The web that holds us can make a real difference when times are tough.
Moving through life on our own is a tricky, if not impossible, task. We all rely on others in some capacity, even if we are resilient, strong and independent. One thing that I've observed over the years is that the more robust someone's network of support is the more grace there is when challenges arise.
I want to acknowledge that systemic factors are at play that can make certain resources more or less accessible based on our race, class, gender, age, ability, etc. Of course, we all need to be making efforts to shift this to make our society more fair and just, so that we all can have the support we need to thrive.
I invite you to take a moment with me to reflect on the support network that you currently have. Take an inventory of what's working well, and if there are any areas that could use extra attention. You might even want to grab a sheet of paper and list the supports you have, so you can see your web in action.
Resources can show up in a whole range of ways. They might be free resources like library books, YouTube channels, or a park nearby. They might be internal skills, or experience, such as repairing a car, growing berries, or first aid. Our connections to people in our life can also be a resource: family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, support groups, or professionals you get services from (therapist, doctor, lawyer, etc.).
The questions I invite you to hold are, "Where do I get my needs met in this area of my life? Or, if I needed help where could I turn to get these met in a healthy and constructive way?"
Areas of Your Life:
Your Body: How do you meet your body's need for food/nutrition, movement, rest, healing from illness or trauma?
Your Home: What helps you manage your home? Including chores, maintenance, paying for necessary utilities/expenses, and cultivating a peaceful or harmonious environment
Dependents: What/who helps you take care of any children, loved ones, pets, plants that may be in your care?
Social Connection: How do you connect with others in ways that feel safe, enriching, and reciprocal?
Emotional/Mental Well-being: How do you tend to your mental and emotional state, including managing current stress, and healing from previous experiences?
Meaning/Purpose: How do you find meaning and purpose and your life? What offers outlets for joy and fulfillment in your life?
How do you feel about the list of supports that you've curated? Perhaps there is gratitude for all that is there to help you. Maybe you are judging yourself about not having things in place in a way you would like them to be. If that is the case, there is room for those feelings, and know that this exercise is not about judgment. It is about bringing attention. With awareness, creativity, and humility we can brainstorm ways to strengthen the areas that need more fortifying. We can begin to flex the muscle of "asking for help." We might also see those areas where systemic oppression might be playing out in our lives or others. It gives us an opportunity to advocate for something different, and connect with organizations that are already doing that work to shift the larger dynamics. Of course, please offer yourself compassion, systemic oppression is a doozy to say the least!
Given all that you've uncovered during this time of reflection, what is one area of your life than you can focus on to cultivate a more robust support network? If yours is feeling pretty fortified, maybe you offer efforts to help that be the case for others. What is one concrete action step you can take?
Cultivating a web to hold us is essential. It makes the day-to-day more enjoyable when things are flowing smoothly, and gives a dose of sanity and a little room to catch our breath when a crisis arises. If you can, weaving this support network before something major shifts can make a big difference. If you are in the thick of tumult, know you don't have to do it alone! Ask for help.
If healing support and a safe place to process feels like something you would like to incorporate into your network, please reach out. I've got a variety of options available depending on what is most accessible to you including: one-on-one sessions, live group guided meditations, recorded meditations, and recommended resource list.
Blessings to you,
What happens when we go beyond putting out fires.
Over the last couple years, as the decluttering practices of Marie Kondo, Japanese tidying expert, have become mainstream, many of us have been going through our closets, refolding clothes, and asking ourselves, "does this spark joy?" Going through our homes like this can bring up overwhelm, and all sorts of emotion, but as we go through the process, there comes to be more space available, more peace, clarity, and hopefully joy. :)
Now, I am not writing you to nudge you to go organize your closet! But, hey, if you feel inspired to, big props to you!
Instead, I invite you to imagine your body, or energy field as a house. Take a moment, and close your eyes, breathe, and tune in. What does your "house" look like, and feel like on the inside and outside? Can you move around from different areas? Does it feel chaotic, distracting, or perhaps there is peace, and comfort? Are you bumping into boxes with who-knows-what inside? Perhaps there are things that you stuffed down in the basement or the corners of your closets that you hoped never to look at again. Maybe you are hanging onto a bunch of your aunt Milda's stuff. Check the walls, have you memorialized that hurtful thing that person said to you in fifth grade, or do you have some graphic picture you are looking at day in and day out? Make a note of what your energy seems like in this moment. Trust your instincts.
Receiving Reiki is one way that we can clear, bit-by-bit, and tidy our energy. Oftentimes, it starts out by putting out that fire in the kitchen, which, in this metaphor, may translate to releasing intense physical or emotional pain you are experiencing. Once the crisis has been averted, we start to get to those things that are impeding our daily functioning, like all those dishes on the counter, or those boxes in the way of our path through the house. With our health this may look like getting better sleep, more ease in making healthy choices, or feeling less stressed. Eventually, we get to a point where life is flowing more easily, without major drama impacting our functioning. (That doesn't mean that life stops happening, but that when crisis come up, we have the reserves and attention available to tend to them without getting caught in the drama.)
Here, we need to keep up with maintaining our chores or the clutter will start to build up again. The same with our energy, if we stop once things start to feel good, and we do not continue with self-care, and incorporating the wisdom we've learned, eventually we become burdened again.
However, the beautiful thing that happens when we continue to tend to our houses and energy, we not only maintain the flow and organization that keeps things humming in life, but we start to get to those boxes that are tucked away. Those boxes that are filled with things you didn't have time to deal with when it happened. Those things you inherited from your family, but don't fit who you are. The things you've been hanging onto out of obligation or familiarity. You can finally reach that hanging on the wall with those painful words, and take sucker that down, and burn it in the most epic bonfire of your life! The energy in those "boxes", and "pictures" take up space. Once we finally have the time to sit with them and air them out, the stuff we don't want to hang onto will dissipate. In the process, we also uncover the nuggets, the gifts, and wisdom that were tucked away in there, and we can elevate the beauty in them. Of course, we don't do this all in one go, we do it bit-by-bit so we can safely honor our feelings, and experience, and integrate what we need to in a sustainable way. This whole process frees up all this space, so your innate nature, peace, ease, and joy can more readily radiate from within you.
No matter where you are in your energetic tidying, Reiki will meet you in cleansing the next layer with gentleness. Because we all know, sometimes it's hard to do these things. If it was easy, we would have done it already. We might be overwhelmed doing it all on our own, maybe we are scared to see what is hiding out in those boxes, or we've been looking at that wall hanging for so long we've come to believe it's true. Dear one, you don't have to do it alone, it can be done in a safe, gentle, manageable way, and no, that B.S. line is not true.
So where are you in your energetic tidying journey? Share with us in the comments or send me an email. If you want help in the process, reach out. I'm here for you.
May we nourish our collective heart this holiday
As we honor Thanksgiving this year, whether gathered with loved ones or resting in solitude....
May we feel safe to be as we are, in our bodies, minds, and souls.
May we acknowledge the provision that life has offered us, and allow ourselves to fully receive that which nourishes and feeds our spirits and flesh.
May we shrug off with grace that which would diminish our light. Allowing it to roll off us, untarnished, and view it through the eyes of compassion and a desire to understand.
May we be fully grounded in our hearts and feel this capacity grow.
May we honor our roots, our personal ancestry, and that of our communities, country, and planet. May we remember that we wouldn't be here without those who came before.
May we honor their love, courage, and hope. The beauty they planted that has flourished through time and strengthened through adversity.
May we also acknowledge their shortcomings. The moments of misstep, and misalignment with deep Truth and Love. The old wounds, personal, and collective, that have yet to heal.
May we recognize this humanness within ourselves too. That we all have these capacities for love, fear, connection, and confusion.
May we find tenderness as we see these places where our souls and communities still ache. May we witness the pain and not turn away. May we say, "I am here with you, brother, sister, friend. We will heal this together."
May we be willing to forgive, and to practice it until we feel it in our bones.
May we have the courage to move into inspired action. Led by the heart, to offer greater healing to ourselves, our families, and the world.
May we trust that our love and joy ripples out into the universe, and serves those who need our gifts the most. May we remember that the choice to live from this place elevates us all.
We Are One.
Thank you for existing. We need you.
With so much love,
P.S. Have a blessing you would like to share with our community? Post it in the comments below.
Reiki Master Teacher and Owner of Embrace Your Essence