Cultivating Practices In Challenging Moments 

like a lot of people, i have been super sick over the past two weeks. i came down with the flu on thanksgiving day, which was accompanied by a violent cough. it has been rough! i coughed so hard that i burst a blood vessel on my right vocal chord, which has caused me to have to reschedule shows and adhere to strict doctors orders of complete vocal rest… no singing, no talking. obviously, for someone who uses their voice for a living, this diagnosis and prescription can be a special kind of hell. i’ve had this happen once before, a long time ago, in my early 20’s and i do remember it being excruciating. i recall writing on a white board for 2 weeks in order to communicate. thank god for technology! we have come a long way and this time around, i have found a text to talk app that will speak for me, which is making the experience a little easier and amusing, at least. 

however, this go round is not the hell that i remember it being all those years ago. i’m actually enjoying not talking and i’m much more surrendered to the process of healing, which speaks to the massive amount of growth that has taken place, internally. hallelujah for wisdom! 

when i started getting sick, i began to look for the lessons within the downtime i have been forced to take and there have been many. i have learned to cultivate a practice in these challenging moments of looking for the gifts within the mess. if we focus our attention on what the universe is wanting to show us through our experiences, the gifts and deeper wisdom does reveal itself. so, i thought i would share a few nuggets of goodness i am discovering during this time of deep rest and surrender…

    1.    fucking surrender!…
boy, do i LOVE to resist, persist and push through just about anything. even in times of illness i will continue to plan and do. rest is CHALLENGING for me, but i have made it a practice. yes, rest as a practice. i’ve been taking more naps during the day when i am tired instead of reaching for more caffeine. i use herbs to help my nervous system wind down at night and i go to bed around 8pm. yes, i am a full on grandma! i’ve made rest a priority. when i’ve been forced to lay my ass on the couch in the past due to illness, it has been an excruciating process, but because i have been in the habit of practicing rest, this time, i have been much more surrendered to the process of recovery. 

and when it comes to my voice and the shows i have had to reschedule, i have surrendered into the knowing that i will heal and return stronger because i prioritized myself and my health and am giving my body what it desperately needs in this moment. and i trust that my fans understand and support my humanity and my healing and only want the best for me. trust me, this is a new dance, a new level of “your will, not mine,” but it’s one i am committed to. there’s a softer way to navigate this world and i am discovering it as i go. 

    2.    new ways to wind down…
i enjoy my glass of wine in the evening. and like a lot of us, it’s become a habit, a mindless one. being sick has forced me to bring more mindfulness to this part of my life. i’ve been on heavy meds to help suppress my cough and wine has not been on the menu. still, around 5pm, i am in need of finding a ritual to start to wind down for the evening, something to help my nervous system move into more of a parasympathetic state and hey, i love the ritual of an evening beverage. mainly, i’ve been sipping on copious cups of onion, apple and cinnamon tea… don’t knock it til you try it! it’s great for the immune system. still, i’ve been in need of finding something a little less medicinal and a little more festive. i’ve literally turned my 5 o’clock hour into a mixologist/chemists discovery play time! i’ve discovered a few non alcoholic mixers that are already out there on the market that i like, but most of them have way too much sugar and their adaptogen concoctions really don’t move the needle for me when it comes to relaxation. so, i’ve been concocting my own blends to see what i can come up with. i haven’t found the right taste, just yet, but i have found a pretty damn good relaxing mix of herbs that do the trick. it’s been fun to play, create and get curious about what i may be able to whip up. and, i’ve been able to put some space between alcohol and me, bringing more mindfulness to my daily habits and ultimately giving myself more agency and choice. watch out, they’ll be a new, non alcoholic beverage on the market soon… by mixologist/chemist/alchemist/herbalist – rimes!

    3.    quiet time…
there’s an interesting process that occurs when you are told not to speak. here’s what my experience has been… first, there’s a moment of panic, with having to reschedule or cancel shows and also, from the awareness that it’s going to be much more challenging to communicate for a couple of weeks. then, the brain starts to spin with so many things you want to say, but can’t. the brain gets REALLY LOUD for about 24 hours. i will say, i love my text to talk app, but because it takes time to type in what you are wanting it to speak for you, you really start to pick and choose what REALLY needs to be said. maybe that’s a lesson i will take over with me when i am speaking again. questioning, what really needs to be said and what can be left alone. finally, relief… silence… the mind becomes quieter and no one is expecting anything but silence from you, so, it’s actually quite wonderful. i HIGHLY recommend taking a vow of silence for 48 hours. it’s wild, how much of a weight it lifts. 

    4.    trusting my body…
before i go here, i must say, i have great respect for western medicine and when needed, it can work wonders. however, like a lot of us, i grew up with the mindset of only trusting doctors and western medicine and was never taught to trust the knowledge and innate wisdom of the human body and it’s capacity to heal. during this period of illness, i did travel the western medicine route to suppress my cough, but about 5 days into the flu, my doctor wanted to give me an antibiotic, which i decided to pass on. antibiotics do not help viral infections, and while i believe my doctor had the best of intentions and wanted to cover all the bases, i held out and i’m glad i did. antibiotics destroy the gut micro biome reeking all sorts of havoc in their wake. i already struggle with mental health challenges and there are direct connections between our gut micro biome and our brain. so, i’m VERY careful about taking anything that could cause further challenges with my mental health. i leaned into my intuition and trusted my body to heal, and it has done a beautiful job in doing so. the human body is magnificent and awe inspiring in it’s ability to heal itself, we just have to listen to it, trust it and give it time. we have to surrender to it’s time frame and practice patience, gentleness and stillness in the process. creating space for these things and time on the back end of an illness for our body to fully recover is imperative, but in our busy world, the expectation is to get back up and continue on with normal life as soon as the fever is gone and you’re no longer contagious, which takes a toll on the body and spirit. WE ARE ALL DESERVING OF TIME TO HEAL AND WE ARE ALL CAPABLE OF HEALING! 

    5.    gratitude 
i’ve actually grown to greatly appreciate the moments where i have challenges with my voice. it’s a deep reset in gratitude for my gift and my instrument. it can be so easy to take our gifts for granted. even gifts that we may not normally think of as gifts, like having energy to want to participate in life or the ability to workout and move our bodies, come clearly into view when we are sick. within the stripping of the ability to tap into our gifts, our daily routines and the things we love doing, there’s is an opportunity for greater appreciation of those things when we return to them. i have yet to be able to talk, much less sing, but i have been able to start slowly returning to movement and “normal” life and i must say, a slow workout has never felt more blissful! i know, when i am able to sing again, it will be a moment of euphoria, pure heaven and i can’t wait to share that moment with you all. 

    6.    allowing myself to be loved within the mess…
so much of my life i’ve based my worthiness and lovability on of my ability to achieve, on my discipline and my capacity to hold it all together. all of which are diminished in a time of illness. i was on the couch for days, in the same clothes and highly dependent on my sweet husband and my gracious friend, hannah to take care of me. i was a mess, the house was a mess from the piles of my homeopathic remedies and at some point, i had a moment of recognition that i was allowing myself to fully be cared for and loved within the mess without guilt or shame. this, my friends is a new level for me. i’ve allowed myself to be loved and cared for in the past within the mess, but not without deep guilt and shame and the ongoing loop of thoughts in my mind that i am somehow a burden. this shows me how far i’ve come in healing my worthiness wound. we’ve made progress!! 

    7.    creativity will find a way…
expressing myself through my voice, whether that be singing or speaking has always been my first route of creative expression. but, since that is taken away for a moment, i’ve found myself leaning into other ways to move my creativity, such as writing this blog or creating my “la fréquence” candles. writing, moving my body to music, creating candles, even getting creative in my routine with how i am taking care of myself, such as my new found love for mixology and herbs or essential oils i have learned to combine to help lift my spirits, all have been ways of funneling my curiosity and creative urge, proving, creativity will always find a way. shining the spotlight on other areas in my life where i am creative has given me a new appreciation for all of my other creative outlets and helped me to see how diverse my creativity really is. 

there have been so many beautiful observations, discoveries and lessons within these last few weeks. even though i have been sick and am still recovering, i feel healthier than i ever have… mentally, emotionally, spiritually and soon, physically. 

i like to think that illness can come to burn off the old that is no longer serving us, give us a new found appreciation for life and a fresh start. at least, that’s what it feels like these last couple of weeks have been for me. 

if you’re sick, which i know so many of us are at this moment, hang in there and maybe see if you can create a little space to find the gifts within the mess. i promise, they are there. 

we’ve got this! we’re all healing together.

1 comment

  • Thank you for speaking raw truth and sharing such inspiration that deeply touches others by YOUR truth and understanding.

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