Hello Fellow Body-Mind-Hearts –
I am thinking of you. I am wondering what you are doing to care for your body? your mind? your heart? your soul? in these wild and unpredictable times. I am curious about the shapes and textures of your days…who inhabits them and what activities sustain you. I wonder about your nights and how you navigate them.
A few days ago I had a powerful conversation with someone about the imperative of tending our deep internal space of awareness during this time. This is not news to me. I have said for years, it is times like these that we need and draw upon our practices. Yet, to be completely honest, several of my key practices had fallen away. And the ones I was doing were not fully captivating my attention. My ‘smartphone’ had my number and I was fully drawn into its thrall. No surprise really. This shit is challenging in so many ways. There is a need to track information, to be up-to-date, to know some things. AND the day to day items are NOT the only aspect of our lives that need attention. If we are going to make this journey with any semblance of grace and grit we must tend to our Souls.
We can’t simply do all the outer activities, track all the pertinent information, care for our families and deal with the stress without a place to hold and meet it from. This is going to be a long journey and life is forever changed. So how do we not burn ourselves out? We tend to the ground of awareness that allows us to be steady enough to do all those things and still smile, offer compassion, love, and laugh.
We need Soul Space (what another friend calls a Stress Free Zone) every single day. Whether it’s for 15 minutes or an hour, in small chunks or one large time, we need to fall in love (or back in love) with our inner space and Self. We need to be compelled and fascinated with our inner being and vastness as much as with the news and the numbers. We need to rekindle our long lost deep desire to be Soul. Not so easy when our bodies are achy, our minds are addicted to pings and whistles, and our hearts are broken again and again.
It is fascinating to me that in some ways I have much more time…I no longer have hours of commute time or certain commitments. Yet at the same time I seem to have much less time to get all the things done that seem so urgent. I have heard others share similar experiences. I am convinced that since time and space are deeply interwoven that time has shifted because our experience of space has changed and mostly shrunk. (I am still working on this hypothesis and welcome any other input and ideas:) This is an increasingly uncomfortable way to line in Chronos (linear) time. As a result, it seems very important to touch into Kyros (non-linear and infinite) time regularly to find and cultivate the unchanging and steady aspect of ourselves. This is where Soul Space or Soul Time comes in. This is how we touch the numinous and bring it froth into the everyday.
Here are a few of the things I might do during my daily Soul Space…journal, meditate, dance (alone, with my beloved or with my online dance community), walk (without my phone!), play with my cats, lie in the grass, stare out the window, garden, collage, turn off all devices, chat about topics that inspire and elicit contemplation…I am still growing my list. Soul Space doesn’t need to be a solo endeavor either…sometimes what drops me in to me is being with another in some intentional way, being reflected back to myself with attention and offering the same in retun. I have recommitted to this time no matter what my mind might tell me about how tired I am or that I should take another look at the news real incase I missed something 10 minutes ago. Again, sometimes just 15 minutes can really help. And it is cumulative…each time we come back with new enthusiasm for the Soul.
Here are a few online resources that are important to me right now…I will share more in coming months.
Living Myth Podcast with Michael Meade
Live Online Transformation of the Earth Event Series with Michael Meade
Levar Burton Reads Podcast
Even in the last few days I have notice a drop in my nervous system activation for periods of time during the day. The intensity of the demands of the day seem lighter and more bearable. I feel more steady as I meet the craziness of the world.
I want this for you. Please let me know how you are tending your Soul and what fills your Soul Time.
Some of the ways I am offering you some Soul Space are…
Online Resiliency Sessions for Nervous System Nourishment (sliding scale available)
Full Moon Mandala Practice May 7, 7-8:30pm through Seattle Yoga Arts Live Streaming
Continuum Moving Inquiry Playshop, May 11, 7-9pm, through Body of Insight Live Streaming
Yoga Nidra Practice, May 24, 5:30-7pm Two Dog Yoga Live Streaming
May you find moments of peace
May you find moments of connection
May you find a longing for yourself as strong as the longing for the world
May you find ease of body, steadiness of mind, softness of heart and spaciousness of Soul.
- Identify the different ways you connect to You and perhaps even make a list and put it on the fridge…do one of these things every day.
- Who are your Soul friends…the people who help you be You, who remind you of the depth and power of You, who tend their insides as well.
- Make your commitment to your Soul Space just as important and non-negotiable as your other outer commitments.
- PLAY…a great way for your nervous system to experience safe activation and move some this intensity through your system. Play a musical instrument, run down the street, walk in a different neighborhood, play a game…
- Book an online Resiliency Session with me. Sliding scale available upon prior agreement. Please allow me to support you in this wild time with gentle awareness and guidance for settling and nourishing your nervous system.
Upcoming Online Practice Opportunities:
- Monday 10-11:30am All Levels Yoga
- Sunday 10-11:30am All Levels Yoga
- Full Moon Mandala Practice…Thursday, May 7, 7-8:30pm
- Continuum Moving Inquiry Playshop…Monday, May 11, 7-9pm
- Yoga Nidra Practice…Sunday, May 24, 5:30-7pm
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.
~ Naomi Shihab Nye