Illness – fertile ground for personal transformation

In the context of health and self-empowerment, it’s important to emphasise that we should feel neither ashamed nor disappointed for being sick. There can be all sorts of reasons for illness – some might have been triggered by physically or emotionally challenging life conditions, others might be spiritual or karmic in nature. Illness brings us squarely back to ourselves. Subsequently, many of the other components of life, which until then may have seemed so critically pressing and important, quickly fall away as priority is given to returning the body back to health. This means that the path from sickness to wellbeing can be a fertile ground for personal transformation and self-empowerment.

In my own experience, illness has been a catalyst that has torpedoed me straight into the present moment, where I’ve immediately been much more mindful and aware of my body sensations, perhaps in the hope that the very next second would show me a physical sign that I was regaining in health. These moments can be a bit like waiting for a phone call and hearing the silence ticking each second away. In short, situations of poor health can be acutely painful, both physically and because of the emotional/mental anguish they can bring. However, it’s precisely these personally challenging circumstances that can lead to a sense of overriding self-empowerment as we muster every ounce of our strength so that we can keep going and keep believing that we’ll come through it all in the end.

“…faced with painful experiences, existential problems, conflicts and traumas. […] in an Art of the Transpersonal Self those moments are recognized as inevitable elements of human existence which can function as vectors for transformation and thus are not denied, but on the contrary, acknowledged, affirmed and worked through.”[1]

Sam Red, 17 June 2015

[1] Koppensteiner, N. (2009) Art of the Transpersonal Self. Atropos Press: New York & Dresden, p.176.


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