Hello, wonderful you! I meant to write much sooner than this, but didn't quite know what to say. These last weeks have left me feeling quiet, shocked, internal and somewhat confused. I'm sure you can relate. Just like you, I have read everything I think I need to know about the C-19 virus, followed the news and clicked probably on way too many funny videos on social media, laughing at the silliness of my fellow humans. But at the end of the day, we are all left to our own devices. No matter how much input we receive from the world around us, we still need to take care of our own body, mind and spirit the way we know works for us. When everything is up in the air and our daily routines are disrupted, our lives feel unstable and we wobble. We are afraid and uncertain. Our sleep patterns are interrupted, our bellies upset and minds scattered. The best practices right now are those that create a sense of stability. Sense of nurture. Sense of peace. I have listed my daily routine below -- may it inspire you to create your own.
The one good thing about "shelter in place" is that we are all asked to cook more. Make our own soups and stews. Use our hands to nourish our bodies. I like to keep it simple and eat a lot of whole grains, fish, and stir-fried veggies. I do my best to stay away from sugar and sweets in general, and raw foods - they are more yin and tend to make us feel ungrounded and spacy. On the other hand, I also try to eat less red meat and salty snacks - they are more yang and tend to be more contracted by nature and easily create tension in the body. I love my half-caf coffee in the morning (with chaga mushroom), but make sure I also drink lots of hot, soothing teas (damiana, skullcap, thyme) and plenty of purified water. Here's a list of my current supplements: Selenium, Zinc, C, A, K2+D3, Wellness Formula, turmeric, colloidal silver and “Kick-ass” immune booster. I made my own hand sanitizer out of 91% alcohol, aloe vera and essential oils. Today I also started doing ginger steam to keep my sinuses and lungs healthy. And, I snuggle a lot! EMOTIONAL BODY I nurture my own feelings. I get clear which fear belongs to me, and which fear I have picked up from the masses. I reach out to check up on my friends and family. I grieve how finite this life is, how quickly everything reaches its peak and then dissolves into itself. I miss my father who is no longer here and I am relieved at the same time. I wish I could be closer to my mother in Finland, who is in her first stages of Alzheimer. I'd like to hold her hand right now. I breathe into the spaces that seem beyond my reach. I cry for the weak and I cry for the strong. I laugh at my own paranoia. I forgive myself for trying to figure everything out. And instead, I read Mary Oliver: All night my heart makes its way however it can over the rough ground of uncertainties, but only until night meets and then is overwhelmed by morning, the light deepening, the wind easing and just waiting, as I too wait (and when have I ever been disappointed?) for redbird to sing. MENTAL BODY Oh, the mind! How do we keep the mind out of trouble? Mind likes to solve issues but what if the issue at hand isn't solvable, at least not quickly? Again, the key is to create routines that give the mind a sense of certainty. I try to eat at the same time everyday, to give my body and mind a sense of rhythm it can count on. I do the same loop in Deer Park every day around the same time. I walk to the top of the fire road and then run from there past the horse stalls back to my car. I stop at the creek where the water makes a soothing sound, I talk to trees. I entertain my mind with my random encounters in nature. I close my computer an hour before bedtime. I repeat, "I'm so grateful," many times a day. I de-clutter. I buy fresh flowers. And I work on my projects. SPIRITUAL BODY I repeat what I learned at my Reiki teacher training: Just for today, I will not be angry. Just for today, I will not worry. Just for today, I will be grateful. Just for today, I will do my best. Just for today, I will be kind to all living beings. I pray. And just so you know: It doesn’t have to be the blue iris, it could be weeds in a vacant lot, or a few small stones; just pay attention, then patch a few words together and don’t try to make them elaborate, this isn’t a contest but the doorway into thanks, and a silence in which another voice may speak. --"Praying" by Mary Oliver I meditate. I visualize light so vast and bright it heals the wounds of this Earth, its humans, plants and animals. I sit still and do nothing. I touch my heart and keep breathing. Love, Riikka
Oh and maybe, now that we have all the time in the world, we tidy up our homes and release every item that is weighing us down so that we can be light on our feet and calm in our hearts during this incredibly demanding world event.