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MUSINGS ON CHRONIC ILLNESS Part 1: The Ocean ~ Freedom in Emptiness

There are so many interesting threads in this current journey with Lyme that I've been wanting to share here with you (however writing and putting thoughts to paper is not proving easy these days) so here goes my first attempt.

From the start, one of the more pronounced and ongoing symptoms I'm experiencing is a high sensitivity to light and sound. An inability to tolerate bright lights, loud sounds (including music, background noises, more than one person talking, phone calls, public space noise, tannoys, stadium sounds etc.)

When exposed to a lot of stimulus - it very quickly frazzles my brain, triggering dyspraxia style symptoms and I can feel the cortisol and pain triggers rise in the system.

So the solution is plenty of quiet, rest and alone time.

Chronic illness in its nature, like many of life’s deep initiations, is an isolating solo path.

A forced retreat from the world of experience and productivity.

Balancing it with connection, love, support and community is absolutely fundamental for lasting healing to occur (a post for another time). But I've discovered over these past months when surrender towards deeper levels of aloneness and being can be granted, there are many jewels to harvest.

When the senses are in a state of overload and the physical experience of discomfort is high, the only way to turn is - out. Away from sensory stimulation and experience; towards the formless.

At first, I doubted this forced invitation as some kind of bypassing. However, after several years of integrating through care and working with trauma, I recognised the binary invitation of reverence towards my physical experience and the ability to listen deeply and offer everything within my power to support my system to heal. Alongside the call at every step to relinquish control, and disappear from the realm of experience.

An ongoing gift within a journey through illness is the dissolving of identity and karma at the very base fundamental layer of form - ingrained in the physical. Any part identified with suffering whether it be control, protection, denial, rejection or attachment. Fundamental fear. So I gradually welcomed this ongoing surrender with an open palm to rest in the naturalness of this moment as it flows.

In some moments for me, this looks like grieving the life I have been living, life as I have known it. Physically strong, vital, resilient, social, productive, engaged, and basically busy with the business of living.

And more often now it's a leaning back away from life into the formless, where an expansion of absolute and space takes over. Like freefalling, but the liberated kind, beyond the fear that keeps us bound to the realm of experience.

The system immediately calms, the senses turn offline and nothingness pervades. No-thing-ness.

The realisation that despite the physical debilitation, isolation and tumultuous daily challenges I am inherently always connected to Source. The field of awareness is ever-present and entirely trustworthy, whether I am present with it or not.

My needs these days are pretty basic and simple, but the funny thing is one of my deepest longings that arises almost daily is to be by the sea. I miss the sea SO much. I dream about it, look at pictures, reminisce over many years living close to the sea. And when I'm in the water I'm immediately flooded with bliss.

I'm realising that in living far from the water that I love so, I'm presented with a moment to integrate the teachings of the ocean.

To be and become one with the ever-present vastness. As Rumi says both a tiny drop and the ocean itself.

If the soil is Mother, to me the ocean is Grandmother.

She that is all-encompassing and precedes on Earth from which the land arose.

Powerful yet embracing, she dances on the threshold of form and formless.

Over time I am learning to heed the call and fall back into the ocean, the emptiness. And each time I manage to let go an emanation of peace abounds, often turning into bliss.

A heart opening that is stabilising and consistent.

A quiet pervading sweet fragrance, within the vastness and simplicity in just being.

Nothing to do

No one home to do



A freedom that travels alongside the sense of self no matter what the current experience.

A freedom that is not separate from any experience of discomfort but inherently there despite of it. Always.

A very subtle experience of freedom that I noticed is easily missed as it doesn't inform through the senses.

It has no taste or smell. It is without shape or form.

So to meet it we must sink into the formless. Bathe in its wisdom and let it permeate the manifest through presence.

Diving to the depths of the ocean is where we find the most precious pearls.

I'm noticing the peace that encompasses these moments has a magical way of permeating my daily experience. The further away my hands are from the steering wheel of experience, ironically the greater the trust and guidance. The clearer my intuition, my Yes and my No, with less interference to cloud the guidance.

The greater the joy in the simple pleasures. A cup of tea, a chat with a friend, taking my daily medicine, feet on the grass;- all infused with a joy that is inherent despite the quality of the experience.

I trust that there is a different kind of resilience steadily building beneath the surface. To me, it feels like an eternal strength that is not governed by the realms of health, age or time.

The journey continues to heed the seriousness of my condition and let my way be infused by the freedom within it.

I'd love to hear how your journey is unfolding and what pearls you are harvesting in your excavations :)

More to follow soon I hope Much love Naseem x

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