I spent part of today catching up on the news after this week’s “telephone appointment days.” I was reading, watching, listening, sensing, feeling and touching in to the news sound-bytes but also the heart-soul-sensing of folks on my facebook feed and communities. In order to *read* in that way, I let it all in and feel/taste/sense it in my own body. Today, like most days in the past weeks and months, it didn’t feel good. It felt sticky-slow-morose-numb. It’s no wonder. The hits keep coming hard and fast. At some point, it feels impossible to remain standing.
Today, embodying that energy so as to transmute it, my body moved in slow, dragging motion. It’s the way we move when we really just “can’t anymore,” but must. The sounds emitted were garbled, low moans. That energy was transmuted–to heal myself and those in my webs of connection–as very gentle breaths of renewal, love and hope.
Today, I’m also sending out along those tendrils, the following written (and audio) rendition of the practice I’ve developed and use to check in with my own emotional state, connect with my vision of hope and transmit through my heart. I hope it helps you. Read it and follow the instructions or listen to the audio at the bottom of this post. It takes 15-30 minutes. I promise, you can take time for this and get back to the (r)evolution and catch right up.
What you feel in your body (dullness, numbness, hopelessness, disempowerment, fear, outrage, exhaustion, anxiety, protectiveness, violence, offensiveness, defensiveness, responsibility) is a response to what’s coming in to you. The words and images you see/read, the voices you hear . . . are quite literally entering your body through your eyes and ears. Those thoughts, ideas, images, emotions, words, deeds–are now inside you. They are part of you. They are quite literally, changing you on a cellular level. It’s not just your thoughts or emotions shifting as you digest information. Your cells are changing, mutating so as to acclimate with what’s coming in from the environment.
Notice the feelings. Sit with them–giving your attention to your emotional body for a few moments. Let it rise up and be what it is without judging it or trying to change, fix or do anything about it. Let your body-emotion show you where you are. If you’re uncomfortable, be in the center of that discomfort. If you’re confused or scared, just be with that. If you’re numb or desensitized, be with that as well. See what’s there for you. Remember how this feels in your body so you can recognize yourself feeling this way when it happens again. So you will know what you need to do for yourself to help yourself. And, so you’ll know how to help others.
Give name to what you’re feeling, to what’s arising in the emotional body. Give it movement. Dance, stomp, punch your fists in the air, shake, tantrum or curl up on the floor. Let the body lead the expression of your state.
Give it wordless voice/sound. Shout, wail, whine, weep, yell, roar, growl, hiss, laugh, howl, . Again, let the body lead. Allow your animal body to express its pain, grief, indignance, ferocity.
Be-move-sound until you are tired or bored or feel silly. Find your breath now and follow it in and out of the body. Settle in to the rhythm of your breath and be with that.
Sit or lie down in a comfortable position while following the rhythm of your breath. Imagine, in as much detail as possible, how you want to feel instead . . . in the ideal world you wish to live in. What’s your ideal? Don’t give attention or focus to what you don’t want or what needs to be done to bring your vision to reality. Stay with the vision.
Flesh it out in as much detail as possible. Notice how it feels and how you image other people feeling in your ideal vision for the world you want to live in. How does your heart feel?
Is your heart relaxed, spacious, full, achey? Just notice and breathe into that. Focus your attention on that feeling as you continue to imagine your ideal world. Let the feeling in your heart fill the vision in your mind’s eye. Do this for a while.
Next, open your heart. See it open and see the feeling associated with your ideal world streaming out across your webs of connection. Sense that intricate and complex web and imagine it lighting up as each exhalation from your body and with each heartbeat, your heart-feeling pulses out along those threads and through the whole web–lighting it up. And imagine the many who–just now–are receiving your heart-felt connection, connecting to the vision in your mind’s eye, sensing–if only momentarily–reprieve and relief from their worries. Sense how what you send into the web cycles through and around and back to you. How what you send, returns renewed, replenished and multiplied so you are filled with more of what you are sending.
Do this until you feel tired or bored or otherwise complete. Pull the energy you’ve been extending back toward yourself. Feel the edges of your own body–and it’s muscle and bone. Take a few big cleansing-clearing breaths and notice how you are feeling now.
If you use the audio: Pause it while you let your body move and make sound, then come back to finish the practice. You may have an easier time downloading the MP3 to your device and listening from there as some people find audio slows and stops as it loads here on my site.
This is a self-care practice. We are made for these times. It’s true. If we are to sustain ourselves–remaining grounded, centered and aligned with the values and ideals we want for the world–we need to practice really excellent self-care. If we want to help sustain others during these times, we need to extend tremendous care to them no matter the distance between us. You can be a Heart Warrior *and* march in the streets, educate people, speak out about what’s broken. You can be a real and effective activist *and* take time to feed the body, the mind and the spirit.
Drink some water, Beloved Heart Warrior. Take an extra long shower tonight. Turn off the news for a little while –it’ll be there when you get back–and light a candle. There are no sinners in our movements, no martyrs required to crawl across shards in order to prove their commitment. From the battle-weary to the newest Heart Warrior, from the most deeply oppressed to the most comfortable among us, take care of your beautiful heart so you can bring its pure desire into every battle you engage.
Love and Power–Karina