Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Cary Grant Cure

Every case of the flu is a crucible, indeed. But what happens when symptoms subside? The fever breaks, congestion dissipates, and sometimes within a period as short as a few hours, we feel "normal" again. We pronounce ourselves well. Then what?

Most people return immediately to a full time schedule the moment they feel back to themselves. Some folks have great constitutions that enable them to do this, but many of us need a little time to integrate what we've been through before putting our noses back to the grindstone of the mundane.

Even when everything is back to normal, it takes me awhile to rebuild my energy field. I feel raw, weak and/or vulnerable for a few days after recovering from the flu. I'm well, but not quite whole. Do you know what I'm talking about?

I believe that consciously choosing to take in beauty at the end of an illness is as therapeutic as chicken soup. Beauty files smooth the sharp edges of energy left after the flu. Beauty fills the gaps, brings structure to the energy field. The immune system fights the battle. After the immune system triumphs, things are a bit of a mess. Drag the dead bodies from the battlefield, mop up the blood, clear away the shrapnel, but don't forget to replant the trees mowed down during the fight. Beauty is the polish that completes the process. It's restorative. It's so important!

As you can see, I feel very strongly about this.

Beauty comes in many forms. Here are some of the things I do after the flu.

Sitting in the Botanical Garden conservatory, breathing the soft, warm air, gazing at green things, especially in the middle of winter, is always an excellent way to polish off the remnants of the flu. Sometimes I wander through the National Gallery of Art, gaze at beautiful paintings. My rule is to only look at the paintings I love. At the end of an illness, it doesn't help to encounter challenging art (whatever that means to you). I need to be well to do that. At the end of the flu, I'm soft and vulnerable. I need harmony and beauty.

Music is another form of beauty that's deeply therapeutic - always - but particularly at the end of a bout of the flu. Please, no Death Metal. Listen to something melodic, rhythmic and beautiful, something that will help you lay a sturdy but elegant energetic foundation. Illness is energetic chaos. To rebuild my energy, I listen to cello suites or piano variations by Bach, anything by Mozart. That music is architectural. It is so healing for me.

Going out to dinner with someone(s) I love can be a great way to take in beauty. If you decide to try it, please choose a restaurant that isn't too noisy, where the food is top notch.

I could go on with ideas of how to take in beauty, but I'm sure you get the picture.

Today my acupuncturist suggested I read a lot of poetry. Not only in the Reyaverse, but also in Chinese medicine, beauty is thought to be healing. It's a great idea. I will be reading a lot of poetry anyway, as is my tradition around the end of January and beginning of February. But it's a pretty sweet prescription.

The beauty that's working for me in the wake of H1N1 is in the form of a Cary Grant movie marathon. His beauty and grace on screen is bringing me back to wholeness. He was so funny, classy, and charming - but not oily. He had something, he really did. I could look into that face all day. Cary Grant is the opposite of H1N1. His movies are a perfect remedy.

When my interest in Cary Grant movies subsides, I will declare myself cured. In the meantime, more Cary Grant movies! Fortunately, there are a lot of them. It's great medicine.

May you dare to dwell in beauty, balance and delight. Cary Grant did. Oh yeah.


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