I’ve just come back from the above scene – listening to the sea whilst watching the waves. Utterly peaceful I just let the experience wash over me and was drawn into the difference in the choppier waters on the left, from the more protected water on the right. It struck me how this was like recovering from an illness, moving from a period of turbulence and uncertainty to one of peaceful calmness where things work at a more controlled and efficient pace. I also really wanted to swim, but know that is off the cards for at least 5 weeks, when the water will be wonderfully cold.
I’m certainly in a far better state of health than a week ago. Whilst I’ve yet to take the dressings off the 3 wounds I have, I feel far stronger internally, externally and mentally. I certainly see this as an opportunity to build something from scratch, in term of my health and what I can do.
In terms of healing I’ve been focused on movement, mentality, breath, food and rest.
This has worked well so far – walking for 10 minutes last Monday, slowly and carefully, followed by breakfast and then 30 minutes of rest, where I have solely focused my mind on my body healing. In the afternoon stretching and 30 minutes of coherent breathing. Anything more vigorous felt too painful and too much for where my body currently was. Gently letting my diaphragm rise and fall, strengthening my stomach and helping my gut manage the antibiotics and residue of infection from the abscess. Alongside which this breathwork calming my body’s nervous system. Letting everything relax, rest and heal.
I repeated this pattern every day for a week – walking slightly further each day, at a pace I was comfortable with, until I managed 90 minutes on Friday at pretty much my normal pace. I’m convinced that the gradual increase in pace, coupled with focused on healing and coherent breathing have all allowed my body the space to heal, alongside the direction and motivation to do so. In fact I cannot underestimate the importance in mentally working on healing, focusing on letting your body know it is and will get better. I was listening to a recent Andrew Huberman podcast and he was discussing a recent scientific study that had shown the impact the brain can have on the body, both good and bad. This something that Joe Dispenza had clearly tapped into when using his mental focus to speed up and support his healing in hospital.
By Thursday I was able to come to the coast, which is so good to help heal. After a week of this steady work to I then felt confident enough to garden yesterday – which was brilliant as slightly more gentle movement, in different directions that all help me deliver the message to my body, you need to move and be strong. Looking back on how I felt after the operation it is an entirely different place. I’m thinking about how to gently increase physical stress, to help make me stronger, whilst not compromising my healing – rather to assist and aid it.
One thing I have pondered on is the reactions to how I heal. More than one person has told me to take things easy, or told me to be careful. Partly I guess out of concern for me causing myself further harm. However I feel the better question to ask is “How are you going to help yourself heal?” The onus being on what can you do to be healthy, as opposed to worrying about getting ill again. It’s a nuanced subtle shift in language, but one that makes a big difference. We are capable of so much when we put our minds to it. I had a long conversation about where I wanted to be after this, chasing PB’s or times. My view was to be as good as I could be, whether that was faster than before or slower not relevant – it will be what it will be. For me the important thing was to be as healthy and strong as I could get and that focus had not shifted.