Wow, what a time we are in. Surreal is a word I am hearing often and seems to accurately describe our collective experience. For myself, I am noticing big waves of emotional energy moving through. I also notice periods when I feel deeply exhausted as a result. As we are all being given permission / orders to stay home, we are also being given an opportunity to go within and see more clearly.
There are moments when I feel a strange sense of relief, realizing that life as we have known it, has come to an end – that we are no longer in the collective denial that has enabled us to continue living so devastatingly out of balance with the earth and each other. Even though we have known for a very long time that how we were living was not sustainable, Nature has finally stopped us in our tracks.
During these moments I feel a quality of peace deep in my bones that I have never before experienced. My human biology seems to be responding with a YES to what is happening on the planet – the same as the earth and sky are responding to less human pollution with an immediate movement toward regeneration. These reports of blue sky and clean water demonstrate the amazing resilience of Nature.
There are also many moments when I feel fear and sadness for what is happening. There is real suffering on many levels as a result of this situation. With my primary passion and life’s work being conscious connection, it also saddens me to see and feel humans afraid to contact each other.
At the same time, I see this as a precious and sacred time, one filled with great possibility for true change and awakening. Already we see and sense the goodness that is happening amid the suffering and confusion. We each need to find our way through this in ways that have meaning for us. It is inspiring to witness how people are helping each other in this process.
One of the practices that is helping me right now is sitting with and transmuting the energy of fear, my own interpretation of the Tibetan Buddhist practice of Tonglen. In this practice I breath in and embrace fear (the same way I would embrace a fearful child) and breath out peace or compassion or clarity. Sometimes I feel this fear viscerally, as my own, and sometimes I practice when feeling all is well, knowing there are many suffering from the pain of fear.
This practice may sound strange to some, but it is one of the most powerful ways I know to detach from fear and realize it is safe to feel it. I don’t have to be afraid of fear but I can open to it, get curious about it and see if there is something more true and real and permanent beneath the sensations I call fear.
Some friends and I were sharing the underlying values that are being clarified as a result of our situation. For me it is freedom. This is a practice of freedom, reminding me that freedom is ultimately an inside experience, one that reveals that the only thing we can control is our attitude toward whatever is happening. If I can liberate myself from my fear of fear, I can be more fully alive and awake in my life and find joy and beauty in any circumstance.
May you find peace and deeper understanding during this time of great change and upheaval.
Sweet and Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and Fear
- ‘Come Back To Your Senses’: Whenever you notice you have been carried away with fearful thoughts and scenarios, take a few conscious breaths and look around you. See what you see. Hear what you hear. Smell what you smell. Taste and feel. This practice will orient you back to the moment and connect you back to your body and to what is really happening!
- ‘Invoking The Heart’: Turn your full attention to your heart center. Take a few conscious breaths while inviting whatever quality of heart you may be wanting or needing such as courage, gratitude, compassion, forgiveness. Allow your heart to expand this quality and immerse your entire body and energy field with it.
- ‘Mantra of the Moment’: Mantra is a Sanskrit word meaning mind protector. It is a way to protect our minds from the fearful thinking that causes stress and suffering. Choose whatever mantra works for you such as ‘All is well in this moment’ ‘I am present in the here and now.’ ‘All my needs are met and I am grateful’.
- ‘See Beauty’: Beauty is everywhere. When we open our eyes to it, beauty can soothe the Soul like nothing else. Nature is filled with beauty and so are humans. Take moments throughout your day to see the beauty that surrounds you.