Build Your Rhythm, Be Embodied, Receive Support
Wow. This is a very unique experience we are having. There are two major events in my life that I keep resourcing as memories and strengths that I believe are helping me sort through this one. Living in New York during 9/11, and living at sea on a tall ship as a student for 6 weeks.
9/11 reminds me of living through very uncertain times, through the stages of shock from a massive life disruption, eventually into a new shape of my own life. As New York phrased it so well on a sign that they posted in the World Financial Center across the street from ground zero: From Recovery to Renewal. Well, right now, we’re still in the disruption phase, not having yet even come into the recovery and renewal stages that follow an initial crisis.
Meanwhile, the boat life analogy. We have been making our individual way from the shock of sudden life disruption to the development of a family rhythm inside of these current shelter-in place days. We have developed a daily cleaning schedule that fits in with our daily rhythm for our child. There is a phrase I like to describe when you find a good rhythm of team-work, and it's "the spirit of the hive." I can say that we have been finding our new spirit of the hive as we improvise with these new life parameters.
I hope you too are finding some sense of a rhythm to your new life parameters. I am reminded of the ship captain when we were out at sea with 10 crew and 20 or so students. He would share how when you are in this close of quarters with this many people, you need to make sure everyone has something to do!
Here are a few handy tools for creating rhythm in the home:
HOMESONG CLEANING RHYTHM PRINTABLE (We used this as a template and then created our own version).
Given that so much is unpredictable right now, falling into what can be predictable with a life rhythm that helps support health- is a wonderful idea.
I suggest you think about that which goes into your rhythm for supporting health from the angles of: what you are cooking and eating, how you are moving, what you are doing for some fun and play, and what you are doing to help focus the mind towards the most constructive avenues it can engage in right now.
Meanwhile, inside of the "rivulets of free time" I have during our new family rhythm, I now have the opportunity to virtually study with some pretty incredible people in the fields of Polyvagal informed somatic movement therapies as well as Somatic movement therapists, with some fun hip hop thrown in the mix. I am thrilled to be able to gather even more tools into my toolbox for virtual care right now as we take steps in that direction. During my first virtual workshop, I wrote the following poem, which I feel encapsulates some of my own innate response to this whole experience:
Can You Feel Me?
I walk through the pain of resistance,
These new walls on my life dance,
Human connection I cannot touch with my hands.
What is the new way?
Can I connect to my body and feel?
There in my viscera, I am indeed touched.
My heart pulses a response to your behind the screen presence.
These new rules
I find a door and walk through the loss.
What new dance is there for me on the other side?
I do not like this.
And I will dance with this.
There now, see?
We are touching one another.
Place your hand on your heart.
And breathe there.
There we are.
We are all being asked to process both micro-losses and, for some, larger traumatic losses. We are being asked to improvise with "new life parameters" with much unknown. Inside of this, many of us are also starting to actually enjoy a sense of life slowing down and the appreciation of our smaller spheres. It's a lot to digest and live with at once. This can cause some havoc on our experience of ourselves physically, emotionally, and mentally.
My wise Tamalpa instructor, Rosario Sammartino, has encouraged all of us to "Shelter In Body."
So, take a moment, close your eyes, place your hand on your heart, and ask yourself: how are you feeling inside of your body?
How are you feeling inside of your emotions?
How are you feeling inside of your thoughts?
Perhaps you can even carve out some time to write those things down, and see how your innate wisdom guides you towards the next steps to take.
We will move from here towards Recovery, and then towards Renewal.
Meanwhile, Dr. Austin and I have been very much asking ourselves how we can be of the most service to our clients at this time, given that we can't use our hands. What a tremendous "improvisation" to ask of us chiropractors! The good news is- we do have a lot of skills built up over the years that allow us to provide very skilled consultations as the need arises. It is also a bit serendipitous that both Austin and I have been pursuing skill building over the last year that involves movement training for clients.
His style of movement training is in the avenue of a more "orthopedic" look at helping with types of pain patterns and resolution.
Mine has to do with movement and self-care techniques that helps to tonify the nervous system for an overall, somatic based "coming home inside of the body" experience.
What does that look like for clients?
For the rest of this month we are offering "office hours" where we can do a consult for current clients to determine need, and, if we feel we can help with our virtual skill sets, we will begin to offer those. Since these are new formats for us both, for this month, we will do these sessions on a donation basis- where we request the donation go to someone you know who needs it. In the wise words of my sister-in law who is a teacher: "we are building the airplane while we are flying it."
If you find yourself desiring our care, or, wondering what could help you, we are happy to start with a consult over the phone by appointment. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or text us at 707-257-1011 to set it up. This is currently for current clients only, however, if you are not a current client wishing to connect, we are happy to talk to you about future support now.