I have had the honour in the last week to have come down with a mild case of COVID.
Honour you say?
I was blessed to have relatively mild symptoms compared to my friends who also got it.
Just enough of a headache.
Just enough body aches.
Just the perfect amount of exhaustion.
Just enough to make me to stop, rest and listen.
This is an interesting virus.
I say that in the full knowledge that for some people it has been devastating and I am in no way lessening the pain that it has brought to many.
I honour that pain.
And yet, having it inside my body fully this week gifted me with an opportunity to understand its purpose and its essence on a deeper level.
There were times when I was so tired, I had no choice but to sleep.
There were times when I couldn’t think clearly.
I had no choice but to stop trying.
There were times when I couldn’t eat, sleep, or comfort my aching muscles.
Then I had to surrender.
During these times, the medicine of the Bear would come to me strongly.
Bear in Native American tradition represents the West direction.
That of introspection, dreaming, intuition.
Bear teaches us to hibernate.
To withdraw our attention from the outer world for a time and come into a self-chosen cocoon, resting, and contemplating our inner realms.
Hibernation is an unknown place for most of us, used as we are, to the incessant pace of life in the West.
It requires that we let go of what we feel we need to do and relax into the arms of our dreams.
We can journal, meditate, draw, paint, read – anything that allows us to loosen our grip on the outer world for a time so we can replenish from our inner well spring.
If we allow her, Bear will welcome us into her den, wrap us in her warm fur mantel and insist that we halt our ‘doing’ so that we can attend to our ‘being’.
Our inner wellspring of truth is always there but can run dry if it goes for long periods of time without nurturing.
Without being honoured.
A diet of news, social media and fear all sap our energy and life force.
Rest, dreaming, and inner peace replenish and nurture us from the inside out.
From here we are untouchable.
Well – almost.
For that to happen, hibernation must become a regular habit.
One that resets us daily when we are feeling overwhelmed and overcome.
COVID helped me to hibernate fully for a week.
And for that I am grateful.
For the time spent in the embrace of the Bear.
I am grateful.
I am grateful.