How Are You, Really?

by | May 14, 2020

Listen to an audio recording of this blog post.

Mondays are the hardest. 
Friday arrives with a deep relief.
Tuesday mojo returns.
Wednesday work flows.
Thursday cranks along early in the day… and weakens in afternoon anticipation.
Saturday and Sunday… savoring satisfaction arises – see no one and do nothing.

On Sunday participating in a writing salon, I wrote that I do not recognize myself. It’s true. I usually LOVE connecting with friends and family – phone, zoom, facetime – take your pick. I usually enjoy movement, freshening up my space, puttering and finishing things. But, now, well, I am long to wander at a very very very slow pace. I cherish sitting outside in nature – rusticating as my father used to say. Energy to take action, any action beyond the basics, is very low. My weekend included pulling a few weeds, gathering brush and binge-watching a new show on Amazon Prime. 

I’m deep diving into the earth’s crust with caution, curiosity and cringe – new territory. Dare I say for all of us.

When I say to my beloved partner that our current situation – call it what you want – is very different than 2008, 2001, 1987 (please choose any economic explosion), and he asks how and why – the only place reliable for any answer is my heart, my belly, my mind leaving behind the angst to know.

When life presents a pandemic, fear creeps into our whispers. It is so subtle we might miss it. Fear forms in new stunning ways that makes it hard to recognize. Being in the unknown, a dark limbo, we return to our favorite ways of coping. These strategies are proving worthless for many of us. Have you noticed? I hesitate to say there are stages of acceptance to being in the unknown, like Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s stages of grief, because while we are all in this together, we are not all having the same experience and we are not all navigating the tides the same way.

One of my strategies, particularly when connecting with others, is to pull up my bootstraps with a happy face, see the silver linings, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, optimism oozing out my pores.  Helpful, until it isn’t.

Another strategy is to get busy and get shit done. Goodness knows I have mounds of projects available to choose from. Workable until it’s not.

And yet another strategy is to focus outside – in far-off distances across the ocean in other people’s worlds. Comparing my good fortune to those who really suffer puts a strong clamp on facing inside. Thoughtful, until the veil lifts. 

What is your experience?
How are you navigating the tides?

A common thread I see and we hear so much about is pacing, the way our lives have slowed down giving way to bluer skies, clearer waters, prolific nature awakenings. In the midst of slowing down, our lives have also intensified. Our intensity cannot be masked with a faster pace. We are aware of the disruptions and the comfortable patterns we have grown into. In this time out, we see more, hear more, feel more, taste more, while masking our faces to minimize germs and definitely touching less. Activating our reliable strategies is a whole lot harder. Results vary in our confusion.

Pacing slower, our mind has an opening to pause too.
Ask this simple question: What do I want?
Let your answers follow.

Here are mine:
I want my days to flow.
I want to embody sufficient activity, rest, food, connection.
I want to remember and never forget.
I want the ache in my heart, the sting in my eyes, the churning in my belly to cease.
I want creative immersion floodgates to open.
I want peace.
I want to serve.
I want generative action.

None of my answers above require outside assistance. It is all within me. 
Note the lack of monetary outlay required to impact any of these wants. 
I wonder about your answers; are they similar? Different?

Disruptions to slow down allow me to stop the treadmill of old behaviors and impeccably align what I am called to be and do, with how I show up and what arises from my actions.

Here are basic practices (some I have reliably engaged for ground level nourishment:

?

Rest at least 8 hours a day.
Walk or move at least 1 hour a day.
Eat sufficient healthy food.
Drink sufficient water.
Connect with another once a day.
Bonus: Read a chapter in the book you forgot you owned.

Slowing down draws out simplicity. 
We get to see how little we really need to be satisfied.
We get to experience the richness of sufficiency.

Humbling.
Encouraging.
Relieving.

Map your week by paying attention to your days. How do you enter the week? Does my opening in this blog seem familiar? Or, have you gained a better rhythm? Consider the basic practices and adopt any that serve you best in our slower pace.

If you are like me with days more jammed than ever before, still stay tuned to basic ground level nourishment. Go to bed an hour earlier – try a soothing evening tea to set the mood. Fill your water containers for the day and commit to consuming every drop. Be discerning while food shopping by purchasing only foods that bring you vitality. And, move your body. Stretch your legs. Stomp your feet. Swing your hips. Raise your arms. 

You matter. Everything you need to be is within you right now.


Be Moved To Practice

 My One Minute Water Sit this month comes to you from my backyard and my aging Mother’s Day garden, in honor of all of the mothers this month of May. The green water fountain has a solar water spout in the center, a gift from my spouse that I recently figured out how to work. It’s a bit silly and I love it.

The one-minute video changes to slow motion just after starting. Our one minute expands to over five, in slow motion. Given our slower pace, this video felt so on point with the felt sense of our slow down.

As you engage this visual, notice the pacing of your breath as one minute expands to five. Notice how you respond to the expansion of time. Notice if you settle in and down. Notice if you feel antsy and agitated. Notice your body response to pacing – this slow down – just notice.

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