Up north again, Friends
I leave you with a sunset
Loving the summer.
Up north again, Friends
I leave you with a sunset
Loving the summer.
I was off the grid for the weekend, a planned retreat to my primitive place in the woods before we began experiencing as a collective the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder and the chaos that descended upon the Twin Cities.
Friday the following haiku tumbled forth:
Our hearts grieve deeply
Sorrow of generations
On Saturday, after reading old journals and during a re-read of Dani Shapiro’s memoir devotion, the following emerged:
And nested within
A part of me felt anxiety while I was off the grid, missing the news, away from the internet. I was not even able to receive texts unless the wind was right and my cell intermittently had reception. Another part of me felt grateful for the retreat and the space away from knowing all of the heartbreaking external events of the world.
I used the weekend for reading past journals (I’m up to 2016 after about a year of reviewing my collection which goes back to 1992), reflection, writing and grieving. I went on walks and listened to what my inner voice seemed to request. I fasted for 20 hours on Saturday, allowing my body to be awake to any and all sensations.
Retreating requires enormous privilege, I realize. And it is something that feeds me psychologically and spiritually. Since I was very young I have always valued and treasured solitude and personal space. I wish it is something everyone could have when it is necessary.
After a retreat, there is the return. We live together in an interdependent web. We love each other. We hurt each other. We forgive each other. We acknowledge and apologize for past misdeeds. We resolve to treat each other with more respect. We understand that how we treat others is a reflection of our beliefs. We examine and unpack those beliefs, conditioned patterns we did not necessarily create consciously.
In the end, many of us realize that we are not separate from others. All living beings contain a divine spark, an unlikely miracle of energy and matter, defying the physical law of entropy.
How can we learn to value and love all humans, and all creatures of this earth? How can we remember our divine connection, our shared fate on this small planet?
These are questions for which I have no answers. Yet I keep asking them and my soul keeps beckoning me to live these questions as I strive to serve.
Warning: shameless self-promotion ahead. 🙂
This Sunday I’m piloting a Sunday yoga online “retreat” during the morning hours (central time) via Zoom conferencing. I’m offering a free class to anyone who wants to join my yoga enthusiast mailing list. Write to the email below, and I’ll send you the Zoom link information.
If you want to support Healing Within Acupuncture & Wellness Studio, to ensure that affordable acupuncture is available when we re-open again, we have a sliding fee policy and you can pay what you can afford. I realize times can be tough for people right now. We’ve got you. Do what you can. We understand.
Set some intentions for self-care for this upcoming month. Whether you are in service to your family, your work, your community or all of the above, you deserve to take good care of your body and soul.
And if you are suffering from screen fatigue, rest assured. I will verbally cue this session, with optional screen demonstrations to create your yoga “home studio” with props made from what you have at home. Bring a few blankets, towels and pillows for maximum comfort!
I can’t wait to see you there! Pets optional. 🙂
I love your mat, Mom.
It is a magic carpet
where you mellow out.
P.S. Join me for an online yoga class on Tuesdays or Thursdays! I’ll help you set up your own pet-optional yoga practice.
Content here first appeared on Linked in on April 14, 2020. It has been edited for WordPress and re-formatted.
Are you feeling like your head is busy and your body is unsettled?
Maybe you are trying to work from home, and it now seems like all you do is work…
Or maybe you are managing children’s “school at home” schedules and you are also expected to get work done.
With the uncertainty and virus concerns, many of us exist in a new reality. Even if we might worked at home before now and then, now we are possibly sharing space with more people.
We don’t necessarily have the “commute bumper” of our day to delineate starting and stopping anymore. For some of us, maybe the dining room is now our makeshift office. Pets or children may interrupt us many times a day, not understanding that it’s a Tuesday, not a weekend!
It does not help that the news can be grim, and that we worry about the state of our health, our loved ones, and of just how the world will “recover” from such a disruption. While we may be able to focus on certain aspects of our work during the day, we cannot totally keep from wondering… what is next?
During this period of collective upheaval and change it is important to schedule self-care into our day. I’m writing this while snow swirls outside in Minnesota as we speak. So while a walk would be lovely and I highly encourage that as a routine for before or after your workday, or after lunch, it does not always appeal.
Other things you can do include taking a break and making a cup of tea, and allowing yourself to step away from your desk. Grab a journal and write out your thoughts, or draft a screenplay scene with yourself as the protagonist.
If you’re like me, you will add yoga or other movement as part of your day. There are online NIA classes you might take. Perhaps some quiet meditation or listening to some soothing music will help you calm and center. Or engaging your creativity by getting out the paints or even some play-doh (remember kindergarten?) will give your mind a rest.
Whatever you decide to do, realize that these self-care activities are not optional. They are not frivolous, because they provide a respite from our left hemispheric thinking, which can be unrelenting. While thinking and problem-solving are wonderful aspects of our human capacity, over-emphasis can lead to anxiety, a focus on doing rather than being, and sometimes even insomnia.
I wish you well. I hope you experiment with and discover the activities that nourish your whole self, and nurture calm, clarity and resilience. I would love to hear about your favorite ways to relax in the comments below!
Take much care,
P.S. If you have not already found online yoga options and want to join a live community of people via Zoom to practice restorative or slow flow yoga online, please join my email list (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get a free class offer. Or you can sign up for a sliding fee yoga class here. No prior experience necessary. Thank you for your interest!