Taking a sick day – what did I learn from it?

By Gina Dunlop, teacher, Brisbane

On my morning walks I connect with nature around me, which I love to do. I hear the birds singing, observe the lush magnificent trees, bushes and grasses, smell the fragrance and feel the entire embrace of nature around me. It is beautiful.

But on this one particular morning I could feel my body was aching in many places; I felt heavy and it was pretty hard going.

I contemplated how all those things in nature I was observing were in optimum health and function. Sure, there may be the odd injured bird or animal, but overall everything was functioning spectacularly. My body, a human being on this planet, is a living part on this earth as much as everything else – so why wasn’t I feeling spectacular also? What had I been doing that meant I had a body that wasn’t functioning to the best of its ability and was quite frankly feeling run down and exhausted?

When I got home, I began getting ready for work and realised I was actually sick and I needed to call in unwell. I went into regret and guilt. But on further reflection, I realised there was more – what I was feeling was an irresponsibility.

This was my third day off sick this year – on each occasion, I understood it was my body telling me I was living in stress and nervous energy; I was engaging in behaviours that were not fully supporting me to function optimally and allowing me to flourish.

So with this awareness, on this particular day I felt irresponsible. My body had been communicating with me on two prior occasions and I had deeply understood and linked feeling unwell to these stressful behaviours, but I had not fully dealt with them and here I was unwell again.

On this occasion I decided to do something about it. I spent my day resting and nurturing, but then sought support from colleagues and practitioners. I discovered some new work strategies and visited health practitioners with the willingness, openness and honesty to go deeper at looking behind the behaviours I had previously been exhibiting.

The results have been profound. My body doesn’t buzz with a nervous tension all the time, I am more relaxed and more joyful at work, I have space in my day to be joyful and playful with my partner and young children. I feel so much better!

Since attending presentations by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, I have been blessed with an understanding of how our behaviours directly impact our well-being and health. Our bodies are ideally designed to live in harmony and unison with our environment, like the nature I had observed and mentioned previously. In harmony, we have enough energy to function in optimal health, to accomplish all the physical activities we need to do in our day. However, unlike nature, we can load ourselves up with active thoughts, emotions, concerns, stress, over excitement, or consume food and drinks which don’t support us – these emotions and intakes use up energy we require to function – and more often than not, we ‘run out’ of energy.

It is then our bodies become dis-eased which, over time, leads to disease. The ease we should be living with is disrupted.

Just as nature continually evolves, so too do our bodies – as part of that nature – support us to evolve. Illness and disease are the body’s way of clearing anything that does not support us and they are part of our evolution. It is the body’s way of talking to us – alerting us to our harmful choices and behaviours.

How beautiful and wondrous that our bodies speak to us like this – to view illness as a dialogue, alerting us to behaviours which do not support optimal health and living. How often have we felt this – we get sick – and it provides a moment where we can directly feel and link our illness to a certain way of living – a stressful time recently experienced, a few late nights, eating unsupportive foods. Or we bump into something, hit our ‘funny’ bone, even break a bone – it’s all a ‘stop’ moment our bodies are bringing us to in order to pull us up to reflect on behaviours which are taking us away from feeling awesome.

I, like many, had always felt a connection between behaviours and illness, but since listening to the presentations of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine I have deepened my awareness and acceptance of this inner wisdom and knowing and have brought this to all areas of my life. As a result, I am living with an inner joy and true confidence in myself, which I had never dreamed of attaining.

I am so appreciative of the work of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine for bringing to me these ancient understandings of the science of life and how the world truly operates.

I am a forever student, ever learning from my body and from life how to grow in love and wisdom, every day.

1,225 thoughts on “Taking a sick day – what did I learn from it?

  1. This is another gem (one of many) “I am a forever student, ever learning from my body and from life how to grow in love and wisdom, every day.” How awesome would it be if from a young age we were taught to listen to and honour our bodies instead of what we have at the moment, which is often to override and put our bodies into disregard.

  2. “Illness and disease are the body’s way of clearing anything that does not support us and they are part of our evolution. It is the body’s way of talking to us – alerting us to our harmful choices and behaviours.” Thank you Gina I wish this was reminded to us on any visit to the doctor or hospital – it allows for a deeper pondering on what is going on and also asks us lovingly to take responsibility.

  3. Absolutely Gina, when we let that guilt or shame come in it stops us from truly seeing the full picture. If we address illness with the understanding that inner easiness is our natural way, as you do here, our ability to heal is truly spectacular.

  4. Gina I love the link you make between behaviours, falling sick and responsibility – and the honest look you took to see that in fact your body had been trying to let you know it was having a tough time functioning in the way you had been living. I’m also learning that at any moment I can check-in, maybe adjust my posture, or see whether I need to take a break, or question whether I’m actually hungry …or if I’m avoiding doing something or engaging fully with a task. My experience has been the more this conversation happens the more responsibility I am taking for my own health.

  5. Thank you Gina I loved your post, what a different way of viewing illness and disease, not as something to get rid of, to over ride and ignore, but a loving message from the body, to take heed of the choices made, acknowledge what have been the consequences, and lovingly choose to bring loving care and tenderness to the wisdom that the body brings.

  6. I have viewed illness as weakness for a long time. Stoically carrying on would be my motto unless there was no other option. The understanding I am developing of how the body is always re-balancing itself energetically through whatever means necessary, thanks to the wisdom of Serge Benhayon, is gradually changing all that.

  7. Getting sick means that somewhere down the line I made some unloving choices. Our body speaks to us very clearly but I can make myself believe sometimes that I didn’t have a choice. When days are ahead that might disturb my rhythm I have the responsibility to carefully feel if I am not taking on too much, make sure that my diet is supporting enough and that I ask support when necessary.

  8. I love your observation from nature being in optimum health and function. And then your questions ‘My body, a human being on this planet, is a living part on this earth as much as everything else – so why wasn’t I feeling spectacular also? What had I been doing that meant I had a body that wasn’t functioning to the best of its ability and was quite frankly feeling run down and exhausted?’ It is so needed we stop and consider the choices we are making, I know for sure I can take more responsibility to stop and truly feel what is there to feel instead of going on and ignore the small signals of my body during the day.

  9. Taking a sick day and not beating ourselves up for it is one step. The next one is really committing to the opportunity to bring ourselves back on track during this space in time. Honesty and self-love will open the door for this and responsibility will become a key factor.

    1. ‘Honesty and self-love will open the door for this and responsibility will become a key factor.” So true Michael Kremer the benefits to our health care system would be absolutely amazing if we all took responsibility and were honest about what was really going on – self love really does open the door to bringing ourselves back on track.

  10. From taking a sick day today I can really see now how many smaller messages my body has been giving me over time. I appreciate being aware of these messages, even if it’s in hindsight because it shows me that anything outside the markers of warmth and the feelings of lightness I am experiencing more and more are now alarm bells I should be paying more attention to. Holding onto those previous markers of what ‘well and vital’ meant for me before now doesn’t help because my body is calling for changes in my choices and lifestyle to maintain that level of increasing wellness and vitality.

    1. My previous markers of what well and vital were are now what I recognise as markers of being unwell and exhausted. I failed to realise that the ‘buzzy vitality’ that I took to be good health was simply a mixture of anxiousness, restlessness and more often than not an exercise high.

  11. I am finding it interesting that there is always more depth to our learning and understanding we can get ourselves out of the way and look at things. It’s like we get a different perspective, another reflection to see things, not being the hamster in the wheel, but from outside the wheel, we can see what’s pushing the wheel around. Honouring ourselves to take a sick day off when we are not well, instead of pushing on and ignoring things, we can have a great healing.

  12. I find it interesting that there occasions when we will overide what our bodies are telling us and force ourselves into work as I have done previoulsy because of feelings of ‘regret and guilt’ or obligation to others. In doing so not only are we being disregarding to ourselves but also the people that we actually believe we are helping by attending work in this way.

  13. What I noticed when I feel not well is that the first thing I do is worrying about my work. There is a lot of judgement towards myself if I am ill. I can feel that comes from feeling, like you shared Gina, that I created the illness myself. So I blame myself for not having lived in a different way. What I am learning now is that even Yes my body shows all what I choose to live before I can embrace myself for what is there to be with. To accept and to love myself including all what appears in my body. That I am not perfect, that I am learning. That it is great to be honest but also equally important to love myself in all the situations appearing. And if my body needs to not work to recover and heal I give myself the space to do so. If I choose what is needed to heal I take true responsibility and that is in service for all.

    1. This is such an important point that you are making here Sylvianbrinkman. It is not about blaming ourselves for being ill but about lovingly looking at the choices that we are making and then lovingly changing them. In that there is no room for blame.

    2. ‘To accept and to love myself including all what appears in my body. That I am not perfect, that I am learning. That it is great to be honest but also equally important to love myself in all the situations appearing.’ A truly beautiful and inspirational comment sylvianbrinkman.

  14. This so resonates with me of late Gina, I have rarely taken sick days yet in the last few months have had two occasions when I have had to take at least two days off sick. When I read the blog and your clarity on irresponsibility, it struck me as being the missing key. I have been quick to note the illness and its effects, but not my living that preceded the illness. This is absolutely vital, otherwise I continue to live in a way that does not truly support the body, as revealed by the cyclical reoccurrence of my illness.

  15. I am in awe that with all the miraculous advancements in science and technology, that it is in the simplicity of the ancient teachings presented by Universal Medicine, that lies such an understanding and appreciation of ourselves and our bodies. With this we can now choose to connect and listen to our bodies and the wisdom they provide and thus alter our living so that the true joy you have discovered is readily available and forever expanding. It is truly divine.

  16. Gina I feel this paragraph sums up our responsibility in life and it will be a joyous day when this becomes our way!
    “Just as nature continually evolves, so too do our bodies – as part of that nature – support us to evolve. Illness and disease are the body’s way of clearing anything that does not support us and they are part of our evolution. It is the body’s way of talking to us – alerting us to our harmful choices and behaviours.”

  17. It will be a joyous day when we join the dots and realise we have a part to play in the outcomes in our life both good and bad. Gina you have presented the missing dots here and I love your paragraph “Just as nature continually evolves, so too do our bodies – as part of that nature – support us to evolve. Illness and disease are the body’s way of clearing anything that does not support us and they are part of our evolution. It is the body’s way of talking to us – alerting us to our harmful choices and behaviours.”

  18. Our bodies will always let us know what is going on with all aspects of us… imagine if wewere able to listen to and respond to every message that our bodies sent us… what an amazing step forward.

  19. “How beautiful and wondrous that our bodies speak to us like this – to view illness as a dialogue, alerting us to behaviours which do not support optimal health and living.”-
    I recently have found my inner thoughts not being supportive – causing me to go into unnecessary anxiousness . I feel I need to stop and feel into what my body is saying.

  20. Allowing ourselves to take time out and feel what is happening in the body is a gift when we allow it for ourselves. It may not be a day off, it may be an hour or two, focussing on what messages we are being given. Only when we feel what is happening can we feel the true response.

  21. I love this article, showing us very simply and clearly, that cycles repeat themselves until we take the time and make the choice to choose and live another way. Our bodies do speak to us, often very clearly, and there is much to be learnt if we take the time to listen.

  22. What I learned is that it is not only about the behaviour which supports me or not, but what is behind it. For example going late to bed or eating things which make me feel uncomfortable or having stress in a relationship (private or business) – I need to ask myself: Where does it come from? What and why I have made choices which lead to this? Coming behind these questions helps to stop unhealthy behaviours eventually. Trying to stop them without pondering, stops them for a while only, but then they come back again and quite often more intense.

    1. Yes, to stop and as you say feel or ‘get underneath’ the reason for disharmonious behaviours and the choices we make that lead to these behaviours/patterns. Thank you, this is a great reminder for me to do this.

  23. I love the authority and clarity of this article Gina, which comes from the understanding you have gained through your lived experience. How wonderful that you are living with joy each day now, by listening to your body and responding to what it is telling you.

  24. So many people I know love to walk in Nature because it has a great rebalancing effect on us, myself included. But do we ask ourselves, how did we become out of balance in the first place and why do we rely on Nature to correct it? It is through our own irresponsibility that many of us do not ask these questions and/ or do not choose to find out.

    1. It is an interesting question you pose Susan. I think that I have relied on Nature so much because it reminds me that I am living in a cycle. Constantly returning again and again with the opportunity to making choices and living from who I truly am.

  25. I love how you stopped to feel the fact that your body had given you signs well before you came to the sick day and that it is through our own irresponsibility (not listening to our body and making different choices) that we end up run down and taking time off work.. This is very different from the ‘poor me I’m sick’ approach!

    1. I agree, instead of being irresponsible by not listening to her body. She chose to be responsible and make the right choices before she had to call in sick.

  26. I can feel more in reading this article today about how I don’t want to stop and feel what my past choices have been. It’s so important for us to feel these, in the depth they’ve either supported us or not, to then make the next choice and continue to evolve. The power of our choices constantly astounds me, as how simple and profound they can really be.

  27. Amongst lots of really special stuff in this article, I love the point about our bodies continually evolving. This liberates us from the prison of trying to get to an end game and, if we allow it, offers up a deep understanding and tenderness with which to treat ourselves along the way. Thank you, Gina.

  28. Hi Gina,
    So glad to re-read your blog today as I have been really feeling the tension my body reflects when I try to be thinking about the next thing whilst still being in the current thing and its awful. So that tension if allowed to build brings me a stop moment of some sort. Coming back to my body every time I become aware I am slipping into ‘next’ allows me to release the tension and be present with what I am currently engaged in.

  29. I have taken the occasional pyjama day over the years, and after the initial feelings of guilt I felt to honour my body and deeply rest. There is much to ponder on as to how I got myself in this position of being exhausted in the first place, I agree, and this would be the first thing to address. I love the line below, this can be a constant reminder to all of us to accept where we are, take it on board and evolve.
    “I am a forever student, ever learning from my body and from life how to grow in love and wisdom, every day.”
    Great sharing Gina.

  30. “How beautiful and wondrous that our bodies speak to us like this – to view illness as a dialogue, alerting us to behaviours which do not support optimal health and living.” This sentence stood out to me from your blog Gina. Our bodies are constantly talking to us all of the time and so often we override with our minds what we are feeling. I am finding that as I am deepening my connection with my body on a daily basis, I am able to listen more carefully to the signals that it is offering me.

  31. When there is a connection to one’s body, as well as understanding, then there is also appreciation for when it gets sick (a natural process) to render having to take a day off sick – guilt-free, as opposed to guilt ridden, like so many of us experience. Through this connection we understand and live that the body is delicate and the importance of preserving this to outweigh completely any ideal, belief or guilt we may hold.

  32. I love the simplicity of your blog Gina. Do we take the responsibility or do we not? It is amazing to hear what happened for you when you opted for taking responsibility and going forth “with the willingness, openness and honesty to go deeper”. If we are needing sick days or not waking with true vitality each and every day, we can ignore our body talking to us or we can listen and take our step forward as you have done. Thank you for the this inspiration and offering Gina.

    1. ” It is amazing to hear what happened for you when you opted for taking responsibility” It is when we take responsibility that actually our healing process can begin, as we can begin to see all our choices and how they also affect our life and therefore as we begin to act and change our choices based on this awareness we can begin to eradicate the illness from our bodies

      1. Yes Oliver. Using our awareness to bring understanding to our ills is our best and the truest form of healing.

  33. What a humbling and wise blog Gina. Yes, Our bodies are the marker of Our own choices. I more and more feel how loud my body is actually talking to me. Not only the misery, but also the Beauty, Tenderness, Playfullness, Delicateness that I am. I can feel that it is about letting go the beliefs and ideals that are in the way of me living the Amazing man that I am. But to go and live that it’s requiring constant honesty within myself, without perfectionism or without a need to do so. But just because it is the most natural thing to do. When I’ve made that choice, what a bath of Love am I experiencing. Thank you Gina. A very profound blog.

  34. A beautiful reminder Gina that we are forever evolving “Just as nature continually evolves, so too do our bodies”. There is a lovely assuring sense to feel and go with what the body is calling for.

  35. Reading this blog actually hit a raw nerve for me as I had to have a couple of sick day off work in the last couple of weeks, and I have always felt guilty about getting sick and as I have had moderately poor health a lot of my life, I have taken a lot of sick days. When I do feel unwell I also go into a pattern of frustration of not being able to maintain a normal functioning body like other people. But since being involved with universal medicine and having sessions, I am actually learning to appreciate how well my body tells me where I am at. It really doesn’t let me get away with much, and it never has done, which I used to get so angry about. So what a blessing to have the understanding that through connecting I can start to read what’s going on better, and then make the neccessary adjustments so to feel well again. I am finally learning to appreciate my body’s sensitivity!!

  36. “How beautiful and wondrous that our bodies speak to us like this – to view illness as a dialogue, alerting us to behaviours which do not support optimal health and living.” I love how you say that illness is a dialogue, Gina. The body is forever speaking to us if only we listen and meet it for the love it actually is and connects us to.

  37. Whether we take a day off sick, or we give ourselves some reflection time within our day, we are giving ourselves some space to feel honestly into what is happening in the bigger picture of feeling unwell. That may be an illness, or a tiredness in the day, anything that stops us from feeling 100% joyful in the day. Why wait until we get ill to take notice of the body? We get constant messages from the body daily.

    1. Well said Gill – why wait until we get sick when we know that all we have to do is simply give ourselves a few moments throughout our day to re-connect.

      1. Wise words Gill and Tamara. Why wait until we get sick to give ourselves a ‘stop moment’ to tune into our body. “Stop moments’ can be an integral part of our daily rhythm until we truly re-connect and are ‘tuned into our body’ in every moment in whatever we do.

      2. Indeed Tamara, those little moments where we stop to connect to what we did not really feel or allow are the gems which are able to bring us back to being fully in the present and aware.

  38. I had a bad day at work, the challenges that I was facing seemed insurmountable and I collapsed under the pressure. So, my immediate response was to stop and ask myself ~ how have I been living in the days leading to this one day? What choices have I made that have left me feeling less than the full and cherished beauty of me? Once I was able to see this, I was more willing to take responsibility for my choices and the impact they have on the people around me.

  39. Illness and disease as a dialogue between the body and the being, that is a great way of describing what goes on when we choose to pay attention to our symptoms and conditions and don’t take our body for granted.

    1. Very true Gabriele. As children we are very connected to our body and its movements. We are educated to leave this connection as we grow and get to the point where it becomes a nuisance that breaks down and does not keep up with our demands. In this case illness becomes its mode of communication and yet many do not heed its calls.

    2. I love it Gabriele. The body talks and we listen and there’s harmony… or the body talks and we ignore it and there’s illness and disease.

    3. I love how you eloquently describe this Gabriele, that illness and disease is a dialogue between the body and the being. Being open to this communication takes into consideration that we are so much more than our body and what we see.

  40. This is a great article Gina, it’s lovely to read how you already knew within yourself that the way we choose to behave will have an impact on our wellbeing and our health. This also makes so much sense to me. There is so much appreciation inside of me to share with Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine for sharing this science with me. It only took one man to express the truth and it’s amazing how there are actually many, many people out there that know this and it’s now time to live it.

  41. What an amazing learning our body can give us if we choose to feel and be honest . Thank you for such a beautiful sharing , very inspiring and the real way to deal with illness and so supportive.

  42. Gina what strikes me about your blog today is the way you normally approach walks, connecting to the magic of God all around, the beauty that is present for everyone. I meet people when I go on walks that also appreciate this but the majority tend to be fixated on their exercise or running and are in a separate world unaware of the magic that is going on all around. It’s making me consider – how much of my day am I in my own world or ideals/beliefs about what I should be doing that I miss the true magic and therefore the connection to what true purpose my day holds. The foundation for your walk shows how you were then able to honour how your body felt.

  43. I know being relaxed and joyful at work is something I truly crave! There is nothing to like about running on anxious and nervous energy as it depletes me pretty fast. And I just don’t see the point of working if I’m not going to be myself. So I’m learning too to completely let myself go, and just be me at work. When I do that I no longer feel stress but rather feel opportunities to learn and evolve.

      1. Yes what a relief it is to let go of driving oneself on nervous energy and allow for the opportunities to learn and grow.

  44. Great blog Gina. I remember hearing Serge Benhayon present that sometimes we just need a pyjama day. Giving ourselves and our bodies time to just rest deeply. Many would say this is indulgent but what I have found is that my body, the amazing scientist that it is, knows exactly when those days need to be, amazingly it always picks a day that I can somehow manage to stop without impacting negatively on others. When I give myself the space to have that day – which are not more than a few times in a year, my energy levels go through the roof and I more than make up for what I didn’t do in that one day.

    1. Very true Caroline and a great sharing here, I agree that once honoured I also am able to more than make up for what I did not do in that day, and just surrendering without any pressures coming from any angle is amazing for the body, and learning to live each day in this way while actually working is something I am starting to work on, as this really allows the body to just be without being heavily impacted – energy and the way we move really is everything.

    2. Caroline as I read your beautiful comment my body shouted loud ‘yes’. To allow myself and my body to just rest deeply is something I am still working on. To allow myself to have a whole day to do so is a challenge, but if I listen to my body, it seems to want to make this deeply resting experience.

    3. Great reminder Caroline. I just don’t allow myself days like that thinking (judging) that I go into comfort then. But that is clearly something from my head wanting to do it right, which does not have any relation with the truth that my body is expressing and I need to listen to.

    4. I really enjoyed reading this conversation and this blog. I think it’s time I give myself some real space, without guilt or justification.

      1. I can totally relate Helen. That space creates more space, something our mind can’t comprehend but our body knows oh so well.

    5. I love to read about the “pyjama day”. In the past I never allowed myself to do “nothing” and the pyjama day is pure medicine, when my body wants to have a rest and then for me it is important not to override the signal of my body.

  45. What a beautiful way of honouring your body and your life. It feels like you are really very aware of how you are within your moments and are very connected to what is needed to support you.

  46. It seems absurd really that the one thing that is constant in life is that we take our body with us wherever we go yet we treat it so badly a lot of the time. It is time to treat our body as our best friend by listening to it and respecting what it is trying to tell us. The fact of the matter is that the body does not lie so we are guaranteed accurate messages from it every time. It is time to drop the arrogance of putting our bodies to one side while we fill it with all sorts of things that do not agree with it and actually harm it.

    1. Exactly Elizabeth Dolan! “It is time to drop the arrogance of putting our bodies to one side while we fill it with all sorts of things that do not agree with it and actually harm it” this includes false ideals and beliefs about how to be, think, behave and express ourselves. I find they are the biggest impositions I put on my body. You are right our body has a natural flow and it must be expressed.. otherwise we are causing our own disease.

      1. I really relate to imposing on my body through the ideas and beliefs of being good and responsible. Pushing and driving my body past what it naturally does in harmony, particularly using nervous energy to complete things under pressure.

      1. Anne I was just contemplating this the other day when speaking with young people who were choosing to put off giving up smoking until they were older. How often do many put off looking after our bodies until later, when often the effects of the disregard are all too real. I know I have and it feels awful. But the body is amazing how it’ll respond to being cared for.

      2. As little children we are so responsive to our bodies – hungry and we ask for food, not hungry and we do not eat. If we hurt ourselves we cry. If we don’t like someone we don’t pretend. And those little bodies are so tender and fluid.
        Somewhere along the line of “growing up” we learn to ignore our pains, and our hunger. We learn to eat when we don’t want to. We pretend to like people when actually we don’t. And our bodies become stiff as boards and buzz with nervous tension.
        So how beautiful Gina, to take the sick day and use it as a day to reconnect with your body and to really pay heed to its messages.

  47. ” To view illness as a dialogue”. I’m just back from an overseas trip and have this awful headache for the last 2 days. I know it is related to the stress of going back to work and the amount of work awaiting me. I can let it go to my head or choose to listen to what my body needs and give it my utmost attention in preparation for tomorrow.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s