Standing on Solid Ground in Shaky Times
This past week, I realized that many of the women I came in contact with were voicing the same concerns that I was voicing to myself. “How do I keep getting up in the morning when all I hear is news about hatred, greed, ignorance, deception, and abuse of power?” “How do I keep vigilant and actively involved when I’m so exhausted?” “I’m only one person. How can I possibly do this?”
One of the most important things I can do is continually remind myself that there are millions of people around the world doing great things– speaking out in support of diversity, doing what they can to safeguard immigrants, actively engaging in ways to help Mother Earth and protect all beings, defending women’s rights to have autonomy over our own bodies, voting, marching, RESISTING.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Our current “situation” is calling us to take a stand like most of us have never had to do before. I’m a baby boomer, born in the 1960s. I was still crawling when Civil Rights supporters were marching. I was wearing rompers when women were burning their bras. For most of my life, I took for granted that someone else had done my fighting for me and the fight was over. But now, we are all being called to resist darkness in all it’s forms and the emotions that often accompany challenging times- fear, despair, anxiety, and depression. At times, I want to say “I don’t have it in me to fight.” But I do. I know I do. We all do if we do it together and maintain our footing on solid ground. Stay grounded in what matters most.
What does LifeBook have to do with it?
I’m quite an admirer of Tamara LaPorte’s LifeBook online art class. The yearlong online art class approaches art as a pathway to self-awareness, healing, and creative expression. Each week, Tam or one of her many guest instructors share a lesson that participants can follow closely or use as inspiration for whatever their intuitive knowing calls them to create. There is a Facebook group where we can share our art and personal journey with others. Having a support system is vital to creative expression and resiliency in difficult times.
Lindsay Weirich recently offered a lesson called Solid Ground, which profoundly moved and inspired me to create the piece you see above. There is deep shadow and contrasting light on the woman and subtle hearts around her. She is me. She might be you. The words say “Self Love is not self indulgence. Self Love is self preservation.” It is my reminder to stay grounded in love.
Self Love is a Key to Wellness
Staying grounded, for me, is a multi-faceted approach to wellness and at the core is Self Love. We have to take care of ourselves in every way. Physically, we need to stay rooted in the present moment. This keeps fear of the future and imaginary “what-ifs” at bay. Mentally, stay focused on what we can do and how we can do it. Then, recognize when it is time to stop and honor our need for rest. Emotionally, stay heart-centered and express gratitude for all that is good in life. Spiritually, stay grounding in what we believe and our connection to Source, Universal Love, Spirit, God, or Goddess (however you identify the divine).
A few years ago I hosted a Red Tent Event where self-love was our focus. I reflected on this in my blog post Refilling the Well. When we are under stress or fearful, we forget that we have the answers available to us if we listen to our inner wisdom, to our higher selves. The Red Tent participants explored ways to ground themselves and shared their experiences in a sacred Wisdom Circle. Each woman had unique ways that nourish her. I can’t remember what I shared that day but I can share what keeps me on solid ground today.
Ways I Stay on Solid Ground
- ART– Creative expression is a powerful outlet for feelings and a way to nourish myself at the same time. When I play music (current favorites are Shamanic drumming, Reiki CDs, healing mantras, and songs of divine feminine beings like Kuan Yin and Tara) while I create, the very act of creation becomes a contemplative practice. My art is sacred. This holy act of creation connects me to the Divine and my highest self.
- NATURE– From my earliest walks in the woods of central Pennsylvania with my beloved grandfather to a vision quest in the mountains of Vermont, I have always felt a deep connection to Mother Earth and all beings. I feel at one with the wildlife, every winged, four-legged, slithering, swimming, being in all of creation. I feel a kinship with the rocks, trees, sky, earth, and water. All is one. Mother Earth is what I value above all else for I know that without Her, there is nothing else. This is what nourishes me and what I am fighting for. I live my life to protect and honor nature as best I can.
- BODY WORK– Massages and related services keep me grounded in my body and relax me so I can maintain my energy level and health.
- GRATITUDE– I balance the messages in the media with a daily gratitude practice. I give thanks for all that I appreciate having in my life. Focusing on the positives provides the balance I need. I often call these gratitudes my “Little Joys”.
- RELATIONSHIPS– Here, I’m talking about all of my relationships- family, friends, colleagues, as well as other like-minded people who value what I do and stand up for their beliefs. Being in community with like-minded individuals dispels the illusion that we are alone in this. We are not! There are grassroots groups in just about every town and city in this country. There are online groups as well. Find your tribe.
- SLEEP– I am getting better at listening to my body and honoring my need for rest.
- EAT WELL- As much as possible, I eat a rainbow. That is a wonderful visual for reminding me to eat fruits and vegetables that are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. I don’t want to leave out brown so I eat plenty of chocolate and drink good coffee, too! (These are little luxuries that make life worth living.)
- ENERGY WORK– Reiki sessions align my chakras, keep the universal life-force energy flowing, and allow me to relax.
- INSPIRING PEOPLE– Focus on the inspirational people, past and present, who are way-showers for me. I particularly find comfort and inspiration in the stories of everyday men and women who stood up for what they believed in despite their fear or anxiety. What can one person do? One person can change the world! There has only been one Mother Teresa, one Gandhi, one Rosa Parks,… just one of each. There is only one you and only one me. We matter.
- HAVE FUN– I can walk the dogs, watch Grace and Frankie, go out with friends, or just play with my art supplies enjoying the process with no thought of product.
May you identify what keeps you on solid ground.
May you find peace and balance.
May you find your tribe and your strength.
May you always know that you matter.