One of the items I had the most resistance to leaving behind while on holiday in Sri Lanka was my computer. Now as I write this, by hand, I am having resistance to getting back on it. It is a refreshing reminder of how habits can change, and how malleable we are as humans. I went from feeling like my world would end with out having access to my computer, to relishing the last moments of my vacation before opening it up again.
I can also feel the clunkiness of getting back into my writing groove. Although jet lag may be playing a role as well as the remnants of a cold. I was sick on my last day in Sri Lanka. I had an Ayurvedic treatment the day before, and I woke up the following morning with a fever and the worst sinus pain I have ever felt in my life. In addition to the physical pain, I was struck by how low my mood was. I had just finished reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. An historical fiction novel about two sisters in France during World War II. I was reminded of the atrocities acted out by the Nazi’s and the horrors of the concentration camps. It struck me that even in the direst of circumstances people found the will to live. As Isabelle in the novel affirms, “You know what I learned in the camps? … They couldn’t touch my heart. They couldn’t change who I was inside. My body … they broke that in the first days, but not my heart, V.”
Here I was feeling like I couldn’t survive the pain in my head. It just goes to show that I had the luxury of being able to entertain that thought. I was also aware I was entertaining thoughts I wouldn’t normally indulge. The darkness of my mood and my unusual pessimism were curious to me. I was not scared by my irrational thinking because I knew that my outlook was being tainted by the lens of those thoughts, and I knew this perspective would not last forever. When my husband, Angus, saw how sick I was, he encouraged me to go back to the Ayurvedic doctor. I resisted because I felt like I could not move.
It is humbling to think what a two degrees Fahrenheit increase in temperature can do to my body. This made me think of what two degrees Celsius of increase in global temperature would have on the planet. Two degrees Celsius is the increase in temperature environmental policy experts say is the tipping point for catastrophic climate events. If the average global temperature remains below that, it is believed some of the worst aspects of climate change may be able to be avoided such as super droughts, mass extinctions, and extreme sea level rise. Currently the world’s temperature is .85° C higher than pre-industrial levels. John D. Sutters provides a series of special reports for CNN exploring climate change and what the importance of 2° C is.
Fortunately, Angus was able to convince me that I was capable of walking to the spa to see the doctor. She gave me herbs and a sinus treatment that significantly reduced my pain and helped me to sleep the rest of the day and night. I woke up the next morning fever free and feeling significantly better. I love how holistic medicine helps the natural healing of the body’s immune system to do it’s job. The doctor said the herbs would work, but they needed time. Luckily for me, not too much time, because I had a thirty plus hour journey back home to Los Angeles ahead of me.
So it is from LA that I write this post on New Year’s day. A friend shared this quote from Louis C. K. on Facebook:
“. . . please remember that the turning over of one year to another is a mental construct that bears no more weight than the things that keep us apart and in competitive categories as human beings. Time is not moving. You’re not losing or gaining ground. You’re not separate from “them” anymore than you’re separate from your own umbrella. It’s now, we’re us and this is here. If you’re in pain, this too shall pass. If you’re in luxury, this too shall pass. Ask an old lady how she’s doing. The internet is not real. Draw a picture on a napkin.”
It is true that the New Year and the measurement of time is a human construct. Some would say that time itself is made up. I sense this is true, and that there is a permanence beyond space and time, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun in space and time even if it is not ‘real’. As Sydney Banks said we have the divine gift of thought from which we create our reality. In the next year, may we see more fully how we are the authors of our experiences, and may we all experience the blessing of bringing the formless nature of our loving essence into form in whatever magnificent ways we choose to express ourselves.
Wishing you a 2017 (or whatever number you label it) filled with love and blessings!
Rohini Ross is a psychotherapist, a leadership consultant, and an executive coach. She helps individuals, couples, and professionals connect more fully with their true nature so they can experience greater levels of wellbeing, resiliency, and success. You can find out more about Rohini’s work on her website, rohiniross.com.