A few years ago, when I was horribly ill in hospital with ulcerative colitis, things were starting to get pretty scary. I’d spent the long bank holiday weekend going downhill, with a skeleton staff of doctors, and when the consultants returned on Tuesday, just the look on their faces let me know that things were getting serious. I had a long wait for a CT scan, and was being told a variety of possible eventualities, none of which were very reassuring. So, I asked one of my physicians for one positive thing to focus on. He told me, that usually they treat people with my condition with steroids, which solves the problem, bu….. I stopped him before he said any more. For the next 2-3 hours, I focused solely on this one positive comment, eventually just on the feeling of positivity, and felt myself slip into a state of complete calm. It felt like I was hovering between time, where no anxiety about what has passed, and what might come to pass, exists. The present moment. It was a kind of instinctive meditation, an instinct for survival, without which I don’t know how I would have coped emotionally with my situation, on top of physically dealing with how very ill I was. By the time I was taken down for my emergency operation, following the results of my scan, I felt no fear at all, and totally safe. I wish I could have passed this on to my Dad, who was there with me, and who I know was terrified. He was right to be. As it turned out, the operation saved my life.
This was my first experience of the power of meditation. The second was about 7 months later, when I was approaching the date for another operation, this time to reconstruct my insides after the total removal of my collapsed colon during the earlier emergency op. A coaching colleague sent me a recording of a meditation for people about to have a medical intervention. I decided to listen to it a few times, and to take it into hospital with me, but as it turned out, I only managed to listen to it once. As with a lot of guided meditations, I was talked down a series of steps, going deeper and deeper. The one thing I remembered was something about holding onto my life blood. As I was being guided back up the steps, I felt my head raising up, which surprised me, I hadn’t realised that it had dropped forwards, and that I had gone so deeply into the trance. A few days later, as I was being checked by my surgeon after my operation, he said that it had taken a few hours; then he paused, and said that there hadn’t been much blood, I hadn’t bled much. It was only then that I remembered the words of the guided meditation and I’ve never since doubted the magical power of our minds and our bodies.
Not feeling well? This is a message from your body. Rest. Be still. Let your body do some healing for you.