I barely even sit down to try to gather words these days, save for my morning pages which still happen most of the time, fluttering between drivel and aching truths.
I think of you often and wonder, “Why reach out if I don’t even know what to say?” and I know that is silly, because reaching out is saying I am here, is saying you’re not alone, is saying we’re still breathing.
I have talked to a number of friends in recent days about how alone and lost I feel, and have been met with the message that I am not alone in this, that so many of us are feeling this way.
Writing here grounded me for a decade, and I didn’t realize right away how by undoing that rhythm I was uprooting myself. And maybe I needed to for a time. Sometimes we slip back into a practice that we had abandoned and realize how much it feels like home. Sometimes it takes a little longer to find our way back, like searching for a keyhole in a door now covered over by moss so thick you wonder if they key will even still turn.
There may come a time in your life (or many times) when the key doesn’t seem to turn, when what once felt like a second skin doesn’t quite fit right anymore. That can be disconcerting, and when the space between what was and what is yet to be stretches out longer than you’d hoped it would, it can feel like being lost without a compass, and maybe even without hope.
When all this goes on alongside a world that feels like it has started spinning on a completely different axis, it can feel disorienting and overwhelming.
I do not think that we, as humans, were built for this constant barrage of trauma that we are currently experiencing – collectively and individually. It is like wave after wave pushing us down before we have a chance to take a breath of air and set ourselves for the next knock-down.
What we do have is community.
When I was teaching mantra mediation in person, it was mostly to people who were unfamiliar with the practice, and the idea of having to chant 108 rounds of a mantra they were not familiar with sometimes felt like an impossible task set before them.
As we sat in a circle, I would remind them that the space was being held – by myself and those who formed our community that day. I would chant every round, I told them, and they could be assured if they needed to rest, to pause, to listen and feel and not chant out loud, for a few rounds or even all of them, that their community was there to hold them.
We can’t all do all the things all the time. There are moments when we need to rest. There are moments when we need to care for our small and sacred corner of the world. There are moments when we need to jump into action in many of its various forms. All of it is necessary, and all of it is okay.
I do not want you to feel shame for the moments of rest, for the moments of quiet, in a world that seems to to be screaming for us to do something, anything, to make things less unbearable every minute of every day. Because caring for your heart, for the universe that is you, matters too.
I may not know where this uprooted sense of self will land and replant itself, but I know that I am here, that I am breathing, and that I am writing these words to you.
With deepest love and gratitude,