I have to keep reminding myself of this magic thing right now.
Looking at my various screens sometimes makes me want to scream, sometimes cry, sometimes curl up in a ball. I see the terrible news stories, I read and process them.
I am angry - very angry.
Everything is horrible, there's just no way around it. Division and Conflict are daily assaults on our humanity and on our communities.
The stress is warranted. It's natural to feel helpless watching everything unfold, each minute feeling more unsteady than the last. Especially as we shelter in place, which depending on where you are, is the way for a lot of us right now.
For me the best thing for me is to take breaks from the "news".
I'm not hiding from everything that's happening, but I am trying to not to let it consume me. Friends reach out to me but I do not respond because I don't want to keep re-hashing The drama.
And I can't help think that is really what they reached out for - The drama. We as a society are addicted to it.
I have also had to draw a firm boundary for myself. For all my friends and clients outside of the USA - I am not the receptacle of all The drama that is unfolding in the USA. I am not able to help you process what is happening by being your dumping ground. I am not responsible for every disturbing news story.
I take my own personal actions where and when I can and other times I put my efforts into supporting others. Other times I do nothing except cry. This is all OK.
What I have been doing every day is going outside and engaging with the world around me. I find the little things in ordinary life to be the most powerful and transformative - they give me strength.
Instead of falling into The drama cycle suggest you try it too.
Go out for the day or for an hour.
Leave your phone behind.
What will you see?
Today I saw:
Tonight My love and I are planning a yummy dinner.
All these little things add up.
These little everyday interactions do wonders for your emotional state.
You feel like you're moving forward - and you are.
The possibilities to explore and engage with our world are infinite.
The real, actual, world is so much bigger and more beautiful than what you see on your multiple screens.
I'm not suggesting that you be an Ostrich with its head in the sand - ignoring the state of things, or pretend it's not happening.
I'm definitely not saying you shouldn't care.
What I am suggesting is to look for things that are familiar, things that make your world feel like the world you know. They're out there in abundance.
All those little things allow us to take a deep outward breath and feel stronger.
There is much work to do.
Speaking for myself it is starting to feel like the world is spinning completely out of control at the moment. With everything that is going on - good and bad, it's important to get grounded in our bodies so that we are have the strength to face the world head on.
Here are some of my tips to do just that:
Do a simple grounding exercise by focusing on your breath. Pull it into yourself and down into the very bottom of your belly. Hold it there for a while and exhale loudly - completely emptying your lungs. Do this a few times and imagine that your breath is energy. Now imagine that this energy is going down into the ground through your feet. See it go down so far that it goes into the Earth. Then imagine it rushing back towards you in time with your breath. In your minds eye watch this energy move backwards between yourself and the earth, grounding you. Holding you steady.
You can do this in a few moments at anytime - I've been known to do it in the line at the grocery store instead of losing it with some idiot put there just to wind me up.
Other ways of grounding include simple every day tasks.
Take a Shower. Not a bath, a shower. Use water as hot or cold as you like. You don’t even need to wash. Just get in under the water and let it run over you for a while. Sit on the floor if you want. You may find it easier to imagine the energy transferring to and from the earth with the aid of the water.
Moisturize everything. Use whatever lotion you like. Unscented? Dollar store lotion? Fancy 48 hour lotion that makes you smell like a field of wildflowers? Use whatever you want, and use it all over your entire body. This reminds you that you are in your body and within your own energy field. Remind yourself that from this place of power you got this!
Put on clean, comfortable clothes. Constrictive clothes can also constrict your energy field and make you feel vulnerable. Take it a step further and have some fun while you're at it. Put on your favorite underwear. Cute black lacy panties? Those ridiculous boxers you bought last Christmas with candy cane hearts on the butt? Put them on.
Blast music. Listen to something upbeat and dancey and loud, something that’s got lots of energy. Sing to it, dance to it, even if you think you suck at both. Lose yourself in the rhythm and enjoy the sensations that it brings to your body. Again, remind yourself that in when fully in your body you got this. This is my personal favorite way to get back to my body - I can dance for hours and nothing matters other than me being in my body.
Make some yummy food. Don’t just grab a protein bar to munch. Take the time and chop the vegetables and flavor the food they way you really like. Fresh food connects us to the bounty of Earth and nourishes our soul.
Get Creative. Write a short story or a poem, draw a picture, color a picture, fold origami, crochet or knit, sculpt something out of clay, anything artistic. Even if you don’t think you’re good at it. Make a mess and Create. The messier and more imperfect it is the better. Enjoy it!
Go outside. Take a walk. Sit in the grass. Look at the clouds. Smell flowers. Put your hands in the dirt and feel the soil against your skin. Breathe.
Reach out to someone - a loved one, a friend, a family member, or even call a chat service if you have no one else to call. Talk to a stranger on the street. Have a conversation and listen to someone’s voice. Remind yourself that we are all in this together.
Cuddle your pets if you have them/can cuddle them. Take pictures of them.
Talk to them. Tell them how you feel, what's on your mind or even just sing to them - they LOVE that. Animals are so empathetic that they are able to communicate on a deeper level than we are. They are always listening and care about you.
If possible make love with someone or with yourself. Don't rush, take it slow, breathe, feel the sensations and enjoy them. Breathe, Relax and let go. Don't try to control how it goes, just let it happen organically.
That's the main thing really - letting go of the need to control every situation by being grounded in your own body and connecting into your energy force, which in turn connects you to this big magnificent world.
I hope you find these helpful. If they resonated with you and you want to get support at this time schedule yourself a free Curiosity Call with me today. I look forward to meeting you.
There has been a meme going around that I have myself shared saying that it feels like Mother Earth has sent us to our rooms to think about what we have done. Being in our figurative rooms can be difficult so I thought I'd put together a list of actions that we can take while on this pause.
Be Kind to Yourself
A lot of difficult feelings are coming up, making us feel uncomfortable. The main thing to remember is that it's absolutely OK to allow yourself to feel all your feelings – including the pleasant, the difficult, the uncomfortable, and the ugly. Also notice when you are holding yourself up against some perfectionist ideal that has you feeling like you’re falling short - whether it’s related to job loss/ job insecurity, working from home, homeschooling or whatever challenges have suddenly come into your life. Acknowledge that nothing or no-one is perfect and it's ok to allow yourself a little down-time. Not everything has to be worked out right now. Instead of beating yourself up, try on the perspective of “good is good enough,” you’ll be surprised how often that’s exactly what’s called for. This kindness towards yourself will naturally lead to kindness towards others and there’s never been a more appropriate time for us to all share kindness.
Focus on What’s in Your Control vs. What’s Out of Your Control
When you think about it, even when things are going well and you're not in the midst of a worldwide pandemic
you're never in control, not really.
Now's the time to take stock of what’s in your control versus what’s out of your control so that you can focus on what you can influence while letting go of what you can’t. For example you probably have no control over when you can go shopping for food, or what will be available when you get to the shops, but you can control the decision to do the best you can with what you've got. Other examples of things that are in your control include taking care of yourself, setting boundaries with others and communicating to your loved ones how you feel and not watching the "news". Don't bother yourself with the things you can't control like people ignoring health directives, the fact that your job has paused or closed down and other people's words, actions or thoughts. Notice when you do start to focus on the things that are currently out of your control, take a few deep breaths - right down into your belly and then refocus on what is in your control.
Create Meaningful Social Connection
We're all in the same boat and all need social connection. Social distancing doesn't mean social isolation. For your sake and for your community please do reach out to family, friends, colleagues and/or neighbors via phone, video conference, text, email.
Remember that Community builds Immunity.
If you’re on video conference overload due to working from home or online learning try changing up the start of the meeting or staying online after the meeting ends to allow for some personal interaction. Ask questions about how folks are doing. Maybe ask if anyone can recommend a good book or delicious recipe. Most people want to share what they’re currently experiencing and you'll end up with a much different (and better) video meeting.
Then there's always the good old-fashioned phone call. Without visual distractions, the phone can allow for more vulnerability, more presence and deeper connection. I certainly often notice these benefits in phone sessions with clients.
Exercise / Go Outside
This is always important, but even more so at the moment. If it’s still allowed in your region, take a neighborhood walk, go skipping around your block or run or bike ride. Releasing the energy pent up inside of you has huge positive affect. Even a few minutes outside in the sunshine (or the rain) barefoot on some grass, sand or dirt will help ground you and connect you to magnificent Mother Earth.
She could do with the connection as well.
And while you need to stay six feet away from folks you come across, try making eye contact and smiling – it will make you both feel good. Last time I checked saying hello is still legal and will lift your spirits.
If you’re not currently allowed to exercise outside, the internet is awash with online exercise classes. The great thing about them is that no-one can see you mess up the moves and you can do them without a bra or having brushed your teeth. DJs all over the world are playing virtual sets online so now's the time to check them out and dance like no-one is watching. Personally, as the disco-dancer that I am, this has been going on a lot in my place.
Choose Healthy Food
Most of us are still able to go out to purchase food. When doing this, make the decision to buy the best quality ingredients that you can afford. Shop, wherever possible, at local businesses rather than multi-national chain stores. The local businesses will appreciate it and it creates more community. If there is a farmer's market near you, even better. Bring home all your lovely ingredients and try out some new recipes. The "I don't have the time" excuse isn't really valid at the moment.
Continue (or Develop) a Mindfulness Practice
This can be whatever works for you and gets you out of your monkey mind and into your body.
Some ideas include; Yoga, meditation, writing a list of things you are grateful for (focusing on what you have rather than what you have not) journal writing, knitting, prayer, baking, listening to relaxing music or getting your hands dirty while planting a garden or growing something in a pot or a windowsill planter. I love to hang out with my plants - it always lightens my mood and instills a sense of accomplishment and my kitchen-come-home office space also looks fantastic! Personally I also like to chant every evening for 10-20 minutes. I start with lighting a candle, then I say a little prayer to Mother Earth and then I chant until my voice runs out. Chanting has been shown to increase the positive vibrations in our energy fields and increase our vitality. It has been used for centuries by both Eastern and Western "religions" - everyone from Gregorian Monks to Tina Turner has done it. Neuro-scientists and researchers have repeatedly found that chanting helps block the release of stress hormones and increases immune function.
It's also been said that it keeps our muscles and joints flexible!
Here's my prayer to Mother Earth - I cobbled it together from what felt good for me and a chant, that as far as I am aware, is a Lakota chant (although finding the exact details has been difficult) The actual words are unimportant - what is important is the intention and the sound frequencies you create.
A Prayer for Mother Earth
The earth is our mother, we must take care of her
The earth is our mother, we must take care of her
Hey yunga, ho yunga, hey yung, yung
Hey yunga, ho yunga, hey yung, yung
Her sacred ground, we walk upon
Her sacred air, we breathe it in
Her sacred waters, we drink them in
Her sacred fire, we are cleansed by them
She gives us life
Hey yunga, ho yunga, hey yung, yung
Hey yunga, ho yunga, hey yung, yung
And so it is
These are just a few suggestions from me to you. Please share below what has been working for you. I'd love for my community to come together in this way. I have opened up my practice to online zoom calls for both coaching and hypnosis. Please reach out if you or someone you know could currently benefit from online/video support.
COVID-19 or the Coronavirus has created a mass panic and fear and has triggered a lot of us that have past trauma. We all process risk in different ways so I wanted to talk today about the ways in which we can mitigate this mass-fear response.
A gentle reminder to feel compassion for yourself and anyone else who feels frightened right now.
It's distressing to see news media, to be constantly reminded to wash your hands and to hear all this talk about death.
As a society we don't talk much about death and we certainly don't have a cohesive societal attitude toward it.
Rationally, it is possible to educate our minds to understand that the risk is relatively low, even in high risk populations. The latest figures provided by the World Health Organization place the mortality rate (of confirmed cases) at approximately 3.5% globally or closer to 1.5% for all countries outside China. The numbers of people that have mild or asymptomatic presentations have unlikely been tested so these numbers are actually a lot less. The folks that are dying or needing to be hospitalized are those with chronic medical conditions such as lung disease, diabetes and heart disease and/or in elderly and immuno-suppressed communities. Rationally then, taking precautions such as frequent hand washing and the usual things we do to reduce the transmission of flu should be sufficient for the vast majority of the population.
Your risk of dying in a car crash is 1 in 103. Yet we get in our cars most days and don't feel scared.
Because we feel like we're in control.
Whereas with a new outbreak, people feel out of control and therefore powerless. When we feel powerless and out of control, we respond emotionally, even if it's not "rational". As you may have experienced, trying to have a rational argument with someone who is emotional is often fruitless. Emotions like fear arise from a very different part of your brain than the critical-thinking-conscious mind. The primal, survival-oriented limbic brain is linked more closely with our sub-conscious and doesn't care about rational arguments. It just wants to help you survive at all costs.
Fear is natural and normal when something is new and you feel powerless and out of control. Especially if you have a trauma history. Unfortunately the truth is that many of us have some form of trauma in our history. If you have a trauma history and things went very badly when you were out of control in the past, it's understandable that you would feel afraid when you feel out of control and powerless. This is where the healing work can happen.
Building your emotional immunity is as important as building your physical immunity.
Hypnosis can really help because in a hypnotic trance we tap into the subconscious mind to find the programs that get triggered when you're feeling out of control. It's like building new programs for emotional immunity in our subconscious mind. Other therapies can also be of enormous help, modalities such as EFT, Tapping and other Somatic therapies and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Even Acupuncture can help calm your emotional response to trauma memories.
Working through past trauma means that when uncertain times strike your limbic system doesn't panic as much. You become more resilient and can ride the waves of life's inevitable uncertainty.
Because the reality is that you're never in control. Not really.
We like to cling to the illusion of control, but it's merely that; an illusion. The more we treat and clear our traumas, the more emotional immunity we develop. Fear can then take its rightful place in your emotional repertoire as an early signal of intuition. This intuition is important and it definitely helps to keep you safe. The other advantage of working on past trauma is that your nervous system generally settles down more, and you can more easily fight off infections such as COVID-19 and recover quickly if you do catch them.
Keep in mind that unchecked fear itself is a health risk, so this is a time to get help if you need it and use spiritual practices to calm yourself. Daily exercise and a healthy diet are also still important and should not be sacrificed due to fear. Eating survival rations and staying indoors and not moving your body is not helping you to fight a possible infection.
Another huge health risk - especially in "at risk" populations, is isolating from society. Loneliness has a similar affect on your long-term health as smoking or heart disease. Killing at much higher rates than this current (and any virus).
So as much as your limbic mind is telling you to stay home and avoid all contact with other humans, this is not the healthy thing to do. The best thing is still to connect with other human beings inside your communities. During Physical Distancing this can be done online, or by just picking up a phone and making a call.
Especially at times like this community is our greatest defense.
Going forward remember to limit your exposure to the "news", wash your hands, eat well with plenty of fruits and vegetables, exercise daily and build your emotional immunity through connection with others and by working through past traumas or programs so that you are better able to keep calm.