A couple of days in a row, I received messages that tossed me into a bit of hyperventilation that was more than anxiety and less than a panic attack.
We all get these at times.
Something happens to someone we care about. There’s scary news. A concerning diagnosis. A collective angst. A physical threat. A near miss accident.
In the midst of some ‘need to breathe, need to breathe, need to breathe’ mantras, I thought, what else would be helpful? Here’s what I came up with:
Name it. Whatever it is. Panic, anger, grief, shock, anxiety, sadness. Name it. It loses some of its sting just by saying it out.
Acknowledge the feeling in your body. Maybe you’re shaky. Maybe you’re not breathing. Maybe your mouth is dry. Maybe you feel like you got hit in the gut.
Is there something you can do to help your body? A drink of water. A walk in the sunshine. Pausing and listening to music. Take care of yourself.
Is there someone you can reach out to? Maybe we can’t share what is happening (perhaps it is private or not ours to share) but we can always share that ‘something’ is happening, ask if they can listen to us, and then share how we are feeling.
Look for the beauty and wonder around us. Sometimes it is found in those who help or the smiles of those we encounter. Sometimes it is as simple as watching the clouds or smelling the flowers.
Finally (and this is my new favorite!), how can we imagine the best possible future for the circumstances or think about how we can create a different outcome? This is hard for me as I’m a pro at jumping to the worst-case scenario, but I have been working on shifting my mind-set to ‘what if it was better than I expected?’ Not all things have a silver lining but sometimes the phoenix really does rise from the ashes.
By the way, the energy is pretty choppy right now and I know many who are experiencing some instability in one or more areas of life. If you’re riding the waves pretty well, reach out to someone who isn’t. If you’ve fallen off your surfboard, see who can help you get back up. My guess is we’re all going to need a hand of support or encouragement at various times in the next 2-3 years. We can help each other return to our heart when the air gets knocked out of us.
Be gentle with each other.
Be gentle with yourself.
You are water.
You are fire.
You are water.
You are fire.
You are yin.
You are yang.
You are one.
You are everything.
You cannot focus on that which you cannot understand and still be open to mystery. The rabbit hole of inquiry may be a fun escape, but too much time in the rabbit hole is not helpful for you. You are not a rabbit.
Mystery is a playground. The work of your soul includes play. Will you allow yourself to play?
You cannot screw this up.
We encourage you to drop comparisons.
We encourage you to embrace the amazing being you are.
Without judgment. Without qualifying statements. Without apology.
Get out of your box. Get out of your rut.
Embrace your uniqueness. Your amazing uniqueness.
You are water.
You are fire.
Are you ready to play?
There is overwhelm in the world. And overwhelm in us.
For many of us, we see so many things in the world that could be different, that could be better.
And yet, simultaneously, many of us also have multiple opportunities or ‘doors opening’ which can feel difficult to sort through and make the right choice.
In this process of remembering who we are and why we came here, we’re at a bit of an unfurling stage. Parts of us are like something that’s been stuffed in the attic for more than a few years. We’re unrolling and unwinding, shaking out the dusty parts, releasing things that we don’t need.
As we begin to feel things changing in us or around us, many of us feel some discomfort or unsettledness. When this happens, we tend to go down one of two paths.
In our discomfort, some of us freeze and do nothing. Others of us get really busy - we look around to do something, anything, to distract us from our discomfort.
The balance is in between - with a nudge in the opposite direction of our normal tendency.
If you tend to 'freeze', then do something. But not just anything or everything. Simply do the next small thing that feels right. And then the next small thing after that, etc until you've built a path of stepping stones that create momentum.
If you tend to get ‘really busy’, then do something that lets you pause and connect inward. Watch the clouds or sit with the trees. Notice your breathing. Meditate. Listen to what your body is saying to you.
While there will be ebbs and flows, we’re kinda in this change process for the long run. We’re neither meant to stay stuck where we are or to be so busy we can’t rest. To be sustainable, both for ourselves and for our purpose, we need to cultivate balance.
Learn to notice and nurture your own rhythms.
Your body knows what you need.
Is life feeling messy?
we're in a weird, awkward, uncomfortable space as a world. We can tell, and some have known for quite a while, that the old ways of 'being' and 'doing' no longer work and they are crumbling and crashing around us. And yet, we haven't figured out the new ways yet. Those are being created and tested and explored.
So we're in what is 'liminal space'. A threshold or a precipice. It feels unstable - and it is. So, no wonder we often unstable ourselves. Ungrounded. Anxious.
All the deeply embedded 'isms' coming to the forefront, the hoarding of wealth and power, the disclosure and revealing of malignancy in many systems, the focus on me/my not recognizing we are a we/us.
There's opportunity to create, to build. To be. Different.
In the midst of all this however, it can be easy to go to that anxious, doom scrolling, checked-out place. There's no easy answer because what works is different for everyone. But for me, I look outside - to the clouds, the sun, the stars, the trees, the birds and simply focus on those for a few minutes while I breathe.
Or I do something to move my energy. Walk, dance, tai chi.
Or, I go inwards. A short meditation or breathing. The internal landscape usually takes me out to the expanse of our universe, the galaxies, and just how big this world is.
How you get there is not so important. What is important is to poke your head and heart up through that fog that tries to keep us contracted and small. Let your heart come up and let your love shine out like a lighthouse.
Every time we break through the fog, it helps others break through the fog. And, it literally helps break open the fog so that we're all a bit more joyful, a bit more creative, a bit more compassionate, a bit more willing to rest, a bit more willing to do.
Big love everyone.