Sheltering at Home

I trust that you are safely at home, feeling healthy, and caring for yourself with kindness and compassion.

This is a very challenging time. We are in the midst of a global health crisis and each of us has been called to do our part to safeguard the health of our world community.

We have all been asked to hit the PAUSE button – to stop the usual rhythm of our lives, not just to enjoy a staycation, but to keep us and everyone else SAFE. Safety is always at the center of our life choices but it usually done through our nervous systems amazing 24/7 surveillance system and well below our conscious awareness.  COVID19 has brought our sense of safety to the forefront of our awareness.

The airwaves are filled with upheaval and uncertainty- all we need to do is pick up our phone  and read the headlines or turn on the television to hear and feel the fear and anxiety that is circulating around us.  Of course we start to feel “threatened” and “at risk”. And when that happens, our nervous system takes over to do what it is hardwired to do- to begin a series of predictable patterns of behaviors that serve as protective measures to try to keep us SAFE.

How we respond is neuro-biologically wired in us for safety and survival.

Our sympathetic nervous system grabs the steering wheel and looks for action it can take to resolve the threat. Our thoughts race, our hearts beat faster , our stomachs grip – fear, anger and anxiety rise up.

If it gets too overwhelming for us , another part of our nervous system grabs the wheel and

shuts us down, conserves energy and we start to feel powerless and have little energy for everyday tasks.

Believe it or not, even though it may not “feel good” to us, our nervous system is trying to mediate the threat and return us to a sense of ok-ness, where life feels manageable and we have access to our inner and outer resources. This is when a whole other part of our nervous system has the steering wheel.

Why am I telling you all this? To let you know that all the feelings and responses that you are having to the state of our individual and collective worlds are natural and hardwired in for SAFETY and SURVIVAL. If we know it is our nervous system, then we have cues for what we need to build and support our resilience. It is a time to understand our biology and call forth our self compassion. By listening to our bodies we can access compassion for ourselves and for others.

While we are all practicing social distancing and our cities are on shutdown, connection is more important than ever. Connection helps us to feel SAFE and allows our nervous systems to take a deep breath of relief.  Amid all of this outer crisis we also each continue on our own inner healing process.  Find ways to connect with your Self , your family, friends and community, as well as to any spiritual resource that speaks to you.

In the meantime , listen to your body, be compassionate to your self and find as many ways as you can to MOVE. Take walks, practice yoga or tai chi, dance around your living room. Movement and music help bring  a dose of “ok-ness” into our nervous system.

STAY in TOUCH