of peace and calm.

So let’s be proactive and actually take some steps toward peaceful living right now, so that the holiday season can be at least a little less crazy and more calm, less traumatic and more tranquil.  Yes, it will take a little self-discipline and work, but what in life doesn’t require a little giving of ourselves?

At heart, I’m still a numerologist with a touch of OCD, so here is a list of five things you can do for yourself to make the holidays more pleasant for yourself and those close to you.

 

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Photo by Dingseyu Lei via Unsplash

 

1. Meditate. Every. Single. Day. My friends and clients hear me say this over and over, and I will never stop saying it. If you’re not taking time to stop and sit in silence, you’re basically shooting yourself in the foot, spiritually speaking.  Take every day and actually sit in silence for at least 10 minutes.  Pay attention to your breathing.  When a thought comes by, an emotion bubbles up, or a memory pops in to say hello, gently return to the awareness of the breath again.

Now some people love to use apps to meditate.  Take some advice from a friend: if you’re going to use an app, use a timer.  That’s it.  Meditation is not about following words, images, and directed goals; it’s about sitting in real silence and confronting that False Self head-on without flinching.  When we meditate, we let go of illusion and embrace reality as it is right now in the present moment.  Don’t take the easy route with a nice-sounding recording.  Jump into silence.  If there are noises around you, remember that every noise is a little Buddha, helping you to stay with the silence.

Too busy?  Make some time anyway.  If you can’t make 10 minutes happen to meditate, how can you make 10 minutes for a heart-to-heart with the person you love, or 10 minutes of high-quality work, or even 10 minutes of good downtime that restores and renews you?  If you make time for silence, silence will make time for you.   Your time during the day will actually lengthen. Trust me.

 

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Photo by Andrew Neel via Unsplash 

 

2.Get things done. Again, simple, but difficult at the same time. Last-minute shopping is at the heart of the retail world during the holiday season.  Granted, they put all the holiday decorations out at the beginning of October, but somehow, we don’t start shopping until December 20th.

Get your shopping and buying done now.  When you procrastinate, it’s not doing anyone any good.  You get stressed, you pass on that stress to others, and they feed it right back to you.  Is all that high blood pressure, temper flare-ups, and stressed relationships worth it?  Probably not the best example of holiday cheer!

Yes, I understand  there are sales you can wait for, but you are a smart shopper to begin with, and you know where the best deals already are!  You could also do what I do: I shop in February for Christmas presents.  Most of the time, I get my holiday shopping done in February and March, with my “rush time” in June and July.  Less stress.  Fewer crowds.  Cheaper prices.

If you are a chronic procrastinator, put off procrastination!  Decide to procrastinate after the holiday season, and decide to get everything done sooner than ever before.  Once the holiday season is over, you can go back to procrastinating again.

3. Daily reminders. It’s helpful to remember why you celebrate the holidays. If we

deniz-altindas_reminders_holiday-hell

 

Photo by Deniz Altinidas via Unsplash

 

understand what we’re doing, and the kind of holiday experience we want to manifest, everything seems to fall into place much more easily.

Set up a special area in your bedroom or family room with special tokens and reminders of
why you celebrate the holidays in the first place.  As you begin your day, stop by that special place and just be there for a minute or two.

Think about how you want the holidays to feel.  How your relationships will be experienced.  The sounds and sights that inspire you during the holiday season.  Really see, hear, and feel these things.  Then get on with your day.

4. Post-holiday treat for yourself. After the holiday season is over, we usually feel exhausted, no matter how much we’ve prepared, pre-planned, and pre-bought.  We need some time to re-charge our batteries and restore our spirit.

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Photo by Kimson Doan via Unsplash

 

Set up a spa day for yourself.  Go to a special restaurant and movie/play with that special someone. Set up a party with friends, so you can laugh and relax.  Whatever you choose, set it up now, before the season begins. Then you will be assured of some proper relaxation and restoration after the holiday season ends.

5. Holiday shopping by the Numbers. 

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Photo by Austris Augusts via Unsplash 

 

Okay, I wasn’t going to write this last one, but I got the “pull” that someone was needing this.  Here’s a quick holiday shopping guide if you’re stuck on what to buy someone for the holidays.

 

There are two ways you can use this.  If you know their Life Path number (the total of the person’s month, day and four-digit year of birth, added together until you get a single digit), then use that number.  If you only have their name, go with the first vowel of their first name (A=1, E=5, I=9, O=6, U=3).

  1. Practical items. Tools, utensils, earrings, sunglasses. Electronics are a plus.
  2. Cameras, framed pictures or photos, scrapbook, handmade gifts, candlelight dinner for two..
  3. Artistic and personalized items. Arts/crafts items, stained glass, special books. Sports equipment.
  4. Sports equipment, bath oils, perfumes/colognes, music, manicure, spa gift certificate.
  5. Diaries, calendars, calligraphy pens . Books and DVDs. Telephone accessories.
  6. Home decorations, music, jewelry, essential oils. Anything made of copper.
  7. Electronic gadgets, movie tickets/gift cards, spirituality books/recordings. Anything unique/unusual.
  8. Autobiographies, antiques. Something classy and/or historical.
  9. Travel items, gym memberships, exercise items, exotic gifts or travel destinations. First-aid kit.

 

DonMarlette(558x800)

Don Marlette is, among many other things, a member of the No Limits Life team.  His unique blend of psychic insight, mediumship and practical wisdom guide spiritual practitioners and everyday people through the perils of everyday getting by to build lives that feel like they are singing their heartsong.  Learn more at http://www.nolimitslife.guru