Beyond Illness


7ebe48e69c655cd30be46e7275723246‘Your illness is not against you, friend. The aches and pains you feel in your body are not punishments. You did nothing wrong. This day is not an indication of weakness or failure. You are receiving yet another invitation – to slow down. To rest. To take each moment as it comes. To let go of all that which is unnecessary, including perhaps your search for answers. To reassess your priorities, to remember that which is primary. To turn towards the present moment, this moment, the only moment there is, your true home, your resting place, your place of connection.

To stay rooted here, in the present scene of the movie of your life. To stop rewinding the movie into past scenes of regret, missed chances and wrong turns. And to stop fast-forwarding the movie into future scenes of pain or sorrow, further missed chances, unattainable goals or even death. To come right back here. To befriend uncertainty, rediscover the thrill of not knowing. To say YES to this moment, even if you feel like a NO. To include the NO, too.

To use your aches and pains, not be used by them; to meet the sensations in your body with gentleness and curiosity, not to resist or try to make them go away. To sink deeply into the moment; not to try to escape it – and to allow yourself to want to escape it too. To trust the intelligence of this incredible body, its extraordinary capacity to heal and deal with anything that comes its way. To admit that you are exhausted from the struggle of pretending to be a ‘me’, tired from trying to fit in, trying to say the right thing, trying to be a success in the world, trying to hold it all together, even trying not to try.

To find a place of humility, and even gratitude, amidst the rubble of the old dreams. To let go of your idea of ‘How Life Was Going To Be’, and to embrace ‘How Life Actually Is’. To rediscover a sense of sacredness, where you are, how you are.

This just may be your invitation to awakening. Drop the word ‘sickness’; see this as a path of deeper healing, beyond the physical. A calling to Truth. Always a beginning, never a defeat.’

– Jeff Foster


6 thoughts on “Beyond Illness

  1. Beautifully said, Mrs. Zen. I’ve lived with chronic pain and other health problems for over 26 years now. It took me about a year of searching, fighting, being angry, feeling scared, etc. to finally realize that I had to come to accept where I was each day and then live with that. (while still keeping myself educated about my conditions and treatment options) Some days that means being able to do something creative, or complete a chore or errand, but some days it means I stay in my adjustable bed most all of the day and take care of the flare going on in my body. That acceptance helped me to see the invitation you spoke of. It’s an invitation to a new way of life, a different outlook, an opportunity for personal growth, for living in a mindful way. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have my moments of frustration, anger and yes, self-pity…yet, they are easier to pull myself out of pretty quickly. Life can be lived in a full and satisfying way even for those of us with chronic pain and illness….it’s just different that what we knew before. I’ve grieved the parts of that life that I miss so that I can more fully live the life I do have. And there are definitley benefits…as you call them, inviations.
    I so appreciate gettilng the reinforcement, and in part the reminder, of how important these things are. Namaste, Peace and Blessings

    • Wow, thank you for sharing this. You articulate your experience so well.🙌🏼 I can relate to all of what you say, especially the grief, anger and frustration. Those of us with chronic illnesses all have days where we’re overwhelmed and over it, over trying. Jeff’s writing reminds us to surrender, stop resisting and accept the present moment as it is. It’s a beautiful reminder in mindfulness and a way to suffer less. Blessings to you friend. 😌🙏🏼🌸

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