The power of gratitude

I spent the most part of last week lying on the sofa trying to fight off a virus. I had picked up a flu-like virus from my husband who somehow managed to recover within a couple of days. Initially I wasn’t too put out by it. If anything I saw it as a good excuse to rest and catch up on some of my favourite TV programmes. But the virus seemed to like this chilled atmosphere too and decided to out-stay its welcome! 

 

After three days of convalescence and not much improvement, I started to notice some fearful thoughts, wondering whether I had caught something more sinister than a winter bug. I also started to worry and procrastinate about whether or not to cancel my sessions with my clients the following day. My mood started to dip too, and some old gremlins were showing their heads. I started to get rather cross with my body for its failure to recover swiftly. I then started to feel resentful of my husband for bringing this bug to our home and not being more cautious (I had quarantined him to the guest room but it was still his fault, obviously!...). When blaming my husband didn’t work, I started to feel sorry for myself, creating a fertile ground for the negative bias of my mind to remind me (rather effortlessly) of some of my own failures and inadequacies and how lucky other people were and how obviously unlucky I was, and so on and so on and so on… 

 

Until in a moment of clarity, I became aware of the unfolding of this inner drama and decided to cut it short by practicing a body scan. Then my voice of reason re-emerged... finally.  By staying present, I started to sense how hard my body was actually working to recover, and realised that my self-pitying and blaming was only depleting it of some vital energy. So whilst I kept sneezing and coughing and aching in my meditation practice, I also decided to remember gratitude. And then something shifted. 

 

I genuinely became thankful to my body for trying so hard to heal and for being a good body overall. I felt grateful for my husband’s choice to work from home an extra day to look after me. I felt thankful for being able to take some time off work to give my body time to heal; and to be able to rest in the safety and warmth of my home. I felt thankful for feeling the warmth of my little dog’s body curled up against me. I felt grateful for the cheeky text that my sister sent me to cheer me up. And I felt thankful for the good wishes that my clients sent me when I had to cancel their session. And soon I noticed a growing feeling of resilience and, dare I say it, I felt lucky.