Hi All, How are you? I’m moving through thoughts and feelings a mile a minute. One minute I’m ok, the next I am feeling all my fears and worries. Can you relate? I’m used to spending most of my days alone for the last several years, so this isn’t too much of an adjustment for me. However, my need to stay up to date and be a diligent researcher along with my own health concerns is activated my system left and right. I’m sitting here practicing, failing, and succeeding calming my nervous system. Yesterday a bath and yoga nidra did the trick, today it’s soothing self talk and self massage that is helping me ride the wave that has peaks of panic.Over the years, I have learned this calming isn’t always a solitary act. I used to have a lot of shame around being hyperaware, sensitive, a canary in a coal mine, but the more I have learned about trauma, resilience, and healing, the more I have learned that calm is a co-creative process. Until we are solid in our practice, quieting our systems takes guidance whether that is in recorded form, written material, video, or in person. Practicing feeling safe, secure, and centered requires us so often to “be seen” by someone that can witness us with compassion. As a minister, I consider my primary job to partner with those that are suffering and in crisis – “for though I walk through the valley, I am not alone.”
We are a household of two, and over the years we have tried not to freak out at the same time (maybe in the same hour but not at the same time;). We each have our own strengths and unique needs regarding safety, and it helps to know what those are. But what happens if you find yourself in a crisis and you haven’t really thought of what makes you feel safe and secure? It’s hard to hit the ground running, if you haven’t fostered a trust in your coping toolbox. Be gentle with yourself right now. Tell that screaming inner critic (panicked helper, etc) that you hear it and it’s not being helpful. Often – I raise a hand to it and say “not helpful.” And turn back to the task at hand.
You maybe in crisis right now - concerned about basic needs, your health and the health of your loved ones, and it maybe clear to you that you are triggered. OR you maybe in crisis right now and that is not the word you would use. But, figuring out the new normal, navigating work from a new space, different people in your energy for differing hours, hell – navigating the grocery story is not what it was two weeks ago. You maybe more tired, more wired, more on edge, angry, depressed, sad, irritable, etc. And these are all signs that a nervous system is on alert. Add on being sensitive, in tune, connected and you are feeling all the feels right now. Totally normal.
In crisis, meaning is difficult to find. Yeah I have seen the social media posts inviting me to see this pandemic and physical distancing as an opportunity for growth, meaning, everything happens for a reason, God/Goddess has a plan. BUT I invite you to be patient with your meaning making. Acknowledge that this moment, maybe you have seen a silver lining or maybe there isn’t one for you right now – and that is ok. Life just IS sometimes. Meaning may never come or it could be days, months, and years away. A quickly rushed meaning could cut you off from the deeper learning and curiosity that is required to slurp all the nectar out of less than ideal situation. Meaning often comes with distance – it unfurls as you walk away from the immediate experience. Don’t struggle for something just because so many others are using that to get through this moment. If you haven’t found calm or meaning yet – that is OK. This isn’t a rush to enlightenment. And if you found it and then it left you –say it with me…THAT is ok.
Since calm is a co-creative practice, my ministry at this moment is to practice with you. Want some specialized help with touching into calm? Need someone to share those thoughts and feelings that you think other will judge you for? Want long distance healing? Need prayer and connection? Want me to pull cards and doing a mini-reading? I am here. And before you say, “Valerie, I would love to but I don’t have the money. “ I say to you – this isn’t about money, building my business, or getting clients; this is about doing the work of the Divine, together. And that is more than enough. I will not send anyone an invoice, and I will not initiate a discussion of payment. You can talk with me if you want regarding payment, but it won’t come from me.
Community, I have no doubt we will get through this. It may not be pretty at times, it certainly isn’t easy, but you are not alone. Sincerely, Valerie
I know I have been MIA from your inbox. Maybe you haven’t even noticed with all the info that comes at us daily. So why break radio silence now? Because that bossy Spirit voice in my head told me to ;-). The last several years I have taken a deep dive personally and professionally into the nervous system and how it informs our minds, emotions, bodies, and souls. I have learned several valuables tools for myself when my system becomes immobile, traumatized, and straight up full-blown panicked. I guess some universal force thought these tools might be helpful for many of us given the interesting times we find ourselves living in.
You know what doesn’t help when I am panicked? Someone telling me to calm down and to not be afraid – in all its variations. Right now, there are a lot of don’t be afraid and remain calm messages. But just like if I told you to not think of a polar bear – you can’t help BUT think of polar bear. The same is true of the message – no fear and be calm. It can cause frustration, confusion, shame, and an activated nervous system when we ignore what our system is doing. For those of us that have a sensitive nervous system (a finely tuned instrument if you will) it can be challenging to find stillness and quiet when we are trying to stay informed, and so much is electrifying our systems. So I wanted to pop in one sensitive to another and give some concrete pointers on how to turn down your system. This is not an exhaustive list. Much you might already know, but some maybe new tools for your nervous system. This list isn't a perfection list - it's a practice list. Downshifting your nervous system is a cumulative practice. Some of these tips may give you a big reward and others may give you a tiny shift. Both are valid options for your system. I hope you find this list useful! As always, reach out if you need me!!