Unplugged to Get Rewired

At Rest 0215

This image is of EmmaRose in her favorite place—in her plush and if necessary, heated bed–practicing her favorite pastime. If you live with a feline, you are constantly reminded how integral sleep is to life.

It is the way sentient beings unplug and get rewired, which is what EmmaRose and I have been doing for almost a fortnight. It is her daily way to unplug regularly.

I am, however, a slow learner yet I have another constant teacher, just as dedicated—autoimmune disease, lupus in particular and in a lesser role, Sjogren’s syndrome.  This is my sea to sail.

Not too long ago, I wrote a post about not unplugging, not ever coming to shore. I believed I could bully my way through any tempest—I was that kind of sailor–but that is not the law of the sea nor is it true self care. It is dangerous sailing, selfish and thoughtless.

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Self care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship

of the only gift I have,

the gift I was put on earth to offer others.

Parker Palmer

Good stewardship requires a daily course adjustment of how to offer my gift without the dualistic thinking of there is only one way. Dualism exacts quite a price for in choosing one way, another way is excluded. Better to steer between the two for balance. They are within the same sea, co-existing with one another.

I was reminded of the inherent imbalance in dualistic thinking as I came across a lively Facebook group discussion on healthcare, specifically alternative versus traditional medicine. Here healthcare is a civil war with both groups firmly entrenched in their respective camps.

There is no one and only one way to health for all but for each of us there is a way to our best health. It may be a balance of both camps or it may lie more within traditional rather than alternative medicine or vice versa.

But without the benefit of learning what each camp offers, there is no balanced approach to one’s best health. In balance is wholeness and without it, we are aflame with blame. Our essence is diminished.

I do not haunt these discussion healthcare boards as I once did but I am reminded of my own imbalance in my approach to my best health. I am fortunate in having experienced the benefits of both camps but I do not know that I have expressed that in a broader perspective.

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And while my preference for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) remains the course I steer, it is not without the benefits of traditional medicine. For traditional medicine continues to teach me about the western perspective on autoimmune disease. In turn, that perspective broadens my TCM options.

Wholehearted living is not a onetime choice.

It is a process. In fact, I believe it

is the journey of a lifetime.

Brene Brown

Good stewardship just may the journey of a lifetime, easy to drift off course or become becalmed. And then, there are the storms of life, much like the one I am in now, tossed about, swamped from time to time, but not run aground or sunk.

Some who read this blog also know chronic illness. We sail a similar sea as we chart our course anew for storm or to catch the wind for full sail. When we dock for a rest, we learn from our days at sea. We share our catch.

We know what we offer is the best we have to give, and that it only lasts a short time. We also know the impermanence of the sea requires we open our sails to the wind when and as it is given, and when it is denied to rest with a steady hand on the tiller.

Here are some of my favorite resources: Toni Bernhard’s How to Be Sick seems a guide for any storm as is Jan Chozen Bays, M.D.’s Mindful Eating. And through every storm I practice meditation and a gentle yoga flow.

Till we meet again.

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13 thoughts on “Unplugged to Get Rewired

  1. These photos made my day, before I even read your lovely words. 🙂

    I love what you shared about learning from traditional medicine, and find it sad that many people fail to consider or learn from schools of thought they disagree with.

    I really try to understand both/all perspectives–health and otherwise. It isn’t always easy, but it always helps. I much prefer holistic approaches and practitioners–those that embrace, or at least explore, all available options. There’s such openness there.

    Thanks for another thought-provoking post!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words, August, much appreciated. I could not agree more with you for as you say it is only in understanding all perspectives that we gain knowledge, something to share. It is not easy for some of it simply rubs wrong but I have learned that is when I must pay the most attention. Thoughtful words as always, August.
      Karen

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  2. I so agree with you in that entrenchment in a mindset breeds stagnation rather than a solution. I love that you’re open to a variety of roads as you travel this journey. You may just blaze a new path that combines others–and there are those who will follow.

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    1. And tomorrow’s post looks at mindset a bit more closely for the reasons you state.

      As a planet, we seem caught up in dualistic thinking and set in mindsets that constantly cause friction. It probably has always been this way but now that technology connects us so immediately we meet ourselves coming and going…. 😉 It is quite a journey for me, and truly, I hope to find something to offer others as they travel. Thanks so much, Kay!
      Karen

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  3. the dog picture reminded me of the famous zen koan, “does a dog have buddha nature?” and the master’s response being “MU!” – which means ‘no.’ perhaps he would have reconsidered if he had seen this picture.

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    1. Love the story, Craig! To me, a dog is buddha nature naturally, so to speak. 😉 As for this lovely reminder of that, I am grateful to a dear friend for sending this lovely gift to me. I keep it in my view.
      Thanks so much, Craig.
      Karen

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  4. I like the idea of stewardship of the body and I try to practice it, mostly by keeping my body in motion as much as a writer can. While being a good steward by walking this body around, the sentient me enjoys the ride and the view as I watch the rest of the living world going on about its business. The balance between self and all other life is also a part of stewardship; understanding how small the self is in comparison to the ongoing enterprise of life. Insignificance is a good practice.

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  5. I find “unplugging” myself to be quite the challenge as well. I’ve been trying to do it more often because I’m starting to realize that always going doesn’t always equate to always being at your best. I think I’d prefer the latter.

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