martha dawson

errant inspiration

the extraordinary lives in the ordinary

stepping back into my life

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I’ve been sick.

I’ve experienced bone melting exhaustion with the added insult of insomnia, a fever, an inability to focus and a digestive tract that has undergone numerous redesigns none of them pleasant or efficient. 

All of my remaining perceptual markers were erased. Work stopped. Reading books, the sensation of hunger, watching movies, making the bed, writing essays, getting dressed and feeding the squirrels had all vanished. Even the pleasure of morning coffee went bye-bye. My life was reduced to my most basic needs, and sometimes I had to choose between them because the mere act of opening my eyes took a major feat of concentration. I am recovering. The last remaining symptom I am grappling with is a lack of steady energy. I require 9 to 11 hours of sleep each night  and on occasion still need a 1 to 2 hour nap during the day. Last week I began easing my way back into work which I missed dearly, and it also marked the first time taking out the trash made it to the top of the How to Spend My Energy Today List since 29 December when I first fell ill. I keep pushing myself a little further each day.

It is a humbling place to be. 

I wasn’t living the life of a daredevil. My bubble consisted of my cat and one friend who took me to get food every two to three weeks and go for a ride. It was not a big bubble, but now I have joined the growing ranks of people who get their groceries delivered therefore sealing my bubble completely for the next few months. I do not want to be sick like that again nor do I want to be responsible for making someone else ill. Thankfully my friends and daughter are excellent at phone visiting and I can continue to work by phone.

The illness did come bearing gifts.

The first one occurred way back in November when I finally listened to the insistent prodding of my intuition to further stock up my freezer and cupboards with more food. I was resistant to this particular message since I have no affinity for bunker mentality and my pantry held more food than it ever had in the past, but then I was bombarded with serendipitous signs including an unexpected windfall that actually came with directions that it must be spent stocking up groceries. OK, OK! I got to work and stuffed the kitchen. Now I know why my inner voice kept on poking me in such an annoying way! That stockpile is still providing me with healthy, nutritious food that I would not have had the energy to make during the illness and recovery. A heartfelt thank you to all that made that happen!

I learned to receive with more grace. I have felt well cared for by beings in the physical and spirit realms even without the benefit of seeing people in person. People have lovingly checked in with me by phone and email. My daughter sent her love accompanied by beautiful, daily photographs she would take on her walks. Others dropped off outside my door beautiful flowers, elderberry syrup, protein drinks, and the like to keep my mind and body afloat, and Freyja, my feline companion, was very generous with her furry version of love. Those in the non-physical realms never left my side. My spirit guide did tandem breathing with me for several hours so I could transcend the intense digestive pain that began this whole journey and would keep me company when sleep was elusive. My Grandad and Gammie were my cheerleaders gently pushing me so I could brush my teeth or feed the cat. The biggest surprise from the spirit realm came from a client’s brother on the other side. The three of us have been working together regularly for the past year, and he showed up and offered me personalized healing and loving kindness that left me in tears. I have never received such a gift from someone else’s family in spirit. The very next morning I awoke with the feeling that some heavy poison had been taken from my body, and I began to heal. There are no words for the immense gratitude I feel, but know that I hold you all in my heart.

My daily life was cleared of everything but the bare minimum so I now have the opportunity to consciously choose what I want to bring back into my life and what I would like to leave behind. Trickier than you might think, but worth the effort. Habitual behaviour does not tend to leave the party voluntarily. It frequently needs to be booted out the door. Sometimes repeatedly. I can report that the Hurry Up Voice is either dead (One can only hope!) or in a coma and my Pollyanna Pinafore doesn’t fit quite so well anymore. I am still an optimist. I’m just not minimizing or whitewashing the difficult or painful aspects of situations and people’s behaviour so much anymore. As it was pointed out to me by my spirit guide, Chronic optimism is like putting lipstick on a pig’s asshole. You can pretend it’s a mouth, but it’s still going to spew shit. She has a gift for knowing how to make a point stick with me.

I set an intention a couple of months ago to release the armour I had built around my heart to protect me from further hurt because I wanted to experience my whole emotional truth. Apparently the most efficient way to accomplish this was to be left with no mental or physical energy to sustain said armour or distract myself. All my sensitivities were heightened. I found Miss Unforgiving Perfectionism and her sister, Perpetual Atonement, hiding behind the couch and their insipid friend, Idiot Compassion, cowering in the linen closet. I’ll get to them later or maybe they will scurry out when Chronic Optimism is evicted and I am left with the well honed tool of true optimism that sees the light at the end of the tunnel without trying to endrun the challenging, stinky, messy bits. There’s important information in that manure pile and I can make better choices when I am not trying to ignore a portion of reality because it makes me uncomfortable, sad, resentful, hurt, disappointed, impatient, judgemental, or spitting mad!

And even though I would not wish to experience this illness again, look what I would have missed out on if it had not knocked on my door.  

From my heart to yours,


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