Over the weekend and while the news of the Orlando shooting spread, I was offering healing sessions in the wellness tent at a yoga festival for an organization called the Grief Support Network.
I’ve volunteered before for GSN as a musician and as a facilitator, not really understanding that there was deep grief within me. I began to realize it during one of their events when I was given the space to simply connect into what was really there.
In these moments, I have gotten in touch with a profound sense of loss around being able to have my own light, my own healing ability, my own gift. Somehow as a child, I picked up the awareness that these gifts were for others, and not for me.
This grief was real and untapped inside me and by no means is this grief the same as the loss of a child or a loved one who died in a mass shooting. Nonetheless, grief has a mind of its own and it surfaces when insane occurrences happen in the world.
So as I was sitting in the tent and helping people process their grief, what I was aware of was the amount of mental energy it takes to avoid the true feelings within, and the disturbance that causes. It’s one thing to have a feeling, and it’s another to hold against that feeling. As a result, stress ensues.
There is a very skewed perspective on emotions in our culture; they are bad, they are wrong, they are not to be felt, and we certainly cannot make space for them.
But what is truer, from the energetic and spiritual perspective, is that our soul will never be content if the storm inside is neglected. Our soul will never be content if the mind is running the dialogue that who you are is not OK because the way you feel doesn’t feel right.
The effort in quieting the mind and calming the storm inside is a big one. Many times, I hear the words:
• I can’t meditate.
• I can’t quiet my mind.
• My mind just won’t be still.
• There’s no way that I can meditate even for 2 minutes, I’ve tried and it doesn’t work.
…and the list goes on.
The mind is powerful like that, and it will do anything to bond to what is familiar. What that means is that if fear based or negative thoughts are familiar then it will be easier for the mind to follow those thoughts as opposed to the voice of the soul.
Being able to tend to your heart and your soul and to listen from there takes practice, dedication, and devotion.
Devotion being the keyword here.
Devotion for many is clouded with a lot of confusion, and possibly grief. The grief of wanting joy, happiness, freedom, contentment, spiritual connection, and world peace can certainly be present when the surrounding environment far less than peaceful.
However, the spiritual seeker, the spiritual practitioner, the human being who is struggling throughout the day just to have peace must find the devotion to your own heart.
By this, I mean, devotion to your own heart and soul instead of the mind running the show, wanting to know if everything is going to be OK, wanting to control everyone and everything, and protecting the internal storm from being felt. That storm could be a drizzle or it could be thunder, but the things we do to avoid tending to it cause an imbalance in our system.
We clearly have a mental disturbance on a grand scale in this world. We clearly have fragmentation from spirit, from the heart, and from kindness to humanity. This does lead to feelings of unsafety and not trusting others. Yet, it is our work to not give in to fear.
I don’t have an answer on how to stop people from hurting other innocent people. What I can say though is that your feelings are appropriate, and every one of us lives with some level of mental disturbance in the form of stress or difficulty in understanding the impact of our life experiences, and therefore our emotions.
And this we can do something about.
How to Devote Time and Energy to Your Heart:
We can at least devote time and energy every day to our heart. Some options to do that are:
• Taking conscious deep breaths when the mind is racing.
• Carving out some time to go for a walk, yoga or movement of your choice.
• Dedicating weekly time to working on the pieces of healing you know you need to!
• Tune in, instead of distracting, spinning, controlling or stuffing.
Sometimes our heart just needs to know that were paying attention to how it feels. That alone dissolves a layer of the pain. You don’t even have to fix the feeling, or make it go away. Just give it permission to be, and you will feel your body settle. Give this a try!
It is far more time-consuming and expensive to deal with a whole history of unprocessed emotions then it is to simply take 5 minutes to ground, breath and listen to your heart.
The deeper shift with in our hearts and minds is that we get a grip on knowing and living the reality that how you feel now, and how you felt back then, is not wrong. Acting out from emotions that you don’t understand, or don’t have a name for only causes hurt and pain for yourself and for others.
I wrote on my Facebook page this weekend that I am deeply sorry for the hurt that is caused others. May we do our part in devoting time and energy to our own hearts to feel our truth, and true feelings. Having this level of compassion for self can increase compassion for others, and contribute to the greater healing of this planet.