I’m so excited by some of the things coming out of my mouth today that I can’t wait to jump in. But first, the news is full of new personal stories and sad, frightening new understandings of this virus every morning.
Business owners and families are struggling with the financial impact. And some business owners and elected officials are struggling, reactively minimizing what’s taking place–reducing it to something smaller than it is, in order to hold it in their hands with the illusion of control. And people are pandering to that impulse.
We so desperately need to feel control; some more and some less. Losing your business or livelihood overnight is an unfathomable hit. Our businesses are our babies, in a lot of ways. Mine always have been. My heart goes out to those affected and to those needing to grasp at hope that this pandemic is all being overblown.
But more directly, my heart goes out to the many people who have already lost loved ones, those who are sick and worried they are infected, and to the many people I love who are immunocompromised right now and don’t have as many choices as those who are choosing to disregard or minimize healthcare professionals’ desperate guidance right now.
On a lighter note…Parenting Pandemic Pro Tip for March 26th:
We have a menu of rad offerings hanging on the fridge. It’s bold, bright, asymmetric and Sharpie-tastic. I love a good Sharpie. The kids are picking that over each morning to hone in on their joy du jour. Today we’ve had tickle fighting, drawing tutorials, the Cincinnati Zoo, and a Facebook friend group check in.
Academics are happening and I’m feeling grounded and connected. That’s what works for us, for now, and it is all I’m beholden to and responsible for, truly. The same for each of you. Autonomy to be, just as we are.
Let’s talk about that. Many of my friends are not feeling calm in the storm. I recognize calm as a privilege built on so much. I am accepting it is because my basic needs are met, that it is a temporary state that can change at any moment, and I’m grateful for this stability and feeling as long as it lasts.
Some of you know me, and others only know my bloggy manifesto persona. Quick recap to set the tone for my upcoming ridiculousness: I’m a yoga teacher and TRE® provider, and I support self-regulation in children and adults. I do 1:1/private and group sessions. In addition, I consult with schools, organizations, families, and individuals who want to learn more about trauma responsive approaches to interacting, supporting one another and life-ing together.
I love love love what I do. I have a “work voice” and professional presence that is usually calm and grounding, and I inject humor and empathy here and there to attempt to release extra tension that might be building up. This is what people have shared with me and I’m sure there are others that feel differently. (A few of those have spoken up, too. Thank you, as well.)
But I’m not like that in real life. I think this is my secret. Why am I able to stay grounded, aside from practice and privilege? I think it’s because I let myself be absolutely ridiculous. That’s my secret.
In real life, I am hand wavy and consistently saying things like (today, for instance):
- Hell-o-oh!! Your peaceful parts are asking for CPR right now! Hell-o-oh! Breathe life into your peaceful heart! I can hear it gasping for air!
- You are acting like an aardvark and not a regular one…a GIANT aardvark. A is for AARDVARK! Get out of your sibling’s business. There are NO ants over there for you!!!!
- Stop sensory stimming out! Can you get yourself out of that cosmic place for just a minute right now?
- Can you reel that big old brain back down to earth, yo! Your body is walking around without you and it’s a Hazard! Help me!
- I told you to cut the cheese the tall way, not the short way! I am not about taking you to the hospital for stitches right now. Lord help me! (For the record, this one was a sincere prayer for help to the Lord. Or any Lords or Deities, Ancestors, etc. that may be accessible. OK, and just to be extra-extra clear, I did fling a prayer up to Great Hopping Jesus on a Pogo Stick the other day. I did.)
I think we’ve covered the bases here.
Synopsis: Mindfulness and grounded parenting often don’t look like soft voices, the peaceful resonance of meditation bells, or environments scrubbed of chaos. And sometimes they do–if that’s your thing.
But…basically, when I work with families to incorporate mindfulness, we take whatever IS your thing and experiment with inviting that into the mindfulness. You can’t leave yourself behind and go into a mindfulness practice. We bring ourselves in and we feel our way through that.
If you’re scared, you feel your fear and you step into your own intelligently chosen and designed ways to coexist with that. And we add little bits of mindfulness practice. Maybe it’s like the salt, or pepper? If you’re angry, sad, or happy–same. If you’re house is messy–same. We carry *ourselves, our real, whole, as-is selves in. I’m happy to talk more about this if I’ve left it too abstract.
From a Newsletter I follow, this had LOTS of information. Maybe it’s worth sifting to see if you find a gem or two for yourself or a loved one? Game on to Flip the COVID 19 Threat Into a Positive Experience for our Children:
Facebook Users: A friend shared that Red Table Talks is doing a really nice job sharing information on their platform. This is helpful for people who are weary of reading right now, but want some ideas. Approx 50 minutes:
Hang in there, the best you can. P.S. it’s Thursday.