Medicinal Recipe for the Times
If I had my wish you would read this with a cup of tea, with your feet up, under a tree feeling the wind caress your face.
Or perhaps in the quiet of the morning as the sun slowly begins his wake up journey across your little patch of home. But, I’m not in charge of when or even if you read this. I can tell you, that quiet place is where I’m writing you.
I don’t need to inform you of the changes happening, of the unraveling of certain paradigms and the extreme discomfort that comes with change. We are all witnessing and feeling it. I find myself asking, “How can I navigate this?” “How can we do it differently?” Sometimes in my more victimy-feeling moments, “Where are our leaders?” Finally, “How can I help?”
This letter to you, dear one, is one of my answers. Here’s what I’ve figured out so far.
These times are calling for something different.
“We must be the change we wish to see.” – Mahatma Gandhi
It’s all an inside job. We must become the people we have been praying to. A “leader” in the traditional sense is not showing up. We must become like, Mother Theresa, Buddha, Gandhi, Jesus, Mohammad, or Kuan Yin. Our species remaining viable on this planet depends on our shift into becoming like the ones we pray to. I don’t need to spend much time on this idea… We all know that what we’ve been doing isn’t working. Period.
Where we start.
We start by getting quiet, however you know how, and ask with the kindest, warmest, most understanding voice (maybe envision your grandmother or one of the afore-mentioned masters, asking), “What is it I really need right now? What is asking for my attention?”
It is hard right now.
Can you create a sanctuary for yourself to feel what needs to be felt in the safety of your own company? If you can feel whatever you’re feeling, what you need will also come. This compassionate work on our own is an imperative first step for our world to become a safe place for all our children.
Practice, Practice, Practice.
It is time to develop new habits, new patterns, new neural pathways….whatever lingo works for you. It is time to practice kindness, gentleness, tenderness, & compassion by DOING it.
Before you read this list I would like to point out that EVERY SINGLE thing on this list is scientifically proven (for those of you who need that)!
- What melts your heart? What gives you the open-hearted feeling you have when you see a puppy? Practice that state as many times a day as you can. Set a timer on your phone (create and APP!), do it before you eat, or every time you feel stressed and can remember. Relive whatever the experience that takes you to your heart. Replay the puppy or your grandchild laughing over and over and over again. Yes it’s simple and yes it works.
- Maybe you don’t have time or you can’t think of something today, simply breath into your heart for 10 breaths.
- Read something uplifting….every day….for these times, multiple times a day.
- Practice gratitude. Really practice it. Really feel it.
- Unless you are going to take direct action, stop watching the news. (take a break from Facebook). Your nervous system cannot handle the diet of such a huge volume of negative information you are exposed to.
- Step away from the violent negatively-focused television programs and video games. Your nervous system believes it is all happening to you. Yes, it does.
- Remember, caffeine, sugar, alcohol, nicotine, as well as the other “illegal” mind altering drugs, alter your consciousness and take you away from your feelings. They may be good for a vacation, but not as way of life.
- Go outside away from man made structures where you actually belong and come from. Preferably with as little between you and your home….take off your shoes and clothes (please don’t get arrested), leave your flat screens, bring your friends. Science calls it “earthing” and “forest bathing”. My mom just called it go outside and play.
- Create beauty. ANY. WAY. YOU. KNOW. HOW.
When you feel brave enough.
Put your practice to work outside yourself. Share your heart-centered self. Look people in the eye, beam love at them, bless them (even if it’s from the inside), offer kindness. They, just like you, are trying to ride the waves of chaos right now.
Beaming blessings and love your way.
Reading I find helpful:
Anything by Pema Chodron
The Heartmath Solution by Doc Childre
The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo
The Secret Teaching of Plants by Stephen Buhner
Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach. She also has free podcasts.