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Gillian Sanger

How are you feeling?

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I realized that we have a coronavirus-related forum on how we can mindfully manage challenging thoughts and feelings arising at this time... but that what we don't yet have is a place to share our general feelings. So, this forum is for that. Whether you're feeling high or low or somewhere in-between with all that's going on, feel free to share it with us here. I'll be checking in often here and would love to discuss whatever is moving through you.

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Hello, Thank you for starting this thread.  Generally speaking, my feelings and emotions have been very steady --- and am feeling pretty good, actually.  However, I am finding great difficulty with my meditation practice.  My mind can't seem to settle down, and my feelings of frustration about that take over sometimes.  Interestingly, although I have always had a hard time with visualization during meditation, recently two very strong images pop up in my mind during my practice:  my heart beating in the center of my chest, or the image of my lungs as angel's wings opening and closing.  I've never had these images before and know they are a result of my underlying thoughts of the virus.  To settle my mind, I am having to go back to the beginner's mind and count the breath ---- endless counting.  My mind cannot seem to go much deeper than that.   

Peace, 

Jane 

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Thank you for sharing @Jane Bjerklie-Barry! I resonate with your words because I, too, am having a hard time concentrating these days. Even though I feel a deep trust for life's movements (coronavirus included), I am not immune to the collective energy. There have been moments where I've felt myself 'buzzing' with this unsettled energy that I attribute to everything going on in the world - but mainly in the media.

And yes! The breath has been very grounding for me during meditation as well. So simple yet so effective.

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Thank you for this opportunity to share Gillian. I've been having mixed feelings. It feels like we're in the twilight zone. Every day when I turn on the news and see the numbers, I become more and more horrified, and also more helpless. What helps me is yoga and meditation, and keeping in contact with family and friends. I hear you about the 'buzzing' inside and sometimes I do belly breathing and count my inhale to 4 or 6, then exhale to 8 or 12. That really slows down my heart rate and calms me down. Writing is also a great release. We will get through this together. 💜 

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Yes we absolutely will get through this 🙂

Today I've been feeling a very strong urge to disconnect from social media for a while. I find myself struggling to use it mindfully and think I'd really benefit from taking a step back for a couple of months at least. And yes - the news, too, can be dizzying. Belly breathing has been of huge benefit for me as well. I've been waking up earlier than usual lately (I'm in Stockholm so the sun is now rising quite early) and belly breathing helps me to settle down a bit before I get my day started.

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Today I am feeling very productive.  I did miss one meditation today from working with lavender yesterday.  I slept very well.  I do not see as many people that are unhappy in my social media.  I have never been a news person.  I feel that it is not productive for my growth to know of so  many terrible things.  I enjoy my outside in the sun days now.  I missed all last spring and summer due to a broken ankle/foot so Sitting in back and being in Zen garden.  Not thinking of anything or doing anything.  

I usually never sat down and worked in the yard all day, but that has ended with my foot.  I enjoy the animals, squirrels, birds, dogs and cats that are in the back yard.  Usually kids out for recess but not today or probably all year.  Grandchildren come and visit every week.  

@Jo L yes, I love, love writing.  I actually wrote a couple of poems, I never do that.  Whatever I get inspired to do I do.  Writing is my most loving thing to do.  When I was 5 I remember doing an alphabet book, A is for Apple thing.  lol  I do not know why but I always wanted to be a teacher.  My life has been teaching.  

Yes, we will all make it through this.  With a connection that is bonded by experience.  

Blessings. 

Paige 

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Nice to see you back in the community @Paige PIlege! That's wonderful you have been able to keep a healthy distance from the news naturally. I am having to learn how to balance that now!

You may have seen or may be interested in joining the new poetry club - a space for sharing our own poetry, our favourite poetry written by others, and exercises/practices for writing.

 

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Given what is happening in our world this last week, I think that supporting racial justice in a helpful way is critical. I belong to a group located in Minneapolis called Humanize my Hoodie ( https://humanizemyhoodie.com )that presents internationally; educating schools, professionals, and organizations about threat perception, implicit bias, microaggression, etc. and how to advocate for change in communities, and challenge systemic policies such as undeserved communities, profiling, and prison institutions. I know there are a lot of other great organizations out there to get involved with, like the NAACP https://www.naacp.org and the Southern Poverty Law Center https://www.splcenter.org and https://www.blacklivesmatter.com Also, educating family and friends is important. Racism is so ingrained in our culture that people make ignorant comments or have beliefs that they aren't even aware are racist. Making a point of gently but firmly correcting someone is being a responsible citizen. 

I'm not going to get into the politics of things but please consider how our leaders are reacting to this situation. What is compassion? What is mindful? 

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Well, is apocalyptic too much of a stretch? There seems to be compliance or flat out (anger) resistance, be it covid19 or racism and from what I can gather despite lots of talk there is no foreseeable solution to either. Anyway, mourning the death of my wife from many years ago and my parents, as well.  Life is always precious, but now it seems to be more "in our faces" and it most assuredly a time to make the best of each friendship, family member and acknowledge the blessings God has given us.

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Hello @rainbow,

I am sensing that you are feeling perhaps overwhelmed by the state of the world right now? If this is a correct analysis of your words, I can completely understand that. It is definitely difficult to imagine a solution to the challenges we face, but one thing that helps me is to gently let go of the weight of the world and to focus on the small ways I can bring more peace to my own life and to those around me. It makes me think of a beautiful quote by Vandana Shiva that reads: “You are not Atlas carrying the world on your shoulder. It is good to remember that the planet is carrying you.”

Mourning the death of your wife is also very heavy I can imagine. Have you found any practices, teachings, or supports that provide you with the care you require? Sending you love from Sweden!

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I am sorry for your losses Rainbow, and I agree with your notion of making the best of our time with loved ones and acknowledging blessings. I also agree with Gillian about focusing on the small ways to bring peace into your life. I find comfort in smiling and greeting others, writing down things I'm grateful for, listening to soothing music, meditating, doing yoga, talking to supportive people, writing/journaling, reading, etc. It's also important to allow your feelings...Jon Kabat-Zinn said to lay down a welcome mat for your uncomfortable feelings instead of turning away or pushing them away. There is space enough for all of our emotions. And grief is unpredictable and follows it's own path, so it's important to be patient and gentle with yourself. Many of my clients who lost loved ones questioned why they were still grieving and it was important for them to give themselves permission to grieve indefinitely. There is no 'appropriate' time line for any of our feelings. Allow and accept. Feelings aren't good or bad, right or wrong, they just are. 

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@rainbowI also send my sincere concerns and blessings to help you through such a time with losses.  I agree about the small things to try to keep moving in a sense.  Working out of the overwhelm of so much.  The world still moves and life continues, so it will for you.  

As with Jo L. Grieving is so important to process.  There are no directions just as raising children.  No book on it.  I remember trying to get through times as these.  It is possible to take a moment at a time and decide is this for grieving or for something else?  Once you have the energy to process that thought things will seem somewhat better.  I would like to suggest a nice cup of tea and a nature walk where there are squirrels and birds.  It seems to help me when I have emotions that need attention.  

What is your go to for self care? 

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Thank you (all). I am thinking that death does not mean the end of a relationship, it is now just different and that is okay. 

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