With so much suffering in the world right now, the events of the last few days has restored my faith in love after witnessing the power of community connection. Perfect strangers helping each other in the most extreme of circumstances. It is so heartwarming to witness this as many families around us are impacted by the current flooding event. If you are being impacted, please know that my heart goes out to you and you are being held through this.
I feel very fortunate to be connected to so many women through our retreats and I am again reminded of the importance of human connection. I feel we have been missing this connection so much over the last couple of years.
My heart aches having had to cancel our first two retreats for the year, first to covid and then to floods. We are living in such extremes at the moment and I know how much our retreat days are needed right now. But I also know that we are also connected virtually and I feel so connected to my online community.
My nervous system is struggling to deal with what is happening in the world right now, I have been feeling fragile for a while, so in times like this I turn with deep gratitude to my practices to help me cultivate a calm mind and a loving and open heart.
If you are feeling fragile and powerless, or looking to find some balance to your energy, here are 3 simple practices to help you.
1. Breath Meditation
Your breath is the golden key to your wellbeing. Take a moment to sit quietly, close your eyes and notice the movement of your breath in your body. Your breath is probably something you take for granted despite the fact we can’t live without it. Your breath grounds you in the here and now when the natural tendency of the mind is to focus on the past or worry about the future. Your breath can also be a monitor for your feelings. If you can sense more clearly if your breath is short or long, shallow or deep, you can begin sensing your own internal weather patterns, and then choose what you need to do to love and care for yourself through the ebb and flow of life.
Take a few mins each day to sit in stillness resting in your own awareness of your body. Explore how it feels to let go of the tendency to want things to be a certain way. Even for a brief moment of seeing how things are – without wanting to change anything – this can be profoundly nourishing to allow things to just be.
2. Gentle Movement
We are flooded in for the next few days so I can’t get to my regular Pilates classes but I know that moving my body in a gentle and loving way is another way to help support me during times of stress. For me right now this is gentle stretches. Even if you don’t have a regular practice, gently moving your body in any way that feels good helps to move stagnant energy out of your body.
Journaling helps to tame my monkey mind and helps to bring things back into perspective. Sometimes negative thoughts and emotions can run on a loop in our heads. This can cause a build up of stress and start a spiral of stories to make the current situation feel worse. I like to write out my emotions and thoughts on paper, it helps me release them from my mind and reduces the mental load. When I read back what I’ve written, I can hold myself with gentle compassion and kindness.
I am doing what I can to reduce my external inputs like watching the news as it can feed my stress and anxiety. I encourage you to find ways to reduce the amount of negative information you consume too.
I know that we are moving towards brighter days ahead.
There has been a lot going on for some time now. Be gentle with yourself, it’s ok to feel fragile and vulnerable. Hold yourself, hug your loved ones and know that you are doing an incredible job.
I love you.