My cold cleared. (yay!)

You know how being sick kind of puts you in this heightened state — a weird place where you’re both more and less aware of everything?

I mean, you can’t concentrate because of the stuffiness and the fogginess and the not being able to sleep. But somehow with most of your brain turned off, you can plug in to other abilities and things come up. Useful things. Mostly.

It might have just been the crazy, evil and completely ineffectual chinese herbs I was taking (never again). Screw you, crazy evil ineffectual chinese herbs.

Sorry, got distracted there.

Did I mention that this was the worst cold I’ve ever had and that it was 103° in Portland?*

*That’s 39° celsius for my European and Israeli readers who want to sympathize with me.

And that I wasn’t taking stuff to help the symptoms because you can only stop taking the crazy, evil, ineffectual chinese herbs that taste-like-death once your symptoms stop on their own? I mean, with the “help” of the herbs?

Screw you, crazy evil ineffectual chinese herbs that taste like death and have zero noticeable positive effect on my ever-worsening cold for three days and three (sleepless) nights until I give up and curse you. And then get better.

Okay, guess I’m still annoyed. Annoyed enough to ignore all rules about using commas. Back to the point.

Clearing takes many forms.

Pretty much any time I get sick, it’s related to me avoiding some kind of confrontation.

I know that sounds a bit wacky, but I’ve literally gone from fevered and delirious to 100% fine just by biting the bullet and finally having that awkward, horrible conversation.

It’s happened so many times and with such reliable results that as soon as a cold comes on I stop everything and ask myself, “Okay honey, who are you avoiding?”. And usually dealing with that is enough to heal it. This time nothing really came up.

Well, fine. Lots of things came up. I mean, being human and all, I’m pretty much always avoiding or repressing something. But nothing that felt like it was “the thing”. So I waited it out.

And while I waited, I worked with two themes.

One was just letting stuff be miserable, because sometimes stuff is miserable. Letting myself be in the stuck. Letting myself not want to be in the stuck, but still be there.

And the other was looking for ways to symbolically clear out congestion and stuckness in my life.

What I did.

I started dumping stuff. Like a woman on a mission.

Of course, thanks to Jen’s cool “give your home office a spa day” thing last week, I was already kind of on an organizing kick. But this was hard core. I took on The Pile.

Yeah, baby. The pile.

The pile that started before I left for Germany and never got taken care of. Papers, ideas, filing, everything that needed attention and wasn’t going to get it.

This pile was obviously really just a pile, and a pretty orderly one at that. But in my mind it had already taken on vast propotions. Kind of like a larger-than-life Pigpen from the Peanuts cartoons. Trailing swarms of flies and clouds of dirt in its messy, messy wake.

I transformed the bed into a lumpy pile-sorting station. And armed with a box of tissues and a large bottle of pomegranite-blueberry juice, climbed right in.

The pile took the better part of an afternoon. Slog city.

Though I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t had to stop for nose-emptying breaks, recovering-from-evil-chinese-tea breaks and emergency-calming-techniques breaks, it could have gone much faster.

Every time I dumped something I said something cheesy and fabulous like, “Whee, look at me symbolically clearing out congestion and making room for new awesomeness!”

The dumping: it is fun.

When the pile was gone I went right on dumping. It was fun. It was addictive. It was cleansing. Plus, I was so on a roll.

I’d already broken up with my chiropractor this week, now it was time to break up with the herbalist (who is actually really, really fantastic and I adore her). Luckily I am the master of the really loving break-up, so it was okay and no hurt feelings.

Then I unfollowed about ten people on Twitter. Take that! Ha!

(I only do loving break-ups with people I’ve actually met).

Then I cleared stuff out of the refrigerator. Tossed some clothes. Recycled like crazy.

And now my nose is clear. My head is clear. My thoughts: slightly more lucid.

I’m not saying that the mad rush of de-pile-ing gets all the credit for it. I’m only saying that it was good for me to let go of a bunch of stuck horribleness.

And the take-away is …

1. Clearing stuff out is always useful, no matter what you’re trying to achieve with it.

2. If you can’t clear stuff out on one level, try another one.

I wasn’t getting anywhere with the herbs (which work on the physical level and the energetical level), but made big crazy progress with the cleaning and sorting (emotional level).

That’s it. Will update if there are further insights now that a. my brain is mostly functioning again and b. I’m almost well enough to get back to my yoga brain training epiphany wackiness.

More important: no more cooties! Snot-free internet hugs for everyone!

The Fluent Self