Disclaimer: This is a very long post so pull up a chair, grab your favorite drink, and get comfy.
If we were sat across from each other on a virtual coffee date today, here’s what I would share with you…
On my birthday on April 21, I suddenly felt sick with horrible pain in my head and significant fever.
It comes out suddenly.
For months, I’m giddy about what I get to do to support my community moving forward with life. I’m on a roll. No, not just on a roll: I’m on fire! #Unstoppable.
I choose to work hard because I enjoy it but I also take care of myself. I eat clean, wash my hands often, maintain a safe distance from anyone (basically I’m self-isolating since January), and do yoga every day — my boyfriend and I were in the middle of a challenge of A 30 Day Yoga Journey with Adriene.
But that day, I woke up feeling…doomed.
Since I started releasing six years ago, I’d never been sick anymore. My body was able to heal itself instantly at lightning speed without me getting in the way or interfering with my own healing.
Not that day.
What I Learned from Being Sick
I’ll be honest with you. I’ve never felt this kind of pain before.
The illness was relentless. There was a severe throbbing pain in one part of the head, often the front or the side, but mostly on the back of the head. It was one of the worst headaches of my life. These caused intense pain, provoked nausea, and vomiting.
My fever got up until the temperature was above 102.2 F (39 C). I experienced intense stomach cramps. The pain within the muscles and joints was unbearable. I felt they repeatedly expand and contract. As a response, I got chills and my body was shaking and shivering like there’s no tomorrow. I felt cold but I had to dress in lightweight clothing because the body sweats so much. The bed was wet and I needed to move around to find a dry spot.
I felt exhausted. My appetite decreased exponentially and I couldn’t really eat anything. I still drink plenty of liquids to support the body, though.
It has been a miserable six days full of symptoms that covered my whole body. I spent all day in bed with reduced sleep quality. That’s awful, produced a lot of anger inside.
If anything, I’m grateful that I could breathe normally. I used to have serious breathing problems because my narrow throat used to block the airway, but not this time. I guess the parts of the body are collaborating to heal itself and whichever part who could contribute, contribute.
There is an innate wisdom to sickness, and I’d love to share with you 15 pearls of “sick wisdom”. These are insights and techniques that I have found especially helpful to apply in real-life situations.
I’m not addressing the clinical disease here. This is more about how to overcome an uneasiness where you feel like your mojo’s gone, and you’re not motivated like you used to be, but you know it’s necessary for healing.
- What I Learned from Being Sick
- 1. Discomfort is part of the process.
- 2. Listening to intuition.
- 3. You are not the body. You are that which is aware of the body.
- 4. What is already working?
- 5. Use the situation as an opportunity to release and change your consciousness.
- 6. It’s impossible to move forward if I’m trying to control the outcome.
- 7. Removing the childhood program: Being strong.
- 8. Let others take care of you.
- 9. Allow yourself to receive unlimited support from every direction.
- 10. It has made me and my boyfriend almost unbreakable.
- 11. It’s okay to not be perfect.
- 12. Rest is part of the process.
- 13. Removing the “Healer” Program
- 14. Any experience is worthwhile, regardless of its length.
- 15. Be extra kind to yourself today and tomorrow you’ll be able to take on the world again.
1. Discomfort is part of the process.
Sickness is the most human thing that we can ever experience. It is the reminder that tiny, microscopic organisms can wage war and actually take territory in our bodies. Then again, our bodies actually fight back and heal themselves, carrying out a deep divinity wired into them that says, “Losing? Not today.”
We can choose to be miserable or we can choose to learn about ourselves and grow from the experience.
The journey to healing isn’t always comfortable, but it is always worth it to make it to the other side.
Holding space for ourselves isn’t about trying to change the situation or finding a solution to our frustrations. It’s about listening to ourselves and really understand what is holding us back and challenging us along the way. It’s through this discovery that we’re then able to move forward in a purposeful and proactive way.
I’m grateful I have The Sedona Method as a tool to release my reactions and emotions around the pain so I can take the right action.
I know there are millions of people out there who are in worst or have been in worse situations than me. I still couldn’t even begin to imagine the pain of others who had a disease that is very painful and doesn’t have the tools to release the emotions and reactions. I want to encourage you who are in some type of pain that I can help you recover from it.
2. Listening to intuition.
I grew up in a family full of doctors. My grandfather was one of the first otolaryngologists in Indonesia. He’s a national hero, and the government decided to name one of the hospitals in North-Maluku Province after his name: Dr. Chasan Boesoirie Hospital. And his children and grandchildren follow his steps to support people to heal. Just so you get the picture.
Being a part of a medical family, it’s normal that my mom tried to figure out my sickness.
Is it dengue fever? Or typhoid fever?
She discussed my symptoms with her siblings and in-laws. Because of the COVID-19 situations, we’re wise enough to not go to the hospital.
My uncle and brothers suspected I might have dengue fever or typhoid fever.
I have a hate-hate relationship with mosquitos (that’s a long story for another day), but I knew it’s not that. I told my mom I needed to take antibiotics to support the body to heal. I felt that I suffered from infections. It’s just coming from intuitive knowingness and clear reason.
If you know me at all, you know I’m pretty naturally minded. I almost always refuse to take medications, and I believe that the body can and does heal itself. I normally never take medications at all. But with this latest journey in illness, I learned to be more open-minded and listen to my intuition.
One of my aunties gave me antibiotics to treat my symptoms. It was one of the best treatments but…it’s not easy to find it, especially with the whole coronavirus situations.
My sister felt relieved. She didn’t agree to give me antibiotics for she was afraid I was infected by the coronavirus.
I love and respect my sister but I asked my mom to ignore her concern because I was so sure it wasn’t the coronavirus. 😅
I went to do a blood test to prove it. I had to be extra kind to myself because I needed to drive to the lab while cold sweating like crazy. I chose not to take public transportation because I don’t want to create another problem.
As speculated, the result was negative. I got bacterial infections and we all know it requires treatment with antibiotics. My intuition is right and I’m glad my mom supported me. Trusting your intuitive knowingness and clear reason will guide you to the right action.
The thing is, my auntie’s prescription was hard to get. I was struggling without antibiotics for three days. My sickness got worse. I experienced a lot of hypnagogic sleep state — the consciousness state between waking and sleeping. A lot of childhood memory also came up. I embraced that as an opportunity to release them for good.
After three days trying to find the medications, finally my brother got the antibiotics.
One of my uncles found out that we struggled to find the medications and he asked why mom didn’t tell him so they could change the prescription. I didn’t think it crossed my mom’s mind because she’s already feeling anxious for me. 😅
3. You are not the body. You are that which is aware of the body.
We are all vulnerable. Sickness reminds us of where we are frail, strained, and without defense.
When someone talks about feeling the drop-dead, no movement, energy-draining reality of an illness, I can empathize remembering that I went through that same valley.
That taught me compassion to this body-mind. The wisdom of sickness says that the body is all open, vulnerable, and exposed. The best thing to do is to remember that we are not the body. Most people consume by the pain, thinking they’re the body, even though they’re not it. We are seeing, hearing, and feeling through it, and as it, but we are not that. We are that which is aware of the body.
I remember laying there in my bed with extreme pain and feeling so much peace just by noticing this. Every time I simply stop and allow myself to be, I interrupt the patterns of limitation.
If you’re in pain, interrupt the pattern by asking yourself:
“Am I this body? Or am I that which is aware of the body?”
By seeing that which is real, we’re taking our power back.
4. What is already working?
Sometimes the pain was so unbearable and the mind was really active. Sometimes I could just notice the train of thoughts and let them pass through awareness, but most of the time, I wasn’t able to discern what was real and what wasn’t.
The only questions that worked for me at that time was:
“What is already working?”
That triggered the feeling of love and gratitude inside of me. The more I respond from a feeling of love and gratitude, the more I fill with that energy and experience love.
I am that which watches the thoughts, not that which thinks the thoughts.
Perfection is always perfect — it doesn’t change. Anything that changes and is imperfect, is unreal.
5. Use the situation as an opportunity to release and change your consciousness.
Every time there’s a problem, we have an opportunity to release and turn it around.
I let go of wanting to avoid the bad and welcoming the good. Amazingly, it changes every situation.
Letting go becomes my second nature and apparently automatic as suppression and expression are now for most of us. Since we’re always doing something with our feelings anyway, why not just let them go?
This is a conversation with a good friend who showed her concern about my condition:
Change your whole perspective on life by recognizing that every down is an opportunity to go even higher. It’s about becoming more aware of the unlimited potential that’s just behind whatever you’re experiencing.
Making the use of releasing constant doesn’t mean that you’re asking the releasing questions all the time. It means that you’re relaxing into who you really are. You’re being at ease and as open as you’re able in order to release whatever emotion is arising in the NOW moment. You’re seeing the truth.
Releasing can be done anywhere and at any time to immediately feel better, clearer, more confident, and alive. Simply allow yourself to remain open inside, while your feelings come up and move through you. Look at each upset in your life as an opportunity for greater freedom. Also, remember to have fun. Avoid turning releasing into another “should.”
As you get into the habit of letting go in the moment as feelings arise, you’ll develop a wonderful momentum that will support you when deeper feelings surface. You will find it easier to let them go as well.
6. It’s impossible to move forward if I’m trying to control the outcome.
I had been driven, compulsive, and aggressive almost all my waking state. I had taken advantage of the illness to help me develop compassion to myself.
I was able to get plenty of rest and drink plenty of liquids, sponging my body with lukewarm water to help reduce a fever.
I let go of wanting to change what happened so I can meet each moment with a clean slate.
I didn’t need a story to tell about how I got sick or where I got this disease. It happened because it happened and my job was to release my reaction to it.
I know, I know, you want a roadmap, you want the answers, you want a guarantee that everything will work out sooner rather than later.
I get it, I’ve often wanted that for myself too.
Learning to live in that uncertainty, to show up in that uncertainty, has been one of the greatest lessons of running my life so far.
Because the truth is, there are no guarantees.
Compassion, patience, and empathy are key. The worst thing we can do is to make ourselves feel inadequate like we need “fixing”, or try to have control over the outcome. We cannot hold space for ourselves if we’re telling ourselves that we’re not good enough, or a failure. We also cannot hold space for ourselves if we’re obsessed with controlling and predicting the outcome.
Our ego wants to control everything. It doesn’t care about our higher-level work, our journey of self-actualization, or self-discovery. Not much can be achieved by holding space just to feed our ego. Our growth, and ultimately are joy, are limited by letting our ego take the reigns.
We need to surrender to the process, show ourselves unconditional grace, and be brave enough to ask ourselves the questions that will truly guide us to let go of the things that don’t serve us anymore right now.
By releasing, we can dig deep and really take some meaningful steps forward.
7. Removing the childhood program: Being strong.
I was proud to say that I’m one of the people that can bear extreme pain with grace.
In the past, a lot of doctors and massage therapists said that I was strong because I can bear very high physical pain that most people can’t. Even my friends said I was mentally strong, so I was determined to take how much ever amount of physical pain. It is a part and parcel of my life. I have reached a point where the pain is a normal thing.
I experienced pain in certain situations, such as situations linked with past loss or betrayal, physical or emotional hurt, and so on. Anything can trigger it, particularly if it resonates with a pain pattern from the past.
When I was sick, I noticed that the program was coming from a past decision that I consciously made and now unconsciously running. My parents always appreciated strength. When I was a kid, I wanted their approval by being able to be a strong girl.
Pain can only feed on pain. Pain cannot feed on joy. It finds it quite indigestible.
As long as I don’t release pain, every physical and emotional pain that I experience leaves behind a residue of pain that lives on in me. It merges with the pain from the past, which was already there, and becomes lodged in the mind and body.
This accumulated pain is a negative energy field that occupies the body and mind.
Because I was truly conscious of it, the pattern could dissolve. The moment I observe it, feel its energy field within me, and take my attention into it, the identification is broken. A higher dimension of consciousness has come in. I call it presence. I am now aware that I’m not the pain. I am that which is aware of it.
I’ve reached the state that all pain is ultimately an illusion. I have found my own innermost strength. I have accessed the power of Now.
The question is: Is it true for you? A mere belief doesn’t make it true. Do you want to experience pain for the rest of your life and keep saying that it is an illusion? Does that free you from the pain? What we are concerned with here is how you can realize this truth — that is, make it real in your own experience.
You can reach that by asking yourself simple yet powerful releasing questions.
8. Let others take care of you.
If you are like me, you are often in the role of caring for others. Many people get stuck in the role of the capable and strong person, especially the kinds of people that read books about mindfulness and self-improvement.
Growing up, I used to think that asking for help was met with selfishness. This time, I let others take care of me.
My connection with my mom is getting stronger. I have often said of myself that I make a very bad patient because I’m not patient with all the attention and all. But it didn’t happen this time.
Because my mom kept checking on my temperature every hour, I noticed that I had that obsession in me too.
I was able to let go of my compulsiveness and obsessions to numbers.
My boyfriend supported me with the questions:
“Where in my life did I create this?”
I found out where I started to become obsessed with numbers and I was able to let that memory go. After that, I allowed mom to check on my temperature without being annoyed by that. 🤣
No matter what the situation, it’s important to remember that letting others help us is a wonderful gift to give.
Just reflect on how good it feels to help someone we care about. Being sick is a great time to practice asking for and receiving the help and care of others. This can be especially true if we express gratitude to those helping in a way that doesn’t involve a sense of guilt or discomfort with their offering.
Accepting help authentically and expressing gratitude whole-heartedly helps us remember how both parties benefit from the exchange of kindness.
I have been incredibly lucky to have such a supportive family network and friends. The things they have done for me and the love they have shown me was amazing.
I used to be so annoyed when my aunties cried for me when I was sick. I thought I didn’t need that kind of energy to support me. This time, I can only feel the love that they are.
My family are the ones who stand up for me no matter what, and are the ones who are on my side. I have witnessed the kindness and goodness of others first-hand.
Bonus: Some of my clients suddenly sent some testimonials that warm my heart. They didn’t know I was sick, but they just felt like saying good things about me.
9. Allow yourself to receive unlimited support from every direction.
I apologize if it sounds a little woo-woo, but in my experience, we all have at least one teacher who is responsible for us. It may be Muhammad, it may be Christ, it may be Buddha, it may be Krishna, or it may be Yogananda, Ramana Maharshi, or Nisargadatta. There are so many wonderful teachers who have been here before. And many of you have been guided by them for a very long time. And some of you have actually physical teachers in this lifetime, who are involved enough to help you all the time.
In my experiences, teachers come to releasing sessions. Some of you have already noticed that. You aren’t supposed to do all the heavy lifting yourself.
When I was sick and did a lot of releasing, a lot of my teachers came to support me. I feel the presence of God. Muhammad was there. Christ was there. Buddha was there. Lester was there. A lot of saints and sages and fully-realized spiritual masters that I resonate with were there to guide and help me to release and do what was in my highest and best good, and my consciousness shifted. I bow with respect to them.
We are being guided all the time. We are just not always that aware of it.
10. It has made me and my boyfriend almost unbreakable.
I live in Jakarta and my boyfriend is on his vacation at his cabin in Vabuleino — a place in Norway’s Scandinavian Mountains. Basically he’s in the middle of nowhere. (he’s going to be so angry I revealed his secret location. 😂)
But he kept the connection with me for 24 hours. He took care of me, helped me, and facilitate me to release by asking a series of releasing questions. I looked tired and my hair was a mess and he still looks at me like I am the most cutest girl in the world.
I know I have been incredibly lucky. I fully appreciate the time and efforts he has put into my care. I cannot even compose words of gratitude for how much I’m humbled and grateful for him for sincerely taking good care of me, thinking the best releasing tools to reduce my suffering, and supporting this body-mind with patience, warmth, and loving-kindness. I adore, value, respect, treasure, and appreciate him beyond words.
11. It’s okay to not be perfect.
I did too much. Period.
There was a time in my life when the busier I was, the more successful I would feel. Intellectually, I understand that being busy is a failure, but I just enjoy being busy.
For my whole life, I’ve worked so hard. At everything. For how much I expected perfection of myself.
But nothing like a sickness to force you to drop everything and fully rest in bed.
That day, I said to myself, “It’s okay. Give yourself a break. Allow yourself to be a human and just stay in bed. Allow yourself to love the body-mind, in all of its imperfect glory.”
So I did what I needed to do — I surrendered. I decided to trust that this period of rest was non-negotiable and I embraced it. I didn’t try to work from bed. I turned off my laptop and slept. And when I couldn’t sleep, I chose to keep releasing.
I allowed my body heal and I wouldn’t interfere with my own healing.
12. Rest is part of the process.
Rest isn’t the enemy of momentum and productivity, but instead the foundation from which everything else comes to life.
There are seasons where we do have the energy and drive to work towards big goals and dreams. But if your mind, body, and spirit are aching for some rest right now, allow yourself to slow down and just accept that it’s okay to be living and working from a lower capacity in this season. This is your permission slip to give yourself that.
Whatever rest you need is not a burden but instead an opportunity to show up for yourself with patience, kindness, and grace, and whatever tasks are left undone on your to-do list can almost always wait.
If you allow the busyness and hustle to take over, you are giving up your inner peace. You are allowing other people’s priorities to rule your day, instead of working from a place of power and impact.
Your inner peace is your personal power. When you maintain your personal power, you make the greatest impact and work from the highest place of creativity.
Busyness clouds our judgment. And if you don’t slow down now, your body will find a way to make you slow down. Just like mine did!
13. Removing the “Healer” Program
That was the last program that hold me back.
That day, the headache was too intense I couldn’t do anything, not even releasing.
Suddenly, I remember that one of my healer best friends once told me, “You care too much about other people. You hold the world in your hands. Yes, you are strong and you can do that, but isn’t it tiring?”
As a coach, a lot of the time, the most important work I do with my clients is just holding space for them. Holding space for self-discovery, mindset shifts, productive action planning, and ultimately a transformation from where they are now to where they want to be in their creative work and life.
Another friend told me, “You have been through too much in life, you want to help others to get through that too. You’re like a Bodhisattva — a person who is able to reach nirvana but delays doing so out of compassion in order to save suffering beings.”
When I noticed that program, I was so surprised. I didn’t even realize that. I told my boyfriend about that and he came up with the best releasing question:
“Could you allow the body-mind world to heal and lovingly watch that?”
It eased the burden. I noticed that I don’t have to carry anything on my shoulder.
I instantly released the program.
After that, I only felt gratitude, even when the body was suffering.
14. Any experience is worthwhile, regardless of its length.
After two weeks in bed, I’m excited to report that I’m feeling much better.
Life’s a crazy ride, but more than anything, I’m just so grateful to be on it.
As I grew, my birthday became a day to be reminded of how loved and appreciated I am by those in my life and a day to celebrate my growth. It’s a day to be grateful that I beat the odds.
In each day, there is something to celebrate; some days it can be as simplistic as getting out of bed but other days it can be a celebration of great magnitude. Birthdays are just that; they are no longer a symbol of where you were versus where you are and wanted to be, but a celebration of your mere existence.
I ended my birthday surrounded by my family and my boyfriend in WhatsApp while I cried because I couldn’t bear the pain, blowing out the candles atop the cake I couldn’t eat… and how grateful I am to be here, and how grateful I am that you’re here.
I think this year is the best birthday gift from the universe.
15. Be extra kind to yourself today and tomorrow you’ll be able to take on the world again.
Give yourself whatever you need right now, to know that whatever you can give to each day is more than enough.
Never stay stuck in a moment, or a struggle, or a fear, or a story that isn’t truly serving you. In the work I do every day with my clients, I see how capable we all are of releasing the things that are scary, challenging, and hard, and of moving forward and becoming the people we want to be.
More than anything I’m continuing to send you so much love in these uncertain times, and so much gratitude for welcoming me in your space to share this with you today.
My challenge for you today is this: hold space for yourself. Next time you’re battling with fear, a mindset block, resistance, or lack of inspiration — instead of jumping straight away to a quick-fix-solution, or feeling hopeless that there is no way forward, hold space for yourself instead. That could look like journalling it out or maybe going for a walk and releasing all your unpleasant emotions around that.
Whatever it looks like for you, the most important thing is that you ask yourself the best releasing questions that will truly help you to find clarity, peace, and direction. Some good ones to start with are:
- What is my heart’s deepest desire?
- What are the stories I’m telling myself about this situation that aren’t actually true? Could I let that go?
- What am I afraid of right now? Could I let go of wanting that to happen/not to happen?
- How can I support myself to move forward?
- What is already working?
- Could I allow myself to just stop and be that which I am?
Whatever they are, allow yourself to let go and set the feelings free. Keep diving deeper and deeper and see where that takes you.
What about you? If we were on a virtual coffee date what would you share with me today?
Let me know in the comment below.
Did you find this post useful, inspiring? Save this pin to your board on Pinterest. That way, you’ll always have this info on hand!