Onward Through The Tunnel We Go
One of the themes that keeps coming up for this month is ‘stay in the Eye of the Storm.” With so much rapid change occurring, and so much external noise, it’s crucial to have some sort of still, safe haven that you can retreat to, to regain balance, sanity and clarity. An inner haven should at this time be non-negotiable. Please see ideas below if needed. An outer haven is also important if possible: be it your home, or supportive friends and family. If neither of those are possible, and I’m hearing from many of you right now that it isn’t, try to find connections through like-minded groups, whether in-person or online. Feeling a sense of unity, community and genuine soul connection is key to our emotional survival. One of the reasons I’ve started the Sanctuary Space Zooms is to provide space for anyone who needs it, to talk, share, listen or just feel like you are not alone.
Things are changing so quickly from one day to the next, and there are so many moving pieces. It’s like we’re all taking part in a movie where someone has hit fast-forward! It is very natural to have our stress responses be flaring up constantly during such a time of upheaval, uncertainty, relentless coercion, division of family/friends/communities and social segregation. However, we can’t afford to live in a stress state 24/7 for the next many months or year and who knows how far beyond. We have got to take care of our physical, mental and emotional health as a priority, so that we can navigate this time with as much strength, courage, clarity and calm as possible.
Our stress responses flare up because, on some level, we don’t feel safe whether physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. Our body is physiologically wired to survive, and in order to survive we need to feel safe on all levels. We might feel overwhelmed, frustrated, depressed, angry, controlled, in fear of an actual threat or perceived threat, or some other emotion. Our stress response might be manifesting physically, cognitively, emotionally or behaviourally. We go into fight/flight/freeze mode, which when faced with an actual sabre-tooth tiger saves our life. However, when experienced chronically for days, weeks, months or even years on end, this sort of stress has a detrimental effect on every aspect of our health and life.
If you are doing all of your usual self-care and spiritual practices and finding that you are still swirling around with anxiety, try the following journaling exercise: “What do I not feel safe about?” Talk directly in your journal with your particular stress response eg Harry Headache or Insomniac Ivy. I like to give them names as it makes it easier to have a conversation. Ask Harry or Ivy or whatever the name of your Stress Response aspect/s, “What is it that you need to feel safe? What is it that you need me to do or not do?”
Going through the tunnel
During the Sanctuary Space zoom last night, I was taking everyone through a meditation and talking about the darkness that so many are feeling. I got a visual of a baby in a birth canal, and the analogy that this is where we are at right now. We have left the safe, cozy womb of the old world, (although how much of it was safe, and how much of it was an illusion of safe is another theme for another day), and we are being squeezed through the birth canal onward.
The birth canal is dark, unfamiliar, uncomfortable, it has twists and turns, it is squeezing down on us as it seems to get tighter and more narrow. We don’t know how much further we have to go. How long is this tunnel for goodness sake! We think there is no way this could be leading anywhere good, or to some sort of happy ending. We think there is no way that we are ever going to get out of this dark tunnel. Even when we see the opening, the possibility of emergence, we might think ‘no way, it’s too small an opening, there’s no way’.
And yet every day thousands of babies are born in this very way. Out they emerge, into a whole new world. At first it is just a new room, a new family, a new home. Then they realise, it’s a new town, a new country, a whole massive planet Earth to explore! “The journey was worth it,” thinks baby. “This is a lot better than spending 100 years in the small womb, as cosy and familiar as it was!”
This is where we are. We are in the void, in the dark unknown. However, we too will emerge into the new. Everyone reading this has done this on a personal level, likely many times, this lifetime. And now, it is time for all humanity, one by one, and the whole planet to go through this process. It is the death/rebirth/life process. The Pluto transit process. The end of an old identity, beginning of a new life process. As we emerge it may seem to only be a room at first, a few people at first. But eventually we’ll see, oooh wow, there is new life on a whole new planet going on here!
However before that, we still have to go through this very intense, challenging birth canal. It isn’t always pleasant. You’ll have days where you need to cry. Let yourself cry. There are many forms of loss and grief to go through in all death/rebirth/life processes. You’ll have days when you feel like giving up (midwives say that they know that the birth is imminent when the mama starts saying “I can’t do this! Just leave the baby in there!”).
Yet, despite the pain, the heaviness and craziness, there is a strange sense of excitement surrounding this time, can you feel it? You can especially feel it when you connect in any way with others who know. Who know we did not come here to stay in the old. We did not come here to continue being controlled. And we definitely didn’t come here to have that control increase a thousand-fold. When you connect with others who know, it helps you to remember that we all came here at this time for a reason. We came here at this time to assist with the birth process. Spiritual midwives, men and women both, starseeds, light warriors, you came here for this.
So onward through the tunnel we must go. Not knowing exactly how long it is, nor how many more twists and turns. Yet knowing we are being compelled to move through it, and to move through it holding our light strong, holding our truth strong, doing whatever we are called to do in each moment.
Here are some tips to help you through:
Take one day at a time.
Things are changing very quickly with lots of moving parts. It’s almost impossible to plan too far ahead. Looking too far ahead constantly can lead to a spiral of worry and fear. Martin Luther King Jr said: You don’t always need to see the whole staircase. You just need to shine the light on one step at a time.
Stay in your centre
Have a space within you that is your personal eye of the storm. Deep breathing and staying in the present moment is the simplest way to stay in your eye/I
Have a chat
Reach out and talk to someone who you feel safe with, and supported by
Feel it and Journal it
Feel your feelings, and journal them out if you need to. Better out than in!
Go for a walk and notice what’s around you the same way a child does. Smell the flowers, hear the birds, feel the sun on your face
Practice Gratitude and Appreciation
Keep a gratitude journal or have chats around the dinner table about what you’re grateful for, and have everyone say something good that happened today
Do some deep breathing, muscle relaxation or a meditation last thing at night, to benefit sleep and wake up as calm and clear as possible
Get out in nature
Get some fresh air, sunlight, immerse in salty water, and feel the Earth under your feet
Any kind of movement
Eat healthily, drink plenty of water, supplement with appropriate vitamins if needed, use essential oils like lavender to aid sleep and relaxation
Do calming activities
Gardening, handcraft, baking, reading a book – what do you like doing that you haven’t been doing?
Monitor exposure to news
Especially avoid screens/emails/social media/news last thing at night or first thing in the morning.
Create a short even 5 minute nurturing practice to do last thing at night and first thing in the morning
(c) Dana Mrkich 2021. Permission is granted to share this article freely on the condition that the author is credited, and the URL www.danamrkich.com is included.