Self Care for Disaster.
It seems that this year we are rolling from one tragedy to the next, trying to catch our breath in between.
Given the recent hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, mass shootings and raging wild fires, each unprecedented in their severity, we are forced to keep rolling with the punches.
As I write this, multiple fires rage on in California, devastating several counties just North of the San Francisco Bay, and destroying thousands of homes and buildings, and lives along their paths.
So much of what brings on disaster, be it natural or man made, is often beyond our individual control. Some of us lose everything. Others have a family member or friend who is devastated and needs our support. Perhaps we are witnessing the reports of disaster from afar, wanting to help but not sure where to start.
First, I'd like to say, the capacity of the human spirit and a community’s ability to come together, to rescue, to support and give, inspires me deeply.
If you can volunteer, volunteer, if you can give, give, if you are in neither of these positions, you can hold space for those affected by sending focused healing and loving thoughts, energy and prayers from wherever you are in the world.
Whatever your relationship to this disaster, be aware that the collective energy can be intense, and fear energy can run high.
We might feel it the solar plexus area (the stomach) or we might feel stricken in our chest cavity, feeling claustrophobic, and finding it hard to breath. And after the adrenaline, comes the fatigue.
In these moments, know that it’s okay to feel deeply. There is often a great deal of loss associated with disaster, and in so many ways, we are forced to let go.
These 4 actions can help ground you back in your body if you are affected by unfolding disaster (assuming you are first and foremost physically safe and sound).
- Find a comfortable spot to pause. Find child's pose, low to the ground. If you are not familiar with child’s pose in yoga. Sit with your knees underneath you and bend forward, resting your forehead on the ground. Stretch your hands forward on the ground in front of you or lay them down, palms up, by your side. Take 3 long breaths, exhale out slowly and just let the ground support you. Allow whatever emotions come up, to surface and be released.
- Now in a seated position, close your eyes and take another 3 breaths. Breathe in your nose and your of your mouth slowly. Place your left hand over your heart and your right hand over your stomach, and connect with the beating of your heart as you breathe inward and out.
- Place your left hand over your right hand, which resting on top of your heart. Breathe into your hands. Imagine your hands filling with golden, white and rose colored light. Then imagine the light expanding beyond your cup filled hands, outwards, to create a circle of light around you. Allow yourself to be held in this light. Exhale.
- Still seated, reach your arms out and embrace yourself or place your palms at heart center (Like your hands are in prayer position, with your thumbs pressed against your chest cavity). Imagine you are surrounded and overflowing with love and compassion. Whatever that looks and feels like to you, you are encompassed by it completely. Breathe in slowly. Exhale out your of your mouth as you release and you let go.
Challenging times, like unfathomable natural disasters, can very easily become overwhelming. Connect within, then connect with your community in whatever way you can.
If you would like to donate, the American Red Cross is activated in the North Bay fire relief efforts. Click here to donate.
If you would like to volunteer in the fire relief efforts through the American Red Cross, go here to volunteer.
Unfortunately, the death toll in Puerto Rico is increasing post Hurricane Maria due to lack of organizational infrastructure and logistics planning in government relief efforts. However, the American Red Cross is conducting relief efforts on the island. Click here to support the island. (This page is in Spanish, but is translatable).
I just submitted my volunteer application for the Red Cross Bay Area. Together, we can lift each other up. We are not singled sourced. We do not not have to go it alone.
Lastly, if you feel this blog post has helped you, or could benefit someone you love, please feel free to share this post with friends and family.
Thank you for taking the time to journey with me today!
From my heart center to yours,