As the pandemic has continued, and as someone who has been able to work throughout this time, I’ve been exploring ways to donate money and offer support to people who have lost their jobs. With so many people losing work, facing evictions from their homes and experiencing food scarcity, it seems fundamentally important to share resources in whatever ways we can manage. A psychotherapy colleague recently shared with me a way she is responding to the current crisis for people experiencing food scarcity during the pandemic. She located a food bank that was running out of various food items and arranged with Fresh Direct to make a weekly delivery to the food bank. A ministry colleague celebrated his birthday by asking people to donate money to a food bank in his area.
I was truly inspired to read an article about MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, head of Amazon.com. MacKenzie is worth many billions of dollars. She has pledged to give away the majority of her fortune—and she has been true to her word. Here’s a link to the article about how she is doing this: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-12-15/mackenzie-scott-gives-away-4-2-billion-within-four-months
This got me to thinking about how important it is to be aware of local needs in each of our communities, along with whatever other financial support those of us who are working can offer to local as well as larger non-profit organizations. For this week’s practice, I invite you to do some investigating as to the needs of your local community, or even your immediate neighborhood, and to see what you might offer by way of sharing resources.Read More “821st week: Finding Ways to Share Resources”
One of the things that always touches me is listening to the critical ways in which so many of us talk to ourselves. It’s as though we culturally tune into a particular channel of self-awareness and are taught to give ourselves a hard time, weighing ourselves down with “shoulds”, comparing ourselves negatively to others, and making sure we jump on ourselves immediately if there is any hint that we might not be measuring up to whatever judgments we may carry.
For many of us, there is also the underlying anxiety, uncertainty, and downright fear that arose during times of trauma when we may have experienced verbal or physical abuse. With abuse tends to come an internal dialogue of self-blame which then grows into an internal litany of what’s wrong with us and why we, or our lives, will never be okay.
Recently, I watched a Tedx Talk by Andrew Newman, the creator of the Conscious Bedtime Story Club and the author of many children’s books. The talk is entitled, “Why the Last 20 Minutes of the Day Matter” and I was captivated by what Andrew had to say. Here’s a link to his talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfcZhlK-FAURead More “776th Week: Programming Ourselves for More Gentle Self-Talk”
Recently, I participated in a conversation in front of a large group of people where a colleague and I discussed intersections between Somatic Experiencing® and other body-based approaches and Buddhist practices and concepts. What became the underlying theme for me was to convey to the audience that when we feel activated—under threat or overwhelmed—our perception narrows and we lose sight of the bigger picture. We can see this dynamic all around us at this time, where people on every side of an issue become locked into their perspective and are seemingly unable to take in new information that would widen their understanding of a given stance or situation. Also, we lose sight of all the good that’s happening in the world when we’re overwhelmed by activation.
The discussion went on to underscore the importance of being aware of our own particular activation signals and behaviors, and how essential it is to be able to manage ourselves and bring ourselves back into regulation when we notice that we are activated. I spent some time talking about the difference between the “trauma brain” and the “present-day brain”. The “trauma brain” operates within an either/or, lack-of-options framework, so when we’re activated, it’s difficult to see possibilities that weren’t initially obvious. The “present-day brain” operates within a framework of both/and, along with an ability to imagine a range of options.Read More “757th Week: Coming Back to Grounding”
As I did my HeartMath practice this morning, I found that I could pretty reliably return to a coherent heart and internal sense of balance (which translates as a “green” response on the Inner Balance app), when I silently repeated the mantra, “I choose love”. Read More “Week 655: I Choose Love”
As I write this practice, those of us in the US are in the midst of an election process that generally moves along smoothly. Many of us have voted early, many by mail, and because of Covid many by absentee ballots. Because of the mail and absentee ballots, including those that always come from our neighbors in the military, the vote count is taking its natural time to allow for tabulation of each and every vote. People on every side of every issue feel the stress of wondering what the final outcome of a number of races will be.
One of the practices that I have cultivated over the last four years has been to strengthen both my access to, and experience of, the inherent steadiness that lives in the core of my body-mind being. It’s a steadiness that lives in the core of everyone, although often not easily recognized by Western culture, which hasn’t historically emphasized an embodied way of being.
For this week, I invite you to follow the practice below to both access a deeper awareness of the steadiness in you but also to invite yourself to radiate this steadiness into our collective consciousness and into your immediate environment. It’s important to keep in mind that the steadiness to which I refer in this practice is an aspect of your being that cannot be disturbed. It is not affected by the ups and downs of everyday life nor is it rattled or upset by what unfolds in the world around you. It is an aspect of the fundamental core of your being and, if you follow any spiritual practices, represents that aspect of you that arises from your Source, whatever you imagine that to be.Read More “815th Week: Radiating Steadiness”