Hello Dear Readers,
Much dichotomy and polarization are going around these days. At least here in the U.S. (and judging from the world news, around the globe really). The double binds we find ourselves in – whether simply dealing with a small group of friends and family, or dealing with the school board decisions for our children… they are frankly overwhelming! Of course my nervous system is a wreck!
How can we stay sane and stable in the midst of everything? How can we take our level of activation down from a 7 or 8 (out of 10) down to a 4 or 5?
We need practices which open up spaciousness, which remind us that we are loved. We need to spend time out in nature, or gazing at the vast heavens (whether the vast blue sky during the day or the vast velvety blanket of the night sky).
Of course, time at the beach is one of the best ways to connect to the healing rhythms of nature – some people who are chronically anxious and insomniacs go to the beach and just conk out, sleeping with ease listening to the sounds of the waves. Noticing the connection between vast horizons (space / metal element), vast ocean (water element), the bright sun (fire), sand and dunes (earth) and the gentle breezes (wind / wood element), it is so soothing.
For those of us who don’t live near the ocean, there are still ways to deepen into vast stillness and spaciousness.
First of all, stop the holding-on-for-dear-life. Turn off the news for a few days. Or whatever is causing you angst that is optional. No need to get activated on your ride into work – maybe listen to a humorous podcast or a good book. What about that hobby you have been curious about for the past few years? Now is the time – pick up a paint brush, order some clay (to play with) or take a ceramics class!
Speaking of hobbies… when I get into a good settled place, and I start spending more time in nature, then I tend to start writing poems. Here is a Haiku I wrote this morning, gazing at the mist rising and spiraling off the lake nearby:
Dragon’s Breath Rises
Crisp Morning Sunlit Birdsong
Within Without Change
If there is something which I choose to do, which is ambiguous or which brings me down. Cut it out! We have literally never seen conditions like we are living through now. Mask mandates, huge divisions over who must be vaccinated and how young they can be and all the other political polarization around us. I would recommend being gentle, we can be more kind to ourselves! There are going to be days where we need to stress eat… or binge on Netflix, etc. Be gentle about it 🙂
Start a yoga practice – there are good online classes (I know many teachers who have been on youtube for the past 15 months). And definitely give yourself time to integrate and rest after a good yoga class – at least 5 to 10 minutes! This is where the transformation happens – in the resting down. Or take up a Qigong class or Tai Chi. Or commit to walking 3x / week. Do something that feeds you. And preferably takes you out in nature, under the vast blue sky.
Go see (or do it online) a therapist, a counselor, a mentor, a coach or even a somatic therapist (somatic experiencing is one place to start). We need more support these days. We need some good friends, good company, good contact! We need reminders of our humanity – compassion, nurturance, enjoyment. We need some good news!
Spend time with people who inspire you. Find out if you have any friends who are thriving despite this turbulent time. What is their secret? Maybe they don’t have kids. But they may limit screen time to two hours a day, or they go for a run every other day. Or they have a meditation practice which helps to center them.
I wish you good luck! As always, feel free to reach out to me. I am getting busier in my bodywork practice (in-person), however I usually have one or two long-distance sessions available each week. Even over long distance, I can resonate with clients and I have several who are hundreds of miles away, and a couple who are across vast oceans – and we still do great work!
May we all allow the clear morning sunlight of the natural state to shine through our thoughts, words and deeds!
Thank you for reading!