Hello Dear Ones-
Kayf haal-ik? This beautiful greeting in Arabic asks… How is your heart, right now, in this moment? What is the current state of your soul and how are you managing? Truly, I wish to know.
My heart is heavy. It seems perpetually heavy these days as if it has somehow grown in capacity and at the same time taken on water that can’t be bailed out fast enough. I like that it seems larger and more capable but boy is it challenging to try to hold so much pain and grief and anger and still try to find some joy and laughter, let alone simple ease. I know I am not alone in this and yet each of us has our own way of carrying the beautiful and challenging burden of awakening in this time of cultural collapse. It can be overwhelming to point we might get sick ourselves, we might give in to judgement and cynicism, or we might even think of giving up completely.
This is why is it so important to resource yourself. To know what your personal resources are and how they can bring you back to yourself. I mean it; a list, whether written on mental (sometimes written really helps as our memory can fail us in times of stress!) What are the activities, people, and places that help you reconnect to your best, wisest and most grounded Self? The things that help you access your calm center and your expansive heart?
These activities, people and places are usually not digital or technological or complicated to perform. Typically, they are simple, physical and we know them by the sensation of settling we experience as a result. It can be easy to think that the instant gratification and dopamine hit of scrolling through your social media feed or diving into the pint of ice cream or bag of salt and vinegar chips or perhaps buying a new something will help. (I have tried all these several times:) But I think most of us know by now that these ways of tending to our self isn’t true resourcing, not really. It’s more like a checking out and a bandage. We’re looking for the slow walk in the woods, the simple cup of tea while staring out the window, the restorative yoga/chi gong/tai chi class, the chat with a friend who doesn’t try to fix or explain away our hurt, anger and exhaustion.
What are your resources? Make a list, put it on your refrigerator and go to it when you are overwhelmed, shaky and your heart can hold no more. Send it to me and know I honor your choices.
Here are some of mine…
walk in the woods
read a poem by a wise one
walk by the water
turn off my phone and sit and do nothing
bake something delicious
restorative yoga practices
take a bath
call one of the people who I know can hold me and my big aching heart
listen to soothing music
sit in silence
run my energy tools
gently tending to my feelings through my bodily sensations
When we are resourced and settled back into our Self then our actions and words can carry so much more power and presence. We can find and know the wise ways we need to engage with the all that requires our attention, difficult and easy, cultural and personal.
- Make a list of your resources and commit to using them on a daily basis. Yes, daily, because we can never over fill the well of well-being and there is a lot to drain us right now.
- Use the practices you learn in classes and workshops that resonate with you and that you remember giving you the settled calm feeling of expansive presence. They are yours, use them. If you forget them, ask your teachers, ask me, reach out and collect what you need.
- Ask someone honestly how their heart and soul is in that moment and give them the gift of your attention and presence. Hold them with kindness and generosity and no need to fix or explain anything. Be with.
- Book a Resiliency Session with me and learn some specific tools to help down regulate your nervous system and be more resourced in your life.
Helping, Fixing or Serving?
By Rachel Naomi Remen
“Fixing and helping create a distance between people, but we cannot serve at a distance. We canonly serve that to which we are profoundly connected.”
Helping, fixing and serving represent three different ways of seeing life. When you help, you see life as weak. When you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole. Fixing and helping may be the work of the ego, and service the work of the soul.
Service rests on the premise that the nature of life is sacred, that life is a holy mystery which has an unknown purpose. When we serve, we know that we belong to life and to that purpose. From the perspective of service, we are all connected: All suffering is like my suffering and all joy is like my joy. The impulse to serve emerges naturally and inevitably from this way of seeing.
Serving is different from helping. Helping is not a relationship between equals. A helper may see others as weaker than they are, needier than they are, and people often feel this inequality. The danger in helping is that we may inadvertently take away from people more than we could ever give them; we may diminish their self-esteem, their sense of worth, integrity or even wholeness.
When we help, we become aware of our own strength. But when we serve, we don’t serve withour strength; we serve with ourselves, and we draw from all of our experiences. Our limitations serve; our wounds serve; even our darkness can serve. My pain is the source of my compassion; my woundedness is the key to my empathy.
Serving makes us aware of our wholeness and its power. The wholeness in us serves the wholeness in others and the wholeness in life. The wholeness in you is the same as the wholeness in me. Service is a relationship between equals: our service strengthens us as well as others. Fixing and helping are draining, and over time we may burn out, but service is renewing. When we serve, our work itself will renew us. In helping we may find a sense of satisfaction; in serving we find a sense of gratitude.