"Make your heart be a lake with a calm, still surface and great depths of kindness"
These are interesting and difficult times. Between the responses to the elections, the violence against the Water Protectors at Standing Rock, and many numerous personal traumas/dramas my friends, clients, and family are facing, life can be overwhelming. And I have heard this from many.
Fortunately, I know that when life is difficult, there is a learning opportunity near. For me this lesson is to be calm and centered. When we allow ourselves to get caught up in the drama, we lose sight of the bigger picture. Suddenly, it becomes easier for us to lose our footing and we end up feeding the chaos. However, if we can meet the challenges with calm, we allow ourselves to discover solutions that otherwise we would have missed.
Of course, it's okay if we get swept up, we always have the option of regaining our center. I was reminded of this lesson recently. I came home from Standing Rock on the 19th with a little cold. On November 20th, I watched in horror for hours with tears streaming down my face as law enforcement shot water at my brothers and sisters in below freezing temperatures and shot clouds of tear gas among other atrocities. The next day, my cold became something else, until the point that I collapsed and was loosing consciousness. As I was recovering, I heard one of the Protectors speaking and he reminded people to "Be like a Rock" for a rock that is grounded does not get washed away by the water, it moves the water. He said to "Be like a Mountain", for a Mountain does not get blown about by the air. Here was my medicine.
I know that when I am centered and calm, I can accomplish great things. One of my gifts from St. John's Wort this summer was realizing how much can be done by simply aligning myself with the Plants and concentrating on my Heart.
This is a simple task and yet it is challenging to remain calm when chaos is all around. The good news is that when you remain calm, you bring calm to the situation. So how does one do this? The first task is to find your center. My suggestion is to spend time in Nature, particularly with a Tree, a large Rock, a Mountain. Tap into their energies. When I need to center, I connect with these. I also ground. I send my roots to the center of Earth and my branches to the center of the Universe. I feel my connection to all. I focus on my Heart, for when we are in our Heart, we are naturally calmer and operate with a wide perspective. And of course, breathe!
I think that it is also important to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. We have known for a long time that the paradigms are shifting. The anger, hate, and attacks that are coming forward are the vestiges of the white-supremacist, patriarchal system which is scared to lose power. The United States was founded on this form of power and this is the basis for our culture. Therefore, as the paradigm is shifting, our own shadows, particularly those connected with the old paradigm are coming to light. In the great scheme, this is good, really good; though it may feel awful. When you are confronted with the Shadow, whether your own or another's, I encourage compassion.
This is a great time to concentrate on personal healing, particularly releasing the old patterns and limiting beliefs, healing the Heart wounds, and preparing the physical body to receive greater amounts of energy.
The way I see it, we are being asked to Be our Highest Selves, NOW! All the lessons, all the healings are being put to the test. Can we meet the challenge? Can we hold up a mirror of compassion and Love to the Shadow? Can we remain calm and centered? Do we dare to Be what we came here to Be? Can we receive everyone with kindness and gentleness? Can we Be Love?
I say YES!!
I hope you do too. If we slip or stumble, remember we live in the Universe of Perpetual Second Chances. This is all a learning opportunity.
Much Love and many blessings!
Photo credit: Catherine Huang