I’ve read these words from Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes at several critical moments in my life but I’m hearing them now as if for the first time.
” I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is – we were made for these times.”
The violence and hatred in the world breaks my heart and tests my faith in humanity, but it is also burning through the underbrush of denial, revealing the divisions that have long existed in this country. I think collectively and individually this is a moment to face the monsters under the bed instead of dismissing them as imaginary.
I’m taking a hard look at my own “white privilege,” my own fragility and fear, and the wars I wage inside myself of “right and wrong,” because the outer is always a reflection of the inner. I know many of you are doing the same.
I offer you some of the Shakti practices I’m leaning on in my process in the hope that they will be supportive to you too.
You cannot give the best of yourself from a place of depletion. When things heat up and get intense as they are right now, keeping yourself resourced becomes even more critical. Think of your self-care basics: good food, hydration, rest, exercise, spiritual practice to keep you centered, nature to keep you grounded. Minimize the toxic stuff like alcohol, sugar, white flour, processed foods, negative energy, mainstream media. Get back to your personal foundation practices, the stuff that you know best supports you. What are those practices for you?
Be honest about what you can bear. Protect yourself when you need to. I often ask my beloved to tell me what’s going on because I can receive it better from him. I listen to National Public Radio for much of my news because TV coverage and images often feel like too much of an assault to me.
Befriend Your Feelings
In our Awakening Shakti practices, we work with honoring our feeling life as a primary access to our feminine power. So when fear, anger, or sadness arises, remember to actually feel the sensations in your body (heat, tightness, prickle, density) and give them breath rather than being swept into the mind or story around them. Use that energy. Then see if you can attune to the “messenger” inside of the emotions (based on Karla McLaren’s work).
For example, the messenger in fear asks us, “Is there an action being called for?”
The action might be to get more involved: educate yourself about racism, speak out, send money, talk to people who are different from you. Or the action might be to move inward: unplug from media, cleanse your social media feed, meditate, pray by the river, explore your own assumptions and biases.
Return to LOVE
How are you actively being the frequency of love? I am loving this from Pixie Lighthorse, from her beautiful book Prayers of Honoring Voice:
“Thank you for helping me lean into the comfort of infinite love and for my ability to inspire it everywhere I go. There are times when I cannot speak of what I love because I fear my expressions will not be appreciated, my affections not reciprocated. Help me during these moments to realize that loves moves in one direction—out of me—and that is all that matters. I understand that what I give out comes back in it’s way, and not always in the form I expect.”
Don’t Isolate, Stay Connected
In times like these, community and sisterhood is more important than ever. I’ve been feeling the need to create something new to foster connection in our Awakening Shakti tribe. For years, many of you have loved the monthly Salon Shakti call I’ve offered but it’s time for something new.
I’m developing a new online circle for those of you that want to be part of something deeper, a true sisterhood of Shakti women who will practice, pray and celebrate together online every month as a way to expand our growth and send stronger ripples of love out onto this planet. I’m working on the details and will send you an invitation to that shortly.
In the meantime, may you love yourself deeply, be patient with the process, take the action you’re being called to, and remember to celebrate the goddess Shakti that you are.
With so much love,