Reconnecting with words. It feels good to be writing. My absence from the blog was unplanned; my recovery from labyrinthitis, supported so well by my week of self-care, was quickly followed by a glandular fever type infection, then a cold, which re-triggered the labyrinthitis. There was no respite, no opportunity to reconnect, as the ‘viral flare’, as my doctors are calling it, became increasingly multilayered and complex, making it even more challenging than usual to manage my FND. Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months. I returned to basics again and again, emptying my toolbox of symptom-management techniques, as my body tried to heal and I worked to regain and maintain lost strength and functioning.
My rehabilitation continues, as does the viral flare, but I have reached a point of reconnection. Reconnecting with my body through gentle, nurturing movement, compassionate body scan meditations, and re-engaging with daily activities so often taken for granted. Reconnecting with the passing of time as I reflect on the year that has passed and look ahead to the year just beginning. Reconnecting with hopes and dreams as I find ways to bring meaning and purpose to my life within the limitations of illness. And reconnecting with my blog.
During this time, I have been reminded of the importance of connecting with others, valuing moments of connection that could easily go unnoticed. A foundation of this has been practising a connection meditation; cultivating feelings of loving kindness and extending them to others. It’s a meditation practice known to reduce the negative effects of isolation caused by illness, as I wrote about in Christmas Connections. As well as practising the formal meditation, I have been experimenting with informal moments of connection and loving kindness to others in daily life. A smile. A hello. A silent well wishing of a loving kindness phrase. Taking a moment to imagine what a person who passes through my life may be experiencing; maybe they are suffering, or maybe they are in the midst of a joyful celebration? Noticing people and feeling compassion for both the known and the unknown. It has given me a sense of belonging, helping me to feel part of something bigger, rather than getting caught up in the details of my own story.
As we enter 2018, I would like to extend that loving kindness and sense of connection to us all. May we be well. May we be happy. May we be safe from inner and outer harm. May we live with peace and ease of being. Happy New Year. It feels wonderful to be reconnecting.