Does it sound crazy to state that I want to breathe like I have pneumonia?
Over the past three months I have experienced and started to heal after life threatening pneumonia. I lost track of days, nights, and weeks. I lost twenty six pounds in three weeks. I broke three ribs. In many ways it was a form of meditation.
For weeks I could think of nothing. I ate nothing. I did nothing. I stared at the wall and didn't know that I was staring at the wall. I breathed, and each breath was an intentional and committed action. Nothing else mattered. I experienced it as a waking up to living and breathing in the very specific moment, completely losing track of the calendar.
To heal completely, and per doctor's order, I had to let go of all commitments and expectations on my time. I stopped everything. This was a surprise to a lot of family, friends, and colleagues. I realized that people did not comprehend that I had more than a bad cold. Do not underestimate pneumonia! I slowly added activity to my schedule, but only the things related directly to my healing, my family, and my teaching practice. That, too, was a waking up because my every activity, whether teaching, preparing a meal, or simply going to the store became a thoughtful choice so as to not overdo.
Tomorrow morning I am going to my first yoga class in three months and one day. I hope that I can be on my mat and simply breathe, and have each breath be an intentional and committed action, like I did in the deepest, darkest moments of pneumonia. If I can do that, I think, it will be the real waking up.