Hope and Healing

June 15th, 2017 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Gather the Women

At some point in the not too distant past, I printed out a post by a woman named Rose. I don’t know her last name or which group of friends she is in, but I think it’s valuable and want to share it with you.

Rose writes about “a tornado-like energy swirling around fraught with disaster, impending doom and fear of what could happen next.” (She used a 3 letter acronym for what might happen next.) Rose advises that “now, more than ever, it is important to stay in the eye of the storm”, and offers a list of practices that might help us “stay anchored and centered”.

Perhaps you are able to rise above the fray or have some practice that helps you stay centered. I hope so. However, because I am a more than a tad unsettled, I’m going to share these practices with you. The key, of course, is the “practice” part.

1) Rest your body. Give yourself permission to lie down (under your desk if need be) for 30 minutes. Cover yourself with a blanket so you stay warm. (I’m using a blue comforter we have had for over 20 years.) Don’t worry about sleeping; you are just doing a reset for a half hour. Breathe.

2) Quiet your mind. Unplug from the noise: newspapers, radio, internet. Give a wide berth to toxic people. Give yourself a break from the fear-mongering. Disengage for a day. It doesn’t mean you don’t care about what’s happening. You just need some self care and head space.

3) Eliminate the noise. Unplug from the noise: newspapers, radio, internet, TV. ( I haven’t even tried to give up Facebook or Rachel Maddow, but I could take spend more time outside gardening or just enjoying the view of the mountains.) Give a wide berth to toxic people. Disengage for a day.

4) Get out in nature! Noise pollution is a thing! Rose recommends turning everything off – radio, TV, and cell phone. She says, “Voicemail was created for a reason. Get some noise-deafening headphones and ignore everyone for an hour or two.”

5) Laugh. Life is crazy. Can you see the craziness as laughable? Laughter releases tension and reminds you not to take everything so seriously. Shake your head and laugh at the absurdity.

6) Reach out and touch someone. Rose says, “You’ve heard it said that, “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” (I had never heard this before, but I think I can get four hugs a day.) Are you getting your share? Humans need touch to thrive. Hold hands, give a foot rub, get a massage. Hug your dog. I’ll add pet your cat even though I have a band-aid on my arm where my cat affectionately bit me this morning.

7) Find the joy. What do you do to self soothe? Exercise, sit with a good book, play ball with your dog, cook. Remember the things you love and do one!

8) Breathe. Put your hand on your heart and breathe into your heart space. Feel the oxygen coming in and out of that miraculous organ that is pumping life through your system. Take a deep breath all the way down to your toes. Hold it for 30 seconds and then release it all the way out. Repeat 3 times or all day if necessary.
Rose closes her essay with, “The tornado may still be raging, but now you are perfectly calm and able to hold space for anyone else seeking refuge. Give yourself permission to practice self care. Your positive vibes are adding to the collective, “I can feel the difference already!” She signs off with “Toward hope and healing, Rose.”

Whoever and wherever Rose is, I’m grateful to her for sharing a strategy for how to stay in the eye of the storm and not get swept up in the tornado like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. I hope it helps you, too.

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