Testing, testing…audio file on the way

Hello Friends,

Hope your month of June has. been lovely and that you’ve got plans for some rest and relaxation in the summer. I’ll be going on a week of vacation at the north shore and visiting Thunder Bay, Canada for a few days. I haven’t been to Canada in over three years! And it’s time we re-aquainted ourselves, friends.

As always, Natalya did an awesome job!

I don’t like to think about the U.S. becoming anything like the “Gilead” of Margaret Atwood’s creation, but she was prescient in so many ways. Women’s basic autonomy and body sovereignty have been eroding in recent years and this SCOTUS decision really isn’t a surprise to those of us who have been paying attention. For my unfiltered opinion on this matter, feel free to check out my YouTube video. Or if you’re weary of the discussion, skip it for now.

I’ve been working on a launch of my new podcast, Somatic Wisdom! I’m excited that it appears it was approved by the “big” platforms. After using Descript to edit and add music, I have a few more episodes ready, mostly to cover topics I wrote about in my book, and that can be useful for my coaching clients.

It’s been so fun to do this, especially because I have a number of podcasters I’ve admired since 2016. I began to realize how fun it was to choose my podcast content rather than listen to the radio and being at the mercy of the programming of someone else. It felt like a more proactive way to select what I wanted to learn and hear.

If you might be willing to give me a few early listens (it’s short form, trying to go for less than 10 minutes per episdoe) I would truly appreciate it. And if you’re not a podcast listener, I am curious about whether you are a YouTuber or you just prefer quieter media.

Be well, Amigas! And vote Pro-choice in your elections this year. It’s important!!

Quiet places (and my noisy mind)

I transport myself to a quiet place in nature, not necessarily truly quiet, but a place that calms my mind. Listening to the sound of flowing water, my nervous system feels immediately soothed.

I have often had a “noisy” mind, a busy mind, an exuberant and thoughtful (also thought-full) mind. I have been rewarded for this in many ways. And this over-active mind is also a source of suffering all too often.

Learning to calm myself through yoga, running or dance and through journaling, has helped to slow the racing thoughts. I sometimes forget these practices, like anyone, when my mind becomes triggered by a painful thought. At those times, I feel myself bracing and going into “defense” mode, constricting and pushing back.

A video of my favorite quiet place in nature (in Schroeder, MN).

When I can take a breath or two and recognize that I’m not actually under attack by anything physical, and I’m responding to a painful thought or belief, I can allow my emotional response without reacting.

I keep training myself to do this, and re-training myself. It’s a lifelong journey, it seems. And maybe that’s what it means to be human, this acknowledgement of unhealed wounds that need tending and self-compassion. We may realize intellectually that they are no longer threats, and yet they still activate a primal place within our nervous system.

When they trigger fear or sadness or another painful emotion, there is a cascade of “stories” that usually follows (for me). And then that feedback loop can lead to even more painful thoughts. I bring myself back again to my physical sensations, my senses both internal and external, and re-ground myself.

The noisy mind is still there. And now I access a place where the “watcher” can lovingly and compassionately see the pattern, and offer comfort. Nothing has gone wrong. This is what minds do, generate thoughts like bubbles in a stream. They are not necessarily true, particularly the painful ones.

Stepping back, I access that bubbling stream knowing all is well. A bit of distance, a bit of perspective, and the noisy mind calms itself.

Be well, dear readers.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

Why did it happen this way?

It did not have to happen this way. But a lack of competent leadership will do that. The U.S. has about a quarter of the worldwide COVID-19 cases. This puts “we’re number one” in a new light, no?

Daily cases July 16, 2020
Snapshot from Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center 7/16/2020

Don’t do it for yourself. Masks are not worn to protect you. Masks are worn to protect your community from small micro droplets that are released when you talk, cough or sneeze.

They don’t protect people completely, but they do slow the spread. And the main reason we want to slow the spread is so that hospitals are able to deal with the influx of cases. Also, maybe some of us care about human life and dignity.

My sister is a nurse. I don’t want her to have to deal with the results (y)our carelessness. Rural hospitals do not have the supplies that leaders claimed they would have. They must reuse the supplies they have. This is not a good situation.

Humans have difficulty with exponents. We think in linear ways, so these “hockey stick” curves work are not easily grasped. We saw this with the last big recession in 2008-2009. One minute it seemed things were fine: everyone was making money on flipping houses. And the next minute: financial disaster. Some saw the signs and warned us. But most people partied until they got laid off.

I get it. Or I try to be patient anyway.

Things don’t become serious until they are, well, SERIOUS. 

With nearly 14 million cases as of this writing, and almost 600,000 deaths so far attributed to this virus, one might think we could get a clue.

I know this is a rant.

I try to be more measured than this most days. My anger and disgust at the self-centered behavior I keep seeing, particularly in national leadership, is usually something I control. I’m a yoga teacher, for cripes sake. I meditate daily.

And yet.

My rage at incompetent leaders. Cannot. Be. Contained. Some days.

Wear your mask, wash your hands, keep your distances when possible. 

Your community thanks you for thinking beyond yourself.

***

cristy@meximinnesotana.com