Sep 30, 2020
Rage and compassion. Courage and fear. Grief and joy.
The complexity of being human. Beyond duality. Beyond the binary. In order to hold the “both/and” it helps to be resourced.
In my personal experience, yoga and meditation offer the resources to be present to the big emotions. To sit with the complexity of life. To feel all of the feelings, even when we are uncomfortable, rather than ignore, suppress or bypass.
I witness big feelings everyday with my 5 year old. Doors slamming, words she doesn’t really mean, swings from joyful to enraged in just seconds. You never know what will set her off. She doesn’t have the skills and tools to regulate her own nervous system and manage her big emotions yet. That comes with age, and practice.
But, even when our physiology is developed there are life experiences and circumstances that make it more difficult to manage big emotions and the stressors of life. This is trauma. Trauma is anything that overwhelms our capacity to cope and respond. And it leaves us feeling helpless, hopeless and out of control.
There are times when there is just too much energy moving through the system and it requires an enormous amount of effort to manage that energy. Some of us, we shut down and freeze. Some of us try to be neutral and bury our heads in the sand. For others, we snap. None of this is productive in the long term so we must build our tools of resilience every single day.
I believe we are living through massive collective trauma right now. Massive.
The layers of crisis we are facing from the COVID pandemic to the pandemic of racism and White Supremacy to the climate crisis and the economic crisis. It is normal to feel overwhelmed. It is normal for our bodies to be screaming at us (mind, body, physiology). It’s too much for our systems to handle.
In addition to all of this we (the U.S.) have an abusive, narcissistic leader who shows not a single ounce of empathy or leadership. He lies, manipulates, cheats, steals. And none of it is in private. He is doing all of this right out in the open and he gets away with it. And he is not being held accountable because he lives in a body that the system was designed to protect. Period.
The system must change. Yoga means union. We often say that ‘we are all one’. But, we don’t live in a society that was designed to unite, we live in one that creates separation. And that is being manipulated by the current leadership to keep us in trauma so that we feel too overwhelmed to build a new world of compassion and care. A world where everyone belongs. A world where everyone is taken care of.
So, those of us who have been building these tools of resilience through our many spiritual practices need to not only show up, but show up big. Those of us living in bodies with privilege, meaning we are relatively safe in most spaces, need to show up for this moment. Offer others space to take the breaks they need, by showing up for them. And we need to rest when our systems are telling us to rather than to push through. But, get back in the game as soon as we can.
Because there are lives at stake. Real lives. And the next several months are going to be extremely important. We need to fight back against White Supremacy and Facism. It will require all of us, even if you do not see how this will impact you personally, remember that there are millions of women, BIPOC, immigrants and refugees, social activists, and children who need us all to show up for them.
This is a call to action. Get resourced everyday while simultaneously participating in collective care. Voting is only the beginning. But, it is imperative that every single one of us votes. We cannot begin to create a world where everyone is free if all of our voices are not heard.
Here are a few ways that you can resource everyday so that you can continue to show up for this moment, this movement:
- Ground: feel your feet or any limb on the earth. Get your hands on your body.
- Orient: Notice your surroundings. Look around. Presence yourself in the here and now.
- Breathe: Connect to a breath that supports your body’s ability to regulate.
- Connect: Find a community and support one another
- Nourish: Feed your body foods that feel nourishing. Hydrate--drink water.
- Self-care: Listen to what your body needs. More sleep? More food? Less food? Sunshine? Movement?
- Rest: Take breaks
- Quiet: Turn down the noise. Less media consumption, more time on your cushion
- Practice joy: create, dance, sing, paint, color, hike, bike, swim
- Pray: Connect to something bigger than yourself
- Learn: read, watch, listen, participate in broadening your perspective
- Stay humble: Stay curious. Let go of the need to be right. Allow yourself room to make mistakes and repair when needed.
If you are looking for some support join us here for the next Align & Awaken™ Habits of Resilience program. We begin October 5.
Oct 7, 2020
If we learn to not get so lost in anger but rather to mine its energy, we begin to act less out of a desperate need to assume control. We are able to act out of a determined, courageous marshaling of our resources to try to make a difference.” So, feel it. Move it. And channel it into action.
Sep 30, 2020
But, even when our physiology is developed there are life experiences and circumstances that make it more difficult to manage big emotions and the stressors of life. This is trauma. Trauma is anything that overwhelms our capacity to cope and respond. And it leaves us feeling helpless, hopeless and out of control. I believe we are living through massive collective trauma right now. Massive.
Sep 23, 2020
Yoga has prepared us for this moment. Yoga on the mat teaches us how to be present with discomfort, to set boundaries, to use discernment. The mat is simply our laboratory. It’s where we get to investigate our edges and build up our resilience toolbox.