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Theresa May's cough and the wisdom behind it

Posted by Simon Parke, 28 May 2019, 8.31am

As you may remember, Theresa May once had an unfortunate cough.

It was at a Tory party conference in Manchester in 2017 and quite bad… possibly the most written about cough in history.

She’d had a cold all week and was feeling under the weather. (And there’s a lot of that in Manchester.)

So perhaps her body was telling her something; because our body can be a great adviser.

It was, after all, a rather difficult time for the Tories, with leadership plots bubbling under the surface…poor polls…and Jeremy Corbyn fast becoming Jesus.

May will have been putting a lot of pressure on herself, aware of the spotlight, aware of the need for things to go right - and not wrong. She desperately needed a ‘good speech’.

Only her body didn’t allow it; her body said ‘Enough’.

It reminded me that the only occasion I’ve had time off sick was in the only job I’ve ever disliked. I don’t imagine the two are unrelated.

I went down with something I couldn’t shake off, the like of which I’d never experienced before or since.

It’s as though my body was taking me aside, offering a word in my ear. It took me awhile to listen.

Many only gets headaches on their day-off, when the unresolved tension can come out. (It’s not allowed in the work place.)

While others know they are stressed because they get back ache; or cold sores appear.

The body speaks variously; you’ll know your own body’s language.

I saw a woman a while back who had started to cry whenever she saw a couple holding hands. She couldn’t help herself, tears flowed; but equally, she couldn’t understand it.

‘I didn’t know what was happening! And I’m not the crying sort!’

It led her to revisit her past in a most helpful and healing way. She has stopped crying now. But it had been her body which first waved the warning flag and suggested there were things that needed her attention.

Our body may not misbehave as publicly as that of Theresa May - now leaving the public stage. .

But it’s always worth listening.

Mind, body and spirit are not separate lands, but closely related, with much coming and going across the delightfully open borders.

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