Greetings to my wondrous and wild hearted creative clan,
Whoa! What a harrowing roller coaster of a ride this past week has been! Trying to navigate our way through this scary tangled thicket of the CoronaVirus and all the ramifications it presents has got all of us more than a little jangled and disoriented.
And I want to say that my heart goes out to ALL of us as we try and make our way through a world that has turned upside down seemingly overnight.
First of all, I want to send a ton of love to any of you who are actually sick with anything at all this week. It’s totally nervewracking to NOT know what’s going on and when any cough or sneeze can turn your lizard brain onto high alert.
And to all of you who are being impacted financially by losing business ( if you’re self employed), losing wages and tips if you work in a service industry like a bar or restaurant, and of course to all the artists, musicians, teachers, and workshop leaders who rely on working in person with groups of folks for your livelihood, I am holding you and your nervous system in my heart in solidarity and sending you a big dose of CALM as well as we-can-make-it-through-this courage vibes.
I’ve also been thinking a lot about how I want to respond to this crisis personally but also what I want to bring to you, my beloved creative community, during this time. There’s a ton of great info on how to protect yourself and your loved ones during this growing pandemic. So I’m not going to talk about that here, but here’s link from The Women’s Health Network with some helpful advice on the physical health front and some from a more spiritual perspective from The Power Path.
Yes, it’s critically important that we wash our hands, stay informed and do what we can to help limit the spread of this illness. And because we’re being asked to refrain from engaging in a lot of our familiar daily activities for a couple of weeks it means that some of us will have more down time than usual. There’s a lot of suggestions floating around in terms of how to use that time in productive ways by reading books you haven’t gotten to, clutter clearing, balancing your checkbook, creating an artistic masterpiece, or finally cleaning out our refrigerators. Which I think are awesome and fabulous goals.
But I also want to encourage you to not only focus on what you can be DOING during this but to also make time for BEING. Which includes being with challenging and often difficult feelings and emotions.
So my biggest question for all of you is how are you taking care of yourself emotionally during this time? How are you soothing your freaked out nervous system? How are you feeding your soul?
Because answering these questions is just as important as making sure that your body and your community stays healthy.
The truth of this situation is that it is HIGHLY anxiety producing. And opens the door to feeling all KINDS of really uncomfortable feelings.
Fear is at the top of the list but then deeper down you might also be experiencing grief. A lot of stuff is changing in our daily lives and some of those things feel like losses. There’s the loss of stability and a sense of safety. The loss of confidence in our government and social systems. The loss of trust in our bodies. The loss of familiar comforts. The loss of a predictable future.
Circumstances like this can also trigger our feelings of powerlessness and even despair as we recognize all the ways that so much of what is happening is out of our control.
And finally, you might also be feeling cranky and pissed off by the way this pandemic is being mishandled, or because you are so scared for yourself or your loved ones, or your freedom is being curtailed or you’re losing money in the stockmarket or your vacation just got canceled.
What’s important to remember is that ALL of these feelings are valid and that you need to make space to simply allow yourself to feel what you feel right now without censoring or judgment.
It’s really, really OK to be scared or sad or angry. There’s nothing wrong with being exactly where you are. What your emotional body needs from you right now is simply grounded presence. Your fear and your sense of powerlessness needs to be held with tenderness. Your grief and pain needs to be seen with compassion. Your anger needs to be heard with respect and love.
Of course, feeling your emotions is only half of the healing equation. It’s also crucially important to express what you’re feeling in a healthy and constructive way. This is where having safe places and relationships where you can be vulnerable enough to share what you’re feeling can be super helpful. But you can also make space to be with all those messy and sometimes troubling emotions through being creative.
You can do things like write about your fear, paint your anger furiously or sing your grief at the top of your lungs.
It takes courage to open ourselves fully to our deep emotional truth. We often worry that if we embrace our feelings fully and express them exuberantly that it will only intensify our emotional discomfort and make it worse. But the exact opposite is true. Our feelings are DESIGNED to be expressed.
And that expression not only feels incredibly satisfying but it actually calms our nervous system and allows us to reconnect with ourselves in a grounded and empowered way. It’s important to remember that creating space for the fullness of that expression is simply another opportunity to practice trust in the process of both the healing power of making art and the wisdom inherent in our emotional body.
As a way to help support you in that process, I’m going to offer a couple of FREE webinars entitled Creative Courage: The Art Of Staying Centered In Challenging Times on the Zoom platform this coming week.
During these 90 minute sessions I will be co-creating a sacred creative container with all of you where we will have the opportunity to come together as a supportive creative community. I will then be taking you on a journey into your emotional body using the tools of guided meditation, self reflection, writing and expressive art making.
My intention is to remind us all that we are not alone during these topsy-turvy times and to practice holding space for ourselves and all of our feelings in a compassionate way through radical self acceptance and authentic creative self-expression.
The dates are March 17, at 2 PM PDT and March 22nd at 10 AM PDT.
I only have room for 100 folks per class so if you want to be there you need to sign up SOON by clicking on the pretty orange button below.