How are you handling these hectic times? There seems to be so, so, so much fear and anger. Are you feeling it?
I feel it and have been meditating to navigate it and it’s been really helpful.
There are many different forms of meditation. Some forms ask you to clear your mind. Some ask you to visualize. Some challenge you to focus on a mantra or on your breath or even on a color and so on.
Recently, I have fallen in love with the meditation teachings of Pema Chodron. I have known about her for a long time, but never gave myself the time (or maybe I never really felt the need) to really fall into her teachings.
Well, I feel the need now.
One of the concepts that she teaches is the idea of “staying”.
In such a polarized time as now, we are witnessing so much fear and anger and downright psychological (and physical) violence. I feel my job (my Spirit-given mandate) is to stay open-eyed and open-hearted so that I can continue to love and understand — so I can continue to keep my boat afloat.
Meditation is one of the practices that has allowed me to breathe through all the present turmoil and (as you know from reading these articles) I am always looking for ways to stay at peace even when the world is swirling around me.
Pema Chodron’s teachings are doing that for me. I have been inhaling her books (audio and paperback) and have watched her videos on YouTube.
The bottomline is this, when we are scared — when we see everyone around us freaking out in one way or another — it’s easy for us to freak out too. Freaking out, however, helps no one -- least of all, ourselves.
Pema Chodron talks about “staying”….just “staying” in the uncomfortable place — in the pain, in the anxiety, in the “not-knowingness’ — just “staying” and breathing and allowing it to subside.
In her book "The Places That Scare you" she writes about "training in the midst of fire". Training to "stay open to uncertainty" and to "stay present at the times we habitually shut down". Not easy, for sure, but I am finding it helpful.
It (at least for a moment) pushes "pause" on my fight or flight reactions.
A few years ago, I recorded a song called 'STAY" with my friend David Raleigh. It’s about “staying” after a fight between lovers, but as I listen to it today, it is a wonderful reminder to “stay” with MYSELF -- even when the feelings are sharp and uncomfortable!!
Here are the lyrics of the chorus:
Now, read those words again as if your inner Spirit — The Force Within — is whispering them to YOU - even in the midst of whatever you may be feeling right now.
Powerful right?? I think it's AMAZING!!
Thank you, David!!!
As you know, I have a daily practice of writing as a form of self-care. I wrote this poem this morning and it has brought me peace.
It’s called “Just Stay”
Sit with your eyes closed. Breathe deep three times. Then ask yourself what you are feeling. Is it anger? Fear? Disappointment? Sadness? Choose one feeling and stay with it.
Just stay — sit and breathe and stay.
At first the feeling will get bigger, hotter, scarier. Tears may come
Do your best to stay. Just breathe and stay.
And then (as you stay) the feeling will start to subside and clarifying answers from your inner self -- The Force Within -- will start to arise.
You can also quietly ask The Force Within what this feeling is here to teach you — how is it here to grow you.
Then (when you’re ready) open your eyes and write.
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May THE FORCE WITHIN be with you!
Rhonda Ross is a singer-songwriter, an Emmy-nominated actress, and a Personal Power Practitioner. For musical, speaking or workshop bookings: email info@TheRhondaRoss.com