(Sunrise in the Tucson mountains)
As a people, it can be very challenging to discern what is a hard time versus a chaotic time of regrowth; most often chaos and challenging times go hand in hand with depression and anxiety as an accompaniment. Humanity by nature is polar, we strive for balance by grasping for another opposite. We are not taught how to “be” in a stage of not knowing during the day or during a period of life, and instead we fill the spaces with sensation outside of ourselves: heavy food, traveling, social media, blaming others or more insidiously, through mental and physical illness.
Whether it is regrowth, a time of loss, or times are just plain hard, it is important to find a basic rhythm within to return to again and again to give the body a means to integrate and embody change.
Here are a couple of suggestions:
When you wake up in the morning and it is dark and hard to get up, put your hands on your belly, just below the breast bone and breath. Just follow the breath. Doing this helps to stabilize hormones, especially cortisol levels, a hormone that manages blood sugar and stress levels.
As you breathe, pray. Recently I realized that with all my prayer for the wellbeing of others, I very often forgot to put myself in there, or if I did, I spent maybe 5% of prayer to myself vs the 95% focused out. As you pray, make sure that you “equalize” the prayer. It can be challenging to do, but try praying and visualizing as you pray for whatever your heart says to hold yourself just as important as those you pray for. The expression of life that is you has just as much value as another.
Try moving just a little. Wiggle a finger, wiggle a toe, turn your hands in and out. As you move, come back to your breathing, synchronize your breath and movement in a way that is easy and without effort.
Recognize that some mental illness has a somatic basis, and some physical illness has a somatic basis, but all illness lies in our energetic system. It is the reaction to life around us that makes many of our symptoms worse.
Notice the patterns of thought and emotions. You may not notice it, but your friends and family might, ask them. It may be that you have a particular pattern of being needy during August, not remembering that was when your mother died. Can you acknowledge your need and rather than distract from it, filling yourself with another person, place or glass of wine, give yourself the kindness and care you need? Perhaps allow for a hug, some bodywork by a caring therapist, something that allows you to receive and hear your body?
Take a class with a teacher or healer that can help you identify your patterns of movement and thought. Awareness can be sobering but worth its weight in gold for building stability and health.
And while this is outside of us, try tuning into nature. Nature is the all powerful force that when the spirit leaves this physical form, we dissolve to. Connecting with this larger force serves to remind us of our place in the scheme of things.
Praying for you, me, and all beings during these chaotic times. Namaste
(Sunset at Patagonia)