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,
Reiki Master Teacher and Owner of Embrace Your Essence