Just a couple short weeks ago, day after day slid by, each similar to the other in predictable ways.
Now, every day brings unexpected changes and increased uncertainty.
Today, I’m not going to spend time recounting all of the potential impacts of living during a global pandemic. Rather, I want to speak to more of a mental-emotional process I’m experiencing that you might be experiencing as well.
The mental-emotional process…
…goes something like this…
What a beautiful day! The daffodils looks so gorgeous against the grayness of the sky! My son is safe, we have a home and food. I can keep in touch with loved ones (including my clients) via the phone and internet and even speak with neighbors from a distance. All is well.
Then, a moment later…
Ohmygod, there are people all over the world who are sick and possibly dying! What about their families? What about my friends who work in health care? Are they going to be ok? What about their families? Will my family be ok?
Then, catching myself getting caught up in fear and anxiety…
pausing to reconnect to my body, to Spirit, to ask for help releasing what isn’t mine and for inspiration and guidance around something tangible I can do in this specific situation (if there is something that is actually mine to do – which isn’t always the case).
birds! flowers! Spring emerging! Son singing! Husband working from home! All good things!
Then, a few moments later…
ohmygod, what about my son’s teachers? If they have to close the school, what will they do? If they don’t have income, how will they pay their mortgages/rent and provide for their families?
Or… there are so many people out of work without sick leave/pay or working while sick because they need the money. What about them?
Or… what about food shortages? Could that be a thing in the future? Should I plant a garden? I’d better plant a garden.
Or… our government is an utter disaster! How can they continue to develop and test hypersonic missiles when people are getting sick and dying and the entire country is under some form of lockdown? What about the bankers and wall street brokers who are already profiting from this situation? Everything is broken!
Or… (you get the idea…)
Then, yet again, catching myself getting caught up in fear and anxiety…
pausing to reconnect to my body, to Spirit, and to ask for help releasing what isn’t mine and for guidance around something tangible I can do about whichever specific situation (if there is something that is actually mine to do – which isn’t always the case) I’m currently getting caught up in.
moving back into my daily life (perhaps with new steps to take) feeling increased peace, connection, and support.
over and over and over … from fear to peace, back to fear and then back to peace … over and over and over.
Any chance you are experiencing something similar?
If so, I’m here to say this experience is normal. We are living in times of extreme change and uncertainty. Fear, anxiety, overwhelm, panic, grief (for those sick/dying; for all that is being asked to be released; for all we thought this year would be that it now is not…) are all normal and to be expected.
If you are struggling to remain calm, grounded and/or to think clearly, you are so not alone.
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sending out newsletters a bit more regularly (about twice a week) and sharing some of my most-beloved and most-often-turned-to practices for shifting out of fear/overwhelm and into greater wellbeing and connection. So, that’s coming. 🙂
I want you to know that if you are struggling and find yourself feeling anxious or fearful (or angry, or sad, or…), I see you; I’m often feeling the same.
Further, I want to share something a mentor of mine said to me over 15 years ago.
I was in a trauma-centered bodywork class learning how to hold onto my own sense of wellbeing (to regulate my own nervous system) as my client touched into some old trauma held in their body. For the client, this could look like them becoming activated in some way (into fear, grief, leaving their body perhaps…).
Here’s what my mentor said:
“It isn’t so important that you, as the healer, maintain a state of grounded wellbeing throughout the entire session. It’s ok to get pulled into whatever the client is experiencing a bit. In fact, it might even be beneficial.
Because, as you get pulled in (to the fear, grief, disociation…) and are then able to self-regulate and return to a place of greater wellbeing and embodiment, you non-verbally demonstrate to the client and their nervous system how to do the same.”
In short, it’s ok to be pulled into fear and overwhelm.
The important thing is to eventually (maybe in a matter of moments; maybe in a matter of days) notice that that is what has happened. From there, it becomes possible to use any of the skills and practices you’ve cultivated over the years to help you return to a more grounded and peaceful place.
And then, when the fear/overwhelm again rises (as it will), you simply rinse and repeat knowing…
…that every time you shift from fear/overwhelm into a state of greater wellbeing and connection, you are informing the collective nervous system and making it easier for others to do the same.
…knowing as well that if this is all you have the capacity to do at this time, it is time well spent and it is enough. As are you.
ps. want to cultivate new skills for these times? My upcoming Embodiment, Boundaries, and The Ancestors live-online course could be a pandemic-friendly, perfect fit for you.