As I sat in the hotel room bathtub, all I could think about was the perfect storm of “cough-pocolypse.”
A month ago, when my husband and I booked two seats to hear poet David Whyte speak in San Antonio, it seemed like an inspiring idea and a fun road trip.
Then life happened.
Over the holidays my husband got the flu, and I got the cold that, when sung in my head to the Lamb Chop tune, went “This is the cold that never ends, it just goes on and on my friends…”
Both of us had been feeling slightly better for a few days, however, so off we went.
During Whyte’s presentation, I kept trying to suppress a cough that blurted out during the most poetic lines, and by the time I got in bed, the coughing really began. I spent hours alternating between sitting in the bathroom breathing in steam from the shower and sitting straight up in bed. Whatever I did, it felt like a fiery hot nail was scratching down my throat.
The next morning, after finally getting a few hours of sleep, I got up and all I could think about was how we shouldn’t have come on the trip. I berated myself that I should have packed better medicine. I shouldn’t have had the diet Coke at dinner because the caffeine kept me awake. The hotel air was too dry and if I’d stayed home it wouldn’t have been so bad. I had created the perfect storm.
Finally, trying to reach for something that felt better, I dropped a bath bomb into the hotel tub, made some tea and plopped in… as I continued my dramatic replay.
And then it hit me. By spending time in my head on the perfect storm of the past 24 hours, I was missing the perfect storm of the present moment. There was the shiny silver of the bath fixtures sweating with moisture. The faint lemony smell of the bath bomb. The warmth of the tea as it surfed across my tongue and down my throat. I realized that poet David Whyte didn’t get his inspiration from replaying old stories in his head while he was in the middle of a different moment. His poetry came from full presence.
Suddenly my robotic story melted away, and I all I could feel was relief washing over me. As I sighed in the tub, I let in a little more freedom, and a lot more peace.
Afterwards, when I looked out the hotel window with a clear mind, what had looked like barren fields the day before now looked like a straw colored paradise, like the field I built forts in as a child. Colors felt brighter, appreciation coursed through me. My cold hadn’t changed, but my eyes had changed…
I’d love to hear your comments on the article, what pearls you notice when you begin reflecting. Please share your thoughts below in the Reply box …
You may reprint the featured article, in its entirety, by including a byline and a link to Carolyn’s website. www.backyardpearls.com
Carolyn Scarborough is a professionally trained creativity and writing coach. As founder of Backyard Pearls, LLC, she helps coaches and heart-based entrepreneurs to unblock their creativity so they can connect with and express what’s deeply meaningful to them. She leads retreats, telecourses and does private coaching with new writers, experienced writers, and those who simply need a creativity boost to launch business and writing projects. She is the author of “Backyard Pearls: Cultivating Wisdom and Joy in Everyday Life,” and is an award-winning magazine writer who has published more than 500 articles in publications around the world.
Request your complimentary “Tapping into your Inner Wisdom” session here.