A few weeks ago the old kidney problem I’ve dealt with since my youth came back. This relapse of  nephrotic syndrome after a blessedly long run of relative health, threw me for a loop, I admit.

Among other things, which I’ll write about soon, I felt an awful restless agitation brought on by a combination of the sudden appearance of  illness that sharply pulled up the reins on my activities plus high doses of the medication, prednisone, that I have to take to kick my kidneys back into healthy function.

A lot of people with chronic illness can relate to this crazy-making feeling. Our mind races, nags at us to do all those little and big chores that need to get done. Yet without the energy to back it up, worse if you are in pain which is terribly draining, it’s like being tied down to a post and whipped to get going at the same time.

Author, Toni Bernhard knows this feeling well. She wrote, How To Be Sick: A Buddhist-inspired guide for the chronically ill and their caregivers. Toni’s article posted on her Psychology Today blog, Turning Straw Into Gold, came at just the right time for me. She writes:

“…as I sat in the lounge chair in my backyard, I was suddenly overcome with restlessness. But I didn’t have the option to “get outta here.” As most readers know, I’m mostly housebound due to chronic illness.

As the restlessness turned to irritation, I thought maybe I should try to meditate, but the setting wasn’t right. So I made up a practice on the spot. It worked so well that I’ve been doing it every day. I offer it to you as five minutes of mindfulness magic.”

For days I had been working on resurrecting my meditation practice, knowing that while coping with my relapse my mind, and general health, really needed it. My practice has always been loosy goosy, and in the busy-ness of my life recently I had allowed even that to lapse like yesterday’s diet. So when I saw Toni’s tweet on Twitter: “Do you have five minutes? Five Minutes of Mindfulness Magic | Psychology Today #mindfulness #Dharma #Buddhism” I eagerly took a look and I wasn’t disappointed.

Here is an exquisitely simple guide to settling our spirit anywhere, anytime. No need to wait for a block of 30 minutes, no need to wait until you are in your special sitting place. A deeper, longer daily practice is still my goal, but I needed this helpful, do it now, it’s just five minutes invitation, to get me started. Thank you, Toni!

To learn more click here: Five Minutes of Mindfulness Magic

Photo courtesy Sofia Francesca Photography