Walking home from the grocery store today was a quiet and sparse experience. The streets usually buzzing with mid day lunch goers carrying the ubiquitous loaf of bread, was empty except for the occasional dog walker, also carrying bread.
In the past few weeks, the world has shifted and our idea of the common day experience of life, has changed. We have become aware of the connectedness of our species, the intrinsic nature of our actions and our movements across the planet as it binds us to one another, without our permission at times. This time around, the link between us was felt like a wave, beginning somewhere on the planet, undulating across going both, East and West at the same time.
As the days progress and most of us find ourselves bound to the spaces of our home, our usual outlets and channels for social, professional and personal interactions become narrow or disappear altogether. We connect virtually and conduct most of our business from the tapping of the keys on our devices and limit our physical contact to our pets and to those, if any, who share our beds.
The excitement, opportunity and uncertainty of the changes in our world are palpable as most of us grapple to make sense of it all, to project to a mask free future and to the business of making future plans. Despite the needed rest our bodies might have craved for months prior, the fact that it has been imposed sits uncomfortably, like a hand break pulled in a moving car.
So now what....here we are...our circles have narrowed, our projects and range of movement contracted, but our minds, race on. This combination can be very activating and destabilizing for most of us, thoughts clamor and rattle within what seems like a closed system. This pause in our life can also be experienced as an opportunity to create new reflections of ourselves, to carve out channels and outlets that due to our previous hectic paces, had never had a chance at a running start.
Creating a practice that offers a flexible consistency, a reminder of the continuity of life is important right now. Simplicity and variety in your practice is best, this way it can keep you interested to begin and stay with it. Finding ways to fill the extra time you have now, previously used in travel, to stretch, massage, rotate, shake and move every part of your body. Slowly at first and then with more vigor, will make you feel alert and awake in your own body.
Spending a couple of minutes sitting and breathing through your nose slowly in for 3 seconds and out fo 5 seconds will invite your nervous system to slow and find the balance and grounding in this current shaky ground. Practicing other breathing techniques such as alternate nostril breathing and breath of fire will create an easy channel for fastened stale energy in your body and a more stable experience of yourself. Dancing to your music of choice and watching what parts of you are ready to release the tension and the shakiness and what parts of your body are still holding tight. Move and breath and invite those parts that resist to offer the bundles of tightness up to the sky, like rising balloons that float and slowly disappear into the clouds.
Explore ways to put symbols, colors, music, movement and words to your experience right now, write lists of all the things you want to learn and all the ones you want to teach. Write letters to yourself to remind you what this time was like and invite others to letter opening and reading parties once our bodies can meet and touch each other again. Offer words of hope to anyone who wants to listen and play dress up with your children or even with yourself, recreating previous times as well as those that are still to come. Remind yourself with as many ways as possible that this is life and it continues and in the end it will be part of what makes you strong and whole.