These days we are counting lives
No matter where this finds you on our planet today, it doesn't take psychic perception to sense you are in the midst of upheaval. The many intertwined flaws and failures of our socioeconomic and political systems are being laid bare by the pandemic and by the righteous uprising against racial injustices, striking deep chords of trauma in our individual and collective psyches. All on top of life’s regular, unpredictable twists and challenges. It's a lot. I came across this poem recently, "Pedagogy of Conflict," by Irish poet and peace-maker Pádraig Ó Tuama, and found that it resonates with the pain and power of this moment. Excerpt below, full poem here.
When I was a child, I learnt to count to five one, two, three, four, five. But these days, I’ve been counting lives, so I count
one life one life one life one life one life
because each time is the first time that that life has been taken.
We are in a weighty time of incalculable losses and ground-shaking transformation, and it’s no surprise that many of our wounds and challenges are activated. However you may personally be experiencing the reverberations, it is always helpful to find ways to center, ground, and align yourself with your highest good.
Below is one sequence of practices that I've been following recently when I need to shake off a fog and call up inner strength.
My first step is to generate the vibration of gratitude. It is simple, fast, accessible to anyone, and deeply fortifying. If you're finding yourself overwhelmed with grief, anger, or despair, or just irritable and distracted, a gratitude practice can be profoundly healing. I've written about a few different approaches.
Once in an open, receptive state, I bring gentle supportive energy to my adrenals. This area fuels our energy field on many different levels, particularly in the realms of activism and conflict, and it's important to give it attention and love. Sometimes I just rest my palms on them (on each side of the spine in line and a bit above navel height) and take a few slow, deep breaths into that area. Sometimes I massage in deep, slow circles, finishing by sweeping out to the sides.
If I've been dealing with stress, I do a cortisol releasing exercise, here demonstrated by one of my favorite Energy Medicine Practitioners, Prune Harris.
Next, I like to do "Shaking the Bones," to clear my field and let anything go that needs to go. You might be surprised by what comes out in the shaking, to realize how much you're holding on to and notice all the places you were tense and constricted. It's a great practice before bedtime to shake off anything that accumulated over the course of the day.
I hope these exercises help you find the inner clarity and balance necessary to respond with grace, humility, compassion, and strength to the challenges of the moment.