As I write this practice, we are entering a week in the United States where we are being asked to practice a high degree of “social distancing”. For many of us, that means doing our work on-line. For some of us, it means staying home and not interacting with other people for now. The purpose of this need for many of us to not be in contact with people any more than we absolutely have to is to slow down the transmission of the current coronavirus outbreak so that our health-care system isn’t overwhelmed.
Without question, these are activating and stressful times, and I wanted to share a couple of practices that I’m using to steady myself. Our collective field of human consciousness is intensely activated and that affects us all. Whenever any one of us can orient to steadiness and ease our own levels of activation, we immediately and automatically contribute that shift to everyone else.
One of the practices I use daily, which I’ve shared before and which comes from the work of Peter Levine, the founder of Somatic Experiencing®, is to make the sound “voo” each morning before I begin the day. In the way I use this process, I take an easy breath and, as I exhale without effort, I make the sound “voo”. When you do this, allow yourself to make the sound in whatever tone allows you to feel it vibrate throughout your abdomen, all the way down to the bottom. Then, when the breath is complete, I take in the next gentle inhalation and make the sound again. I recommend that you do this three times and notice how you feel. Be sure to track your physical sensations and orient to wherever you may feel more settled.Read More “780th Week: Returning to the Present Moment”
Listening to the news these days can be an invitation to concern, suffering, compassion, action, and many other responses. I’ve been thinking lately about the power of the moment-to-moment choices we make as we move through our daily lives, whether our choices lead to action or non-action, and how that reflects the quality and nature of those choices. Here’s a quotation from Joanna Macy that speaks to what I’ve been thinking about:
“The obvious choice, then, is to extend our notions of self-interest. For example, it would not occur to me to plead with you, ‘Don’t saw off your leg. That would be an act of violence.’ It wouldn’t occur to me (or to you) because your leg is part of your body. Well, so are the trees in the Amazon rain basin. They are our external lungs. We are beginning to realize that the world is our body.” ~ Joanna Macy, Greening of the Self
I would add to this quotation that this also applies to every one of our brothers and sisters in our global human family, as well as to all our kin of every species within every form of life on this planet.Read More “759th Week: The Choices We Make”
Listening to a report on poverty on NPR this morning got me to thinking more deeply about the difference between compassion and empathy. The report included research on the impact of compassion and empathy in the presence of suffering. Read More “Week 646: Compassion and Empathy”