21 Day Practice: Day 7 – Dead space

dead spaceWhen I woke up yesterday, the body aches and fatigue were gone, only to be replaced by late afternoon with a deep, hacking cough.

I spent a mostly sleepless night, tossing and turning. Oddly enough, it wasn’t because I was coughing a lot. I just could not relax. Every time I attempted Reiki self-treatment, an internal heat built up. I’d get too warm, kick the covers off and again try to get settled.

Whenever I get sick with an ailment that seems to settle in a particular part of my body, I try to explore what metaphysical issue may have triggered the manifestation of illness. Bronchitis or other lung-related illnesses relate to grief, not feeling worthy or a deep-rooted family issue. The last time I developed bronchitis, it happened very suddenly and I could not shake it. Even after the infection cleared up, I still had trouble breathing, especially during exercise. After many inconclusive tests, the pulmonologist determined I had a functional issue with my CO2-oxygen gas exchange (respiratory dead space) but could not pinpoint why.

It took a chance encounter with a massage therapist trained in energy-based and shamanic healing to put me in touch with the emotional/metaphysical cause. During our session, she touched the upper right side of my breastbone and said, “It feels like you have an arrow stuck right here. You’ve carried it for a long time.” I had a sudden flash of insight as to the origination. I was grieving a painful decision to cut off a relationship with a family member who had been emotionally and verbally abusive.

“Dead space” has become a metaphor for those aspects of the self where an exchange (energetic, emotional or physical) has become inefficient or constricted. I avoid saying “blocked” because we are always in flow and flux, even when energetic, emotional or physical systems are not functioning optimally. But because of various issues or circumstances, the movement from one state to another may be impaired, creating “dead space.”

The process of doing this 21 Day Practice, combined with letting of old mementos and memories, is triggering some lingering grief to rise out of that dead space.  Cleaning house on the metaphysical level, so to speak. It doesn’t feel good, but with mindful care and support, it should resolve.

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