I’ve always loved Rilke’s quote, “Being here is so much”. These days, though, I feel being here is almost too much. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired. Tired of the political climate of this election year and the senseless shootings that have left families and communities shattered; where we barely catch our breath before we hear of yet another tragedy. In the midst of all that leaves me weary, I tap into a deeper place of knowingness that everything we are witnessing is reflecting and revealing the patriarchy working in its shadow, allowing us to see without question the polarities of love and fear. I choose love. Every day. Again and again. It’s all I know how to do in this climate of black and white thinking. That, and I would suggest we all take a nap. The whole world needs a nap.
When I hold fast to loving fiercely I feel better; taking time to walk daily, allowing the flowers and trees and seeing God in the eyes of the people I meet to soothe me and remind me not all is lost in the midst of the injustice and darkness that seems to greet us these days from the time we wake up to when our heads finally rest on our pillows at night. Issues that require our attention to learn and listen and claim our responsibility to contribute to what is in alignment with our integrity.
Holding to this path of loving fiercely in the midst of divisiveness, where anger and frustration can so easily eclipse compassion and respect can be challenging. In addition to my daily walks, I find myself needing to be sure I’m truly “in my body”. When we’re keeping company with fear ~ it’s so contagious! ~ it’s easy for us to “check out” of our bodies. It’s a natural way of coping, of surviving trauma. This “checking out” also allows fear to have its way with us and suddenly we’re “up to ninety” as my Irish friends say. Stressed and afraid. Overwhelmed and feeling powerless.
I’ve learned to check in with my body throughout the day, paying close attention to how my body is responding to the outer world. Your body is your constant companion, ready to act as a buffer between you and the world. Your body holds deep wisdom and will never lie to you. It is in our best interest to pay attention and listen to the messages wanting to be heard and learn the ways our bodies communicate their wisdom. My clients recognize this strategy as “taking your temperature”; intentionally stopping for a few moments, tuning in, breathing deeply, holding steady and really feeling your physical self. What is your body trying to say to you if your shoulders are raised, your stomach is tight, or your jaw is clenched? Having spent the vast majority of my life out of my body, it was a wonderful gift to embrace this inner relationship, to allow acceptance, gratitude, trust and self compassion to become the foundation for all the other relationships in my life. And how effective and empowering it is to listen to your body and then respond accordingly, with a mantra supporting you to relax and come back to center, come back into your body. To ground yourself.
When we’re grounded and fully present in our bodies, we are better positioned for whatever curve ball may come our way. That, and a strong cup of tea, will do wonders for coping in these uncertain times, this in-between time in our spiritual evolution. Hold fast to Love. And take a nap.