It takes a lot to be able to enjoy time, as most of us are finding out.
Simply having a thing doesn't mean that we can be in right relationship with it. Most of us will be having some deep moments of encountering ourselves because it truly does take a lot of work to be able to spend time in harmony with ourselves.
Sometimes we are like a caterpillar, slowly inching forwards, a little cautious. Sometimes we need to be cocooned and in incubation. And sometimes we spread our wings and fly. All of us move between these states at different times
Some of us have done a lot of work on ourselves or have learned skills and techniques to be able to move out of overwhelming or stuck states of being. At times, even if we know how to resource and check in with ourselves, we can still become overwhelmed. We may need a little space to enquire into what is happening and what is needing our attention, so that we can reorientate towards feeling OK.
Sometimes we need support to look at where we are with fresh eyes. After a month and a half of lockdown even the most resourced amongst us may be cracking around the edges. If this is you then please do reach out.
Below I have a gentle grounding exercise which may help to resource you and re-connect you with the space you are spending lockdown in. I have also made a voice recording for you to enjoy the experience of being guided through the visualisation – it’s only 5 minutes long but it may be enough to help you feel the ground beneath your feet.
I am a somatic counsellor, bodyworker and acupuncturist and I specialise in trauma work. I am familiar with how people can get stuck and often the most precious ingredient in finding space is simply being given some space and attention. You don’t need to work with a therapist to find the space you need. You may be able to get what you need through somatic grounding exercises, like the one I will share with you below. Or perhaps you can work together with a friend or partner doing something called ‘enquiry work’ exercises.
An enquiry is when you offer attention to another, without saying anything, without nodding, without responding in any way to the one you are listening to. You offer no verbal or non-verbal cues. You aren’t trying to heal or fix. You are just offering deep, unconditional listening. It doesn’t take any skill at all, in fact the less you try the better you will be at it. You can do this over zoom with a friend if you are locked down alone. You hold space for them for 20 minutes and they hold space for you. It’s a little strange at first but when you get used to this exercise it is deeply rewarding, connecting and nurturing.
Here is a resourcing exercise for you to explore at home:
When things get too much what usually happens is that our awareness of our body becomes diminished and our sense of being able to sense ourselves becomes focused around our head rather than a whole body awareness. A nice exercise is to find a way to reconnect to your lower body and specifically your feet. Take off your shoes and socks and simply feel the ground beneath your feet.
Be aware of the texture of the ground you are standing on, is it a hard floor, a tightly woven carpet or a shaggy rug perhaps, is there a temperature or texture, let your feet feel and notice your felt sense of the ground you are standing on.
Get a sense of the contact of each of your toes, the balls of your feet and the heels of your feet making contact with the ground, perhaps as you notice these contact points you might notice the arches of your feet and notice the difference between what is making contact and what isn't. Imagine that there are roots going down from your feet deep into the centre of the earth. You might be able to visualise this, if you can't visualise just trust that it is so and maybe speak it out loud, 'I'm sending roots down into the earth through my feet'.
When you get a sense that you have reached somewhere deep down – maybe the centre of the earth, maybe somewhere which feels deep and broad and rooted –imagine sucking up nourishment from the earth into those roots into your feet. Imagine that grounded energy travelling up your body through the ankles, legs, hips, abdominal area and spine. Slowly feel that grounded energy in the whole of the body down your arms, into your hands, up the chest, throat and the head.
Maybe even imagine the roots reaching beyond the head so that you feel like a tree. Reaching up and reaching out at the same time. Pulling in the energy from the earth and reaching out into the sky. You might even reach out your arms to make the shape of a tall tree with a broad canopy and strong, stable roots. In this place take a few deep breaths and allow the breath to fully fill your body, your abdomen, your rib cage and your upper chest. Take a few deep nourishing breaths. Gently stretch out and shake out to come back to noticing your body standing in the space that you are in. Very slowly look around your space. Make a full 360-degree scan, Noticing all the little things that surround you, that are meaningful to you, that are your home.
Because of lockdown my work is exclusively online somatic counselling so if this kind of work and support interests you or if you know someone who may benefit, reach out. I'm a resource waiting to be tapped in to.