Monday, July 20, 2009

My Routine: Learning to Live Harmoniously With My Chronically Ill Body

QuestionsImage by Oberazzi via Flickr

I went to help a neighbor today with the sprinkler controllers I own and they recently purchased, so I didn't get a chance to take some pictures to show you "how my garden grows."

So instead I am going to share with you something that I wrote a while back that seems to fit with my exploration on the topic of routine. It is a series of four questions about my relationship with my chronically ill body, which is what I am trying to accommodate with the new routine I am seeking to develop. So here it goes:

  1. On days when I have a lot of symptoms (i.e. flare-ups), what is my relationship to my body?
    Someone once told me that our bodies communicate with us in three modes: whispering, talking and shouting. So on high symptom days, I would say that my body is definitely shouting at me. I have come to see my body as a guardian angel, warning me when things are wrong, and I strive to listen when it "whispers" or "talks" to me; that is my goal. When it is shouting, well it's more of a child, so instead of getting angry, I try to comfort it and make it feel better.
  2. When I have a flare-up, what do I say to my body?
    When I first became chronically ill, I used to shout back at my body, "Stop it! Cooperate!" Now I ask it, "What are you trying to tell me?" and reassure it "Everything is going to be O.K."
  3. At what times do I have a harmonious relationship with my body?
    With practice and lots of trial and error, I have learned that when I honor my limits, adopt a more understanding approach and achieve a balance between paying attention to my symptoms and distracting myself from them, I achieve a more harmonious relationship with my body.
  4. How does it feel when I have a more harmonious relationship with my chronically-ill body?
    I feel more centered and grounded. I feel more a part of the world around me because I can participate in more activities and social events.
These questions r

My out of body experience.Image by Lighthelper :) via Flickr

emind me that the purpose of a routine is to create more days focused on what I can do and minimize the number of high symptom, flare-up days when I can't do anything at all.

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