As the coronavirus is steadily traveling across the earth by land, sea, and air, we have indeed become earth neighbors. The virus is affecting us physically, emotionally, cognitively, economically, socially, politically, and spiritually.
As of March 17, San Francisco and the surrounding counties, including ours, have declared that we ‘Shelter in Place’. This means that everyone is to be home and to stay at home and to go out only for certain essential activities, such as getting food, medical services, gas, exercise, etc. People have been ordered to stay home from work unless their job is an essential service. Schools and universities are closed and classes are cancelled or going online. Gatherings are suspended.
Thinking about you. Wondering about your situation, its impact on your life, and how you are feeling and coping?
The challenges facing us are shouting loud and clear. They require our utmost attention and decision-making process. The choices we are making will exert a strong effect, not only on ourselves and those we are in contact with, but multitudes of others whom we will never meet or even know of their personal existence. While this has always been so, I have never felt so directly and profoundly the reality and truth of this.
On a personal note, over a week ago, before the official order to ‘Shelter in Place’, my husband Len and I took the unofficial recommendation to self-isolate in our home because of our age (are we really 78!). We are not going out (except in our yard), and other people, including our family, are not coming into our home.
Initially, last week, I was having difficulty emotionally accepting this, more so than made sense to me. In sharing this over the phone with an old friend, she asked if I felt this was related to when I was four years old and was quarantined in my home for two months due to my having polio – another epidemic virus.
I remember and feel deeply my little inner child pressing her head against the screen door watching my friends playing together out on the lawn and in the street.
A lost moment integrated into now!
Len and I have now become totally dependent upon other people. Food and other daily necessities are brought to us by others – personally or through the mail and delivery services. Our son just phoned with a question about food he is in the process of buying for us now. Our gratitude for the help we are receiving is far beyond words to describe. Infinite numbers of people are always helping us, directly and indirectly, moment by moment. Why has this previously, for me, been only a spatial concept and not a deeply embodied visceral experience and acknowledgement?
What about you?
Because of the phone and Internet, many of our activities are continuing – even facilitated! Len, Basha, Issa, and I are communicating easily by phone and computer. We can share, discuss together, and make decisions regarding our work. We are still able to connect with others locally and internationally.
With the elimination of many daily activities, we are able to focus more time and attention to a new website with video streaming possibilities, and to completing three books that have been in process for over thirty years. One is on the skeletal system, another is on the primitive reflexes, righting reactions, and equilibrium responses, and the third one is on how babies develop from a movement perspective and how parents and caregivers can help them along the process. I am encouraged and excited by this!
Lastly, I would like to share with you an embodied somatization that has been calming and perhaps at a deep level life-changing for me.
A few weeks ago someone (was it you?) sent me an article about a slow brain wave that occurs during deep sleep. The sleep that cleans our brain and rests our mind.
Ever since I collapsed in 1996, sleep has been a major area of challenge and, therefore, research for me. I did not unconsciously consciously feel or know about this slow brain wave.
When I began to look for it in myself through embodiment, I found a slow fluid wave passing through my brain. However, I felt it originating in my pericardium, that the wave has a fluid weight, and that it flowed from the left side of my body (pericardium) and the left side of my brain. The underlying foundation seems to be breathing deeply and slowly in the pit of my belly. The wave passing through my brainstem is a key for grounding my brain and bringing lightness to my cerebellum and cortex.
The movement of this slow wave brings me deep calm when awake, and I am sleeping longer and more deeply than I have in decades – perhaps since before I had children!
I had planned to share this in our March and April workshops through our physical collective experience by movement, touch, voice, silence, somatization, discussion, and the mind of the room. Instead, I am sharing it with you through the written word – and as always through prayer.
So many questions that can only be answered by community sharing. What is our personal individual experience and how is it similar and different from others? Through diversity we deepen our understanding and knowledge. Through acceptance, we gain wisdom. What is the shadow below all of our experiences that brings us into unity?
Sending you much love and prayers
to carry you safely through
the chaotic winds of the coronavirus
And the challenges you must face each day.
Be well and comfortable being you,