What a time we’re living through now! I hope this email finds you in your home, feeling safe and with plenty of food and entertainment for you and your loved ones. I do feel grateful that my basic needs are met and that my home is even warm and beautiful. I know this is not true for everyone.
It has been interesting to watch my mind lately and notice that sometimes I have the luxury to think about how other people are doing because I have that relative luxury of comfort and safety. I also notice that when my sense of calm is disturbed by my phone’s announcement of another text coming in, or another email, or any form of update, I am instantly jumping to learn the news and I abandon this calm to do so.
Once this happens, I don’t have the inner resource to even ponder other peoples’ needs. Once I switch into sympathetic nervous system response (“fight or flight”) I am tending to stay there, rather than return to parasympathetic nervous system (“rest and digest”). When I get stuck in the former, it starts to wear me down. I get easily fatigued, frustrated, and my digestion gets wonky. My body sends distress signals but my mind persists with vigilance, making sure that I am geared up for the next notification.
Because of the current conditions, I think that I’m not the only one experiencing this. Right now it’s especially valuable to practice excellent self-care, not just of our physical environment but also our precious mental, emotional and spiritual environments. To attend to all of these, I highly recommend that you do something active with your body and get outside if you can. The fresh air and sunshine are supportive to your whole self. You might also find inspiration in the coming of spring, the way the plants and animals are going right ahead and transforming from one thing into another, regardless of our worry or social distancing.
To help you tend to your mental and emotional health, I am offering a meditation I learned in my yoga therapy training. I use this quite often with clients and find it to be so very helpful, especially with anxiety. It is a practice that you can incorporate into your physical body as well. I have been using it myself and find it puts my body at ease and allows my mind to notice that I am actually safe. I incorporated it in my yoga practice before writing today’s email because I was feeling anxious still.
As always, you can find this meditation (Kite String Meditation) on the Practice Recordings page. I also posted a video version on my facebook page (yoga with cat) if that appeals to you.
I wish you all well. Please remember that you are not alone. We are all truly in this one together – the whole wide world! We can each do our part by practicing calming ourselves. If you can, take a break from your phone, computer, TV, or whatever keeps tapping you and taking you away from yourself. You have the potential to calm and soothe yourself, just give it a try.
Again, be well, as well as you can.