4 Pathways to Mending
In The Golden Stone Wisdom School the first thing I teach is the 4 basic principles of cultivating relationship with the body. This can be applied to the collective-body and the earth-body as well.
These principles are the lens through which we work with anything and everything that comes up in our exploration of the body, emotions, the shadow, our energy, etc.
Here, I’m share them in a slightly different lens than I usually talk about them, and hope they will provide you a pathway towards mending, both your own heart as well as the collective fabric of our world.
1) Slow Down
During a crisis or emotionally trying event, our nervous systems often first go into a sympathetic state, or a revved up, more fast-paced state. There is an urgency that is often coupled with fear. When we’re in this place, we can’t think as clearly. We can’t feel all there is to feel, sense all there is to sense, or see all there is a to see about possible outcomes.
If you’re not in immediate risk of danger, it is really helpful to let yourself slow down, come back to your center, come back to the present moment. Slow your breath. It is only here that actual deep listening can occur. Where we can touch into greater awareness, wisdom, and get clear about our direction.
2) Lean into Curiosity
This is one of my favorite principles to live by. Can you get curious instead of judgmental or reactive?
Develop curiosity for how your body is receiving or revealing information, curiosity about how you’re feeling and what you need, curiosity about other people’s beliefs and life experiences, curiosity about why people are doing what they’re doing.
Rigid opinion and belief narrows our perception of life.
When we believe we know the best way forward, we tend to think everyone else needs to do the same thing. This further perpetuates division. When we open to curiosity we open to mystery, and to the possibility of something greater than we can even imagine unfolding.
“I think it’s better to know that you don’t know, that way you can grow with the mystery as the mystery grows in you. But, these days, of course, everybody knows everything, that’s why so many people are so lost.” - James Baldwin
3) Develop Compassion
Where can you extend your compassion in this moment? Is there a not-so-obvious place or person you can offer it to? The Buddhist practice of Metta is a beautiful exercise to develop compassion, even for those you have a difficult time with.
Compassion is critical in developing relationship with yourself and others. It is crucial when trying to mend and heal wounds both internally and collectively.
Are you judging yourself or pressuring yourself to show up perfectly right now, or in any particular way? Are you judging others for their behavior? Are you placing yourself in a hierarchy of power?
One example of power-over right now would be the belief that your beliefs and actions are right, and everyone needs to do to just like you.
An example of power-under is going into collapse, feeling like you don’t have any impact, or shaming yourself for not doing enough, or not feeling a particular way.
Extending compassion to yourself and others is a way to counteract these dynamics.
4) Grow Trust
How can we lean into trust in moments that feel utterly hopeless? This one can be the most difficult to accept during a crisis. This is where spiritual practice can come in: connecting to a wider spiritual force you can lean into for support. The Earth. God. Your ancestors. The vast universal expanse. Your community. Your spirit guides. Your higher Self. The knowing that there’s a wider web of energy that connects us all…
Whatever it is for you, what feels like it can provide an anchor of trust for you to lean into when things feel out of control? For me, the plants and their wisdom always helps me feel more grounded, connected, and able to stay present with myself and what needs tending.
My heart is with you. My heart is with Gaza and the Palestinians. My heart is with the families of the Israeli hostages and those brutally murdered in Israel. My heart is with peace and liberation for all people. I’m sending love and prayers each day for a cease-fire, and for a peaceful solution that is better than anyone can imagine in this moment. May it be so.