There are times in life when we feel powerless to the changes happening around us. The Buddha taught that all life is change, sometimes it is good, and sometimes it is bad, the trick to navigating change successfully is to detach from labeling it one or the other.
I will be the first to admit that I went to bed on November 8th here in the U.S. feeling as if the bottom of my world had fallen out. I felt powerless. Powerlessness is not new to me. In my life, like many of you, I have known trauma. From sexual abuse and assault, receiving a cancer diagnosis, to sitting helpless and shaking, as my 14 month old daughter exhaled her last breath while I held her in my arms, I have known trauma. All of these things left me feeling as if the world was chaos. As if nothing was under my control. And that feeling was truth. I felt something similar when I learned the political fate of our nation.
Frightened. Powerless. Hopeless.
But because I have moved through other uncontrollable circumstances, and have survived, I was able to come back from the fear, and rest in the assurance that through darkness comes the greatest light. I would not be who I am, would not have the compassion and empathy that I have, would not have a passionate love for the human experience like I do, if it were not for the darkness I have experienced.
As we explore Goddess Archetypes and Mythologies, we will come to understand that not only are chaos and darkness not evil, they are sometimes the exact stuff we need to move us forward. In darkness rests the seed of the greatest, most unimaginable light.
What can we do right now, today, to let go of this feeling of powerlessness? To find some solid footing? Here a four ways you can let the fear go and come back home to your true self:
- Step Outside: It doesn’t matter where you are on the globe, it doesn’t matter if it is day or night, step outside. Pull in a deep, clarifying breath. Feel the soothing presence of the natural world around you. If you have one close, go to a tree. Trees are some of the wisest beings on the planet. Lean against the trunk, or sit at the base and let your back rest against the solid strength. If you don’t have a tree close by, then imagine that you do. Imagine resting against it. What is it saying to you? If you listen, you will feel the message.
- Observe an Animal or Two: I have many furry and feathery friends in my life. Two dogs, a cat, a parakeet and two chickens. Watching my little dog breathe, while asleep in the warmth of a sunbeam is like xanax. Watching my chickens scratch about the back yard causes a stillness inside of me that is so much like deep meditation. I find absolute peace in observing the way they just be. Even if you do not have furry friends of your own, watch a squirrel, a pigeon, a cow, or a crow. See what you feel when you take a moment to see the way that they go about the rhythm of life. How they are busy in the process of being. Can you carry some of their peace with you?
- Watch the Sunrise: I’m not going to lie, I don’t see the sunrise every morning. But when I am very sad, or afraid, there is nothing quite as reassuring as watching the sun dawn on the world around me. The sunrise has always been a source of comfort and mystery. Sun Goddesses like Amaterasu and Brigid were worshiped for their life giving fire. Set your alarm and sneak out of the house before the sun comes up. What do you experience as you watch the sun rise on Mother Earth, on humanity, on nature, on cities and schools and households full of people getting ready for their day?
- Use your sacred space: In another post, I talked about creating sacred space , today you can use that space to center yourself. Take a moment, light a candle, light your incense, and sit in your space. What is so beautiful about the sacred space we create is the ability that holy space has of reminding us who we are. What we are about. It reminds us of our connection to the divine, to all other beings, to each other. Sit and breathe in that connection. The truth is, no matter what, we are love. Let that knowledge move through you.
- Nurture your Wild Spirit: Women are strong. We are wild. Our nature is to take the broken pieces and build the most unimaginably beautiful structures. We hold family and communities together, we pick up the aftermath of patriarchy, of toxic masculinity, of mindlessness, and we are brilliant at it. But we must not forget to nurture our spirit, to feed it deliciously. To be good to ourselves and to carve out space for the care and keeping of our souls. How can you nurture yourself? What one thing can you do for you that will supercharge your spirit?
The truth is, nothing is in our control but our response to outside chaos. So be kind to someone today, even if that is your self. Give a hug that lasts just a second or two longer, even if it is your arms wrapped tight around your own shoulders. And remember, women, like the sun, will continue to rise.