I don’t think I’m going out on a limb when I say we’re living in troubling times. . .
But rather than spending our time getting into all of that, I prefer instead we turn our attention in an even more important direction: to our own experience in it all. By that I mean to our felt experience in our bodies.
I don’t know about you, but there are moments when I listen to the news that I begin to feel wobbly, ungrounded. Like I need to reach out and hang onto something to keep me in the here and now, and not ascend wildly into a flurry of fear.
- How grounded** do you feel as you listen to the news, if you listen to it at all these days?
- What begins to happen in your body when you hear about all the calamity in our world?
- Moreover, to where can you retreat to find sanctuary from it all? A tranquil place where you can feel grounded and at ease in your own presence.
I find it’s essential to my sense of well-being that I have such a place to turn to for refuge, whether it’s to a secluded space in my home, or to a quiet spot in nature. A quiet place to ground myself, find rest, nurture and to restore my vital energies whenever I need to.***
Here’s a sampling of what I might do when I’m in sanctuary. Perhaps there’ll be something here that resonates with you too:
- turn my attention to the rhythm of the breath in my body,
- read a sacred text or inspiring book,
- practice a simple Yoga posture like Tranquility, otherwise known as Legs Up the Wall,
- write down my thoughts and feelings, or express myself through (a very pedestrian) drawing, and write down any insights that come to illuminate it’s teaching,
- light a candle,
- simply gaze out at the ocean,
- sip hot tea,
- diffuse some lavender,
- pet my Himalayan kitty.
I do whatever I can to activate the para-sympathetic nervous system, to slow down the activity in my mind and begin to unravel the tensions in my body.
What I don’t do is bring my mobile into this space, or the busy tasks of life. It all stays out so I can catch my breath, and ready myself for re-entering the vital flow of life.
How about you? Where do you find sanctuary? What do you do when you’re there?
**Grounding refers to a set of strategies that help us to detach from overwhelming emotions and experiences. We can get grounded by using our breath or through our senses, like what we hear, what we touch, what we smell. We make the present moment an emotionally safe-r place to be when we allow our self to get grounded in the here and now. To request more information about how you can get grounded when you need to, click here.
***There are also times when I’ll turn my attention to the world inside, and journey inward using my imagination to a welcoming, natural scene within. This works well too.