You know how the universe conspires with our best intentions by testing our commitment to a new resolution? Well this post is a little wish for all of our sueñitos (Just watched Lin Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights film, highly recommend).
I want to heal my intensity so that the love I have for life, for myself, for others, shines through and becomes contagious.
Mental – literal brain/head pressure – overheats my body-mind-spirit like the planet, and if I want to do my part to get that to slow down, to reverse global warming, I need to truly chill, deconstruct, unpack, and reverse the programming that keeps me spinning. I am slowly facing my complicity.
Even if I kid myself into believing I am expert at not showing or conveying the mental – emotional energy “under the hood” of my skin, in my eyes, and through my nonverbal expressions, this energy is still there. And others not just feel it, they must guard themselves from it, because we all have our own similar but different expressions of intensity that rise within us. We work through this day today and overtime, and despite our collective human nature to want to learn from, grow with, understand and help each other, the navigation of intensity — the adaptation and mitigation of one another’s real and ever-changing climate — can be a bit much.
So first I begin with breathing into my heart which helps me notice that my other hand is more clenched than the one holding a pen (I still hand write my blogs). When I release the tightness throughout my body, a river of feeling begins to flow, now undammed and once again in its natural state (like the breath the earth took while we were in quarantine). How can I (we) remain in this nature-all state?
Fear flows so viscerally, so familiar. I call it many things, disguise it as “care” and “big love”, activism and altruism even. I do not own my fear and name it such because I am aware that to go around telling others I am afraid is to directly expose others to my fear, which will harm those I love. They will either absorb my fear consciously and experience the Ouch or they will absorb it subconsciously and reject me in whatever direct or subtle way that works for their self-preservation.
It is now clear why I struggle to remain in this natural, unclenched, flowing, and natural state. I am at odds with my values. How have I gotten here?
As a woman it is easy for me to point to exhaustive examples of how I have stopped my flow, my stream of consciousness, and how others have interrupted it for me, damned it up. This leads to anger. And I have barely felt the first wave of fear.
Do I really want to add anger to the mix? I know very well — have even been “certified“ in an intensive life laboratory setting with other lovely souls diving deeply together for two weeks to explore and manage the possibilities of compound feelings — that fear mixed with anger leads to sticky emotions like jealousy and aggression. I don’t want to be one bit more sticky than I already am! I want to be clean like the purest fresh water river! Unpolluted, detoxed, so fresh and free.
But reality is that my body, like all our bodies, like most of our planets rivers, are polluted with toxins. Our newest generation is being born polluted. SEVENTEEN years ago nearly 300 toxic chemicals were found in umbilical cord blood in this study. (Here is what the NRDC is doing about it).
Each aspect of these hard realities can stick and — like a hand with taffy or wax between the fingers — render the hand — and the being it belongs to — dysfunctional. But then the rains wash the stickiness away, in the same way they are falling outside my window this lovely moment. Can it be so simple as to first breathe together, and second, speak whatever is true in the moment? Can it be possible that each of us can break down the dams that prevent our streams of consciousness to flow freely and safely from the pollutions in poisons “out there“ in society?
We know that we “waste“ so much time and energy holding onto sad, angry, and fearful feelings, and we know that each precious moment we take to breathe together and talk heart to heart always feels nourishing, healing, powerful, and productive. So what prevents more of this from taking place day today?
Because I have been emerging in to this practice of breathing into my heart, welcoming sunshine in, even on a cloudy day, I have had a lot of heartfelt and nourishing conversations lately. They haven’t mitigated the experiences of toxicity, but these conversations have definitely increased my ability to adapt and function more mindfully than what would be possible otherwise.
So as the workplace — and the unfortunate overflow into our homes — pressures to be productive and efficient bear down on us, we might experiment with breathing into our hearts.
There is so much more to say, write, feel about intensity … but for now, I will leave it there. I am breathing easefully for the moment. And I invite you to join me wherever you are.