Last week I was on retreat, supposedly tucked away from the goings-on of everyday, "normal" life. By the looks on people's faces early Wednesday morning, it was obvious that no distance or intermittent satellite signal would separate us from the news that was fast unfolding all over the country.
Regardless of how physically far I was from the epicenter, I too felt the reverberations of it on every layer of my being. Because I'm human, I was touched.
Because you're human, no matter which camp you're on, you too are likely touched by the outpouring of shock, grief, fear, surprise, upset, dread, and anger. And because you're human, it's more than likely that there's a part of you that is feeling hurt.
Precisely because you're human, it's absolutely certain that the hurt part of you is in need of attention right now.
While there's a time and a place for posting your thoughts on Facebook, debriefing with your partner, reassuring your kids, and other ways in which to reaffirm your connection to others, there's also a time and a place to reaffirm your connection to, or with, your own self.
In these times of need, if you haven't already, might you take a moment and lend your attention to yourself? Notice what you're feeling in your body. Notice where in your body you're feeling it. Lend it your attention and notice. Feel and notice. Notice and feel.
Whatever you notice, ask it: "What is needed right now?" Ask this sensation or feeling: "What is wanted right now?" Finally, ask it if there is any action required. Then choose whether or not to take that action.
The feeling may tell you it needs more time to sleep. It may tell you it wants a hug. It may ask you to write a letter or protest. Whatever it is, I guarantee you that once this sensation feels heard, the tension will ease. It will shift. It will feel a little bit better. This is the power of presence, your powerful presence with whatever needs your attention right now.
What else can you say to your kids, to your partner, to your friends other than "I'm here" and "I love you"? What else can you say to your own self other than "I'm here" and, if it's available, perhaps also add "I love you"?
It may not change who presides over our country next or what the subsequent four years look like, but it will definitely change how you preside in this present moment.
May your own presence with your self give you the comfort needed to withstand chaos,
-- Shira Oz-Sinai
Please share your reflection or response!
Shira Oz-Sinai is a spiritual teacher trained in iRest® Yoga Nidra meditation and Soul Lightening Acupressure®, two modalities that share the common principle of noticing what arises in awareness as the foundation to living life with ease and in deep and loving friendship with yourself. These are her musings.