I’m wondering how you are feeling this week?
I have had my wobbly moments.
So much is changing so quickly, demanding that we adapt, be resilient and stay flexible, and I experienced a wave of suffering this week. I watched myself as I tried to resist the new normals that are bossily making themselves comfy in my life. I wrestled with how things are vs how I wanted them to be.
It’s important to pay attention to the things we can control and focus less on the things we can’t. This is the foundation of acceptance and ultimately resilience at this time.
I can wash my hands. I can stay home and maintain distance. I can move my work online. Acceptance is where the power lies.
All aspects of our lives are changing and, dare I say it, we as a global community are learning some valuable lessons. Like many of you I’m working from home, studying from home and socialising virtually from home. I feel so grateful that my house is big enough to change spaces. I move from one room to another and it feels like I am living in a theatre set. Each room becomes the setting for a new scene to take place. My art studio has doubled as my teaching space, the study is the shared home office and university lecture hall and where my children do their classes and school work, and my lounge is…quite frankly…a mess. It’s like the common room everyone hangs out in. There are sewing projects taking place, a glow-in-the dark project I choose not to know about (something about a glow-in-the-dark ceiling!!) and everyone is pitching in with cooking , which is so great for me 😉.
So whilst there are lots of things to love about spending time at home together as a family, there is no separation between home life, work life and (currently) student life. We are all living on top of each other, and I’m living on top of myself. And it’s hard to find a rhythm. There is a gentleness to my days, but there is no routine or structure to help ground things, so I find myself really being called to live in the moment.
So whilst some of us are feeling isolated, others are feeling cramped. The best way to manage at either end of the scale is to come home to yourself.
At times like these I draw on practices that help to ground my body, soothe my heart and slow my thinking mind and here are the practices that I am leaning on to support me at the moment:
1. A 3-step mindfulness practice of coming back to the moment:
P – Pause – which helps break the auto-pilot stress cycle.
R – Relax your body – When we’re stressed, our muscles get tight which sends signals back to the brain to fight, flee or freeze, making thoughts more distracted and chaotic. Relaxing the body, does the opposite, it begins to open the mind again, making it easier to focus.
O – Open to what matters in the moment – As the body is relaxed we have a greater chance to be more aware of creative ideas or simply the ability to focus on the task at hand.
2. The guided practice of Yoga Nidra.
Also known as yogic sleep, this beautiful practice will help you find space in the chaos to relax deeply and find calm. It will soothe your nervous system and if you’re feeling anxious will help you soften into sleep.
Here is a recording I made for you to use at any time.
3. Using the senses to stay present
Using a favourite essential oil, you could light an oil-burner, put a couple of drops on a light globe that is in use or I just dab some on my wrists and each time I catch a waft of the scent I am reminded to come back to the present moment. Patchouli and Lavender are my current faves.
May we all be calm, positive and at peace.