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.
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.
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.
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.
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.