“One is never afraid if the unknown, one is afraid of the known coming to an end.” Jiddu Krishnamurti
These are wildly dynamic and confusing times … a fast-moving whirlwind of change … enough to make my head spin. Some days I feel like I am spinning so fast that everything seems frozen. One might call this a stress response, a la the “freeze” of fight/flight/freeze. To me, it feels simultaneously dizzying and stuck.
While our current state of affairs is unprecedented (at least in my lifetime), I also know that facing and fearing the unknown is something all-too-familiar for many of us, albeit often on a much smaller scale. So what practices can we use to bring us comfort and solace and peace?
- Lean in. Surrender to the stillness and make space for fear and grief. Breathe in, knowing you are breathing in … filling your chest and belly, deep into the diaphragm, and maybe even bring your hands to your heart as you breathe out. Acknowledge that very human feelings are here, and tremble or weep if you must. Know you are not alone in feeling afraid.
- Turn your attention to what you DO know … the warmth of the sun, the green of the trees, your dog’s cold wet nose. Find solace in the things you know to be true and enduring … your belief in Mother Nature or a higher power, your love for baking, memories of a special place or time or person. Root down into the earth, connecting with the whole world, through the sensations in your bare feet as you walk. Breathe deeply, trusting your body to do what it knows to do. Know what IS, right now … what’s everlasting.
- Practice acceptance. Accept that change is happening — not that it shouldn’t happen, or that things should unfold in a particular way. Notice your thoughts and judgments about change … and know that your thoughts do not define you OR the situation. Let the way things actually ARE be the place you begin when making intentional decisions moving forward.
- Finally, remember you are not alone.
And may you all live with health, ease and peace as we move through these days and weeks to come, together ???? Nikki
Nicole Davis is a licensed clinical psychologist at Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches. Dr. Davis has received extensive training in mindfulness, meditation, and yoga, and maintains her own personal practice in these as well. At Sacred Treehouse, she facilitates group mindfulness courses, including Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention, and other mindfulness-based seminars and workshops. She also offers meditation & yoga classes at Sacred Treehouse.