LEARN­ING THE HARD WAY

THOSE MO­MENTS WHEN WE STRUG­GLE PHYS­I­CALLY CAN PRO­VIDE US WITH IM­POR­TANT LIFE LESSONS

Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | MIND - MIND YOU WORDS: NICK BENNETT

Well, the flu sea­son is here. I took a ma­jor hit this past week and could barely move, let alone think co­her­ently. Yet the world wasn’t go­ing to let that get in the way of de­mands on my time, re­sources or en­ergy.

I found I had to be­come very fo­cused on us­ing what lit­tle en­ergy I did have to en­sure I could use it to get the best out­come for ef­fort ex­pended.

This is not the first time I’ve had this ex­pe­ri­ence.

What I found my­self do­ing was re­mem­ber­ing when I had been go­ing

through a very tough chemo-type ther­apy for 12 months in 2007 and how I had to man­age each day and mo­ment with the same level of fo­cus just to keep mov­ing for­ward.

It was a good re­minder of how these ex­pe­ri­ences pro­vide the lessons and learn­ing for our prac­tice to be­come more ef­fec­tive and en­gaged hu­man be­ings.

While it re­minded me how far I have come in my own devel­op­ment, it also served to re­in­force that it is a never-end­ing jour­ney, as sev­eral times this week ( just as dur­ing my 12-month stint) I found my­self feel­ing frus­trated, stressed and anx­ious. My mind wouldn’t set­tle on one thing and seemed con­tin­u­ally dis­tracted by ran­dom, in­com­plete and frag­mented think­ing.

In ob­serv­ing my­self and the feel­ings gen­er­ated, I re­alised that my mind and body were re­spond­ing to this virus as a threat, as it was at­tack­ing in so many places.

The brain was do­ing what it does so well. It was mus­ter­ing in­ter­nal forces to work against the threat and in do­ing so was di­vert­ing en­ergy nor­mally avail­able for other things – like at­ten­tion, sus­tained fo­cus and clar­ity.

While that may seem an ob­vi­ous thing, in be­com­ing con­scious of that, I recog­nised that rather than be­com­ing con­cerned or anx­ious the best thing I could do was to ac­cept that for the du­ra­tion I was in the hands of some­thing that had my greater good in mind, and if I al­lowed it to do its job, then I could as­sist by be­ing re­laxed, make my­self as com­fort­able as pos­si­ble and let it get on with it.

Of course, the other thing was that a visit to the doc­tor for sup­port was also a very good move. You’ve got to ac­knowl­edge when you need help. An­other les­son learnt pre­vi­ously.

I hope the flu sea­son treats you gen­tly and if it doesn’t, that you treat your­self with pa­tience.

Nick Bennett is a fa­cil­i­ta­tor and coach at mind­saligned.com.au

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