You don't need me to tell you just how much is going on, both in the world around us and in our personal lives right now. Have you noticed any of these signs that it's all becoming too much:
- You wake with a feeling of heaviness or sadness
- You dread turning on your phone because of what you might read
- You find it hard to enjoy your life, maybe even feeling guilty when you do
I want you to know that you're not alone. That this response is completely normal, natural even. I have been experiencing all of the above myself. As an empathic, caring soul you are likely feeling it even more than most.
coping with overwhelm
In these moments your body is such an amazing friend. The body is your very own compass, dowsing stick, barometer for life. When you learn how to tune into its subtle queues, not only will it tell you when overwhelm is starting to creep in, but it will offer you a way to release the mental tensions and emotional weight that comes with it.
Using the language of the body, we can return to centre, recalibrate, restore. With something as simple as a conscious deep sigh, a shake of the limbs and a roll of the shoulders you begin to regain your ground.
I'm not talking about bypassing or escapism, but about survival. I'm talking about ensuring that you give yourself extra nourishment when times are hard so that you can continue to support others, be a caring part of the world community and reduce the impact of all the horror on your own delicate nervous system.
Instead of turning to external comforts and escapism (which I don't believe are wrong by the way) we can also learn to turn gently towards the truth of our experience, acknowledging what we're feeling even if 'only' to ourselves. For my favourite way to do this right here and now, read on to the bottom.
why we're not meant to do this alone
But you cannot always do it alone, and you're not meant to. In no other setting have humans tried to sort it all out themselves. We know at a deep level that it is only in coming together that we truly mend, heal, find the courage and strength to go on. There is something magical, inspiring and which brings deep relief when we do.
As the one holding space I experience this too. Whilst giving, I also receive. Whilst sitting quietly I am also feeling and releasing.
So whilst we can find ways to self soothe, it's at times like this that, more than ever, we need safe spaces to gather. Spaces that meet our own tenderness with the same. Spaces where there is time for quiet reflection, the opportunity to release burdens with our tears, to be witnessed without judgement just as we are and to move stuck emotions through the body with movement designed to reset the nervous system, perhaps to remember what medicine it is to laugh...
the healing power of sensitive yoga
Whether it's an online class, yoga day, womens' circle or retreat, every offering comes from my heart to that place in you that is longing to be held, seen and eased. My 2024 retreat schedule is up and live now. It feels strange given the current state of things, but also important, to suggest that you might like to gather with me somehow and somewhere when you can, joining our hearts and meeting both life and ourselves with a tender compassion that will ripple out way beyond.
Tending to the human, soothing the heart and calling in the gentleness of the soul is quite possibly what I do best. To me this is Yoga, a re-joining of the disparate parts of ourselves, diving deep within to come out renewed and whole. It's nothing like most Yoga taught in studios or village halls the country over. Its beauty lies in many things, simplicity and freedom from ambition being just two.
Over time, I've realised that for me, Yoga is the way I bring healing. That it's nothing to do with creating a shape with the body and all about tuning into the felt sensations, responding moment by moment to the truths that are revealed through and to us. All about giving our blessed and wise bodies exactly what they need, even if that is to lie in a corner under a blanket grateful for time to simply be.
Yoga like this becomes a moving meditation, a way of being with yourself and refreshing from within. There is finally nowhere to get to, instead an invitation to drop everything and re-friend yourself, discovering an ease and peace that is otherwise often frustratingly elusive.
In such delicate untangling and exploration, you become more attuned to your body's signals, more able to meet yourself and the world with kindness and generosity of spirit; more able to come back into balance and meet pain in your own life as well as globally with a sort of quiet bravery that does not shy away but instead faces what is and does what it can.
Please know that you are allowed to take care of you and in fact that this is potentially the most important thing of all. I hope you find time for some quiet reflection, for inner compassion, for your deeper self to be nourished and known.
For now, to instantly lean into your truth, to connect mind, body and soul and to tend yourself so you can play your part in this world:
- close or soften your eyes
- place a hand on your heart
- feel the warmth building from palm to chest
- imagine or sense your heart, how does it feel?
- if you can, quietly whisper some words of kindness to yourself either out loud or in silence
- and then ask, "dear heart, what is it you want me to know? What is it you need right now?"
I would love to hear what your heart replies.