Tools for Challenging Times

Recently I've been practicing yoga nidra meditation as much as possible lately, noting all my feelings, trying to not numb out or go into panic mode. At times, my legs have been shaking.

Feelings are real, and it's not easy to hold it all. 

I know many of us are now experiencing a range of emotions after the US Election. This is why I'm popping into your inbox today, to remind you that you're not alone and that this is the time to pull out your mindfulness tools - and use them.

As many of you know, a book I keep it firmly on my bedside table, is Pema Chodron's When Things Fall Apart. After a few days of practicing yoga nidra last week, feeling really fragile, I held Pema's book close, closed my eyes, and opened it to a random page. I like doing this because I always receive what I need, even if I don't understand it at that moment. Here's the words I opened to:

"The gloriousness of our inspiration connects us to the sacredness of the world. But when the tables are turned, and we feel wretched, that softens us up. It ripens our hearts. It becomes the ground for understanding others. Both the inspiration and the wretchedness can be celebrated. We can be big and we can be small at the same time."

This is SO yoga nidra. You can be both.You can feel anxiety, and you can also feel the opposite. It is there too. This is exactly what helped me climb out of a life of panic attacks, knowing I can be both.  

I know it doesn't feel safe for everyone right now. I feel this in my bones, my Jewish ancestors shaking in their graves, urging me to stay awake and aware, but we cannot stay on fire all the time. Over a long period of time this maxes our nervous systems out. This is burnout.

Lately I've been repeating this to myself.

I am inspired to make change happen,

and I feel frightened for the coming change.

I feel Big and small.

(tweet it if you feel it).

You have permission to feel it all. This is a key principle in yoga nidra meditation. It helps you welcome everything just the way it is. Big and small.

Practically, because I know many nervous systems are on high alert, I encourage you to use all your mindfulness tools now. 

  • Practice yoga nidra meditation. We need deep rest now more than ever to counter the feeling of being on high alert.
  • Watch and read as little media as possible. Constant media disrupts your nervous system. Ask someone you know to tell you about anything important or give yourself a limited time every day to read media. Do it consciously and then let it go. (listen here to what Thich Nnat Hanh has to say about social media and smartphones).
  • Take one moment each day to inhale joy. Close your eyes, breathe in, imagine a joyful time in your life, feel it in your body, let go of the memory and stay present to how joy feels in your body.
  • Carry a touchstone (a stone, crystal) with you that brings you to the present moment when you touch it. Keep it in your purse or pocket. Lay it on your heart during yoga nidra meditation, or any area of the body that needs healing, love, and light. 
  • Breathe. Slow belly breathing, in and out, can help shift your energy to a calmer place. Put your hand on your heart, even tap at your heart, and then breathe in and out for several minutes, long and slow breaths.
  • Be conscious of your words. It's important, as much as possible, to use loving speech. This raises your vibration and those around you.

Finally...a new consciousness is coming. Many thought it was coming in the front door, but as Marion Woodman points out, new consciousnesses often have to come in the back door. This is why now more than ever it's important to not just play small. We need big and small. 

With love and yoga nidra pompom shakes,

xo

Karen