Sustaining peace in chaotic times is something I’ve come to learn how to do really well in my personal life (find peace after the dismantling of life as I knew it) There was a time (ok several times) that I would have felt like the suffering I was feeling in many given moments, projected out into the world at large, would have looked like a global epidemic.
I know what a personal epidemic feels like. I know what the disease of fear can do to a person’s biology and psychology and all the ologies.
I learned how to navigate those times in such a way that I could then grow from those times. I paid attention to the kinds of things that sent my body, sent my nervous system, a signal of danger (which decreases our resiliency) and I learned to move toward the kinds of things that sent my nervous system a signal of safety (which increases our resiliency to life’s stressors, to fear, to disease, to illness)
In my eBook I start with mindset as the most important pillar, if you will, of our overall wellness. I see it as the thickest string in a ball of yarn that when pulled, influences every other fiber of the whole. And I end with community because without it, everything else would fall apart. Because co-regulation, or the ability to connect with one another, is not just a nice idea, it’s a biological imperative. In all, I highlight 5 Pillars, which I will outline below.
What Safety means to our nervous system:
We can rest. We can digest our food. We can be still, with ease. We can think, and create. We can imagine, and we have space for inspiration. We can be in a state of flow. We have access to the felt experience of peace, of joy, and of love. All is well in our soul.
Ways of sending our biology a signal of safety:
-Cultivating an empowered mindset, that seeks out and capitalizes on what is good. What is peace. What is joy. Essentially, abiding in what feeds our soul. “Where your attention goes, energy flows.” This is not about forcing yourself to take your mind off of what is fearful, this is about purposefully directing your attention toward what is peaceful. The more you are living in the energy of peace, the greater you will be able to move through or out of what brings you distress. You will be able to access your full spectrum of emotions in an elevated, and more resilient way, when you purpose more of your time toward peace and joy. Fear does not have the same grip on you when you are living from the emotional signature of love.
-Cooking and eating nourishing foods. (Nourishing to both our bodies AND our brains – ie, we ENJOY what we are eating! That is as important as “what” we are eating.)
-Move your body. Move your energy. Stretch. Practice yoga. Practice breathwork. Two favorite resources of mine are Kundalini Yoga’s “Kirtan Kriya” and Joe Dispenza’s meditations. Many more resources are found in my eBook. Your body, your energy, needs movement or emotions will become stagnant. Engage in the rhythms that feel good to your body and you will be able to flow with the tides more than you’ll be tossed around in them.
-”Expreeeess Yourseeelf” (are you singing that too?) Another way of moving our body’s energy is by moving our thoughts. Journaling, speaking, dancing, singing. Tuning into the kinds of activities that bring what’s in, out. We heal through, what we feel through. What does that look like for you?
-Community, or Co-regulation. When we can connect with another being this guides our nervous system to feel that ‘we are safe.’ Connection and Safety are essential to the resiliency and health of our biology, and precisely what my household is focusing on expanding right now.
Ways that we can co-regulate, especially for this time:
-Video calling (facetime, zoom, skype, whatsapp)
-Family time with no distractions. Hug your people. Kiss your babies.
-Many parents and teachers right now have recorded or live videos for children to make use of. From virtual storytime (which my Eli and I are doing 30 min. a day on instagram @motherwellandco) to music classes, interactive educational videos, and even free planned lessons for virtual home-schooling of all grades.
There is so much “good” to direct your focus on because of technology right now. Let your barometer for digital consumption simply be “is this moving me closer to fear, or guiding me toward peace and connection?”
Peace is our goal, because it’s the greatest asset we have to move through and grow from chaos of any kind. Peace promotes order and coherence in our brain and body, which is vital for the health and flourishing of our immune system. Peace helps us move from survival to creation, from exhaustion to energy, from dark to light. I encourage you to capitalize on what is good, not for the sake of “staying positive!’ but for the sake of your life. This isn’t about warrioriing your way to a brave face. This is about what safety and peace do for our biology. This is about thriving in times that invite and elicit only survival responses. This is about finding ways to cultivate safety through nervous system regulations. This is about how we can consciously promote peace for the sake of our health, or the sake of our life, in the face of uncertainty. Whatever costs your peace, is costing too much. Reclaim what is yours, and flourish in spite of every invitation that is encouraging you not to.
To your great power and life-promoting peace,