The Wild Honey Buzz: Dancing through '22, Treading Water in the Deep End
Happy August! This month's dance video is a strongly metaphorical one. I am literally treading water in the deep end of the pool and in daily life, as most of us are during these challenging times. My heart especially breaks for all of the lives that were lost in the recent flooding in Kentucky and Virginia. In my personal life, I'm surrounded by so much love and beauty and yet when I look out at the wider world, there is just so much heartbreak, suffering and chaos everywhere that it's impossible to not be impacted by it. This month's blog post is a brief one, reflecting the somber mood I've been in lately. I feel like I've touched on this topic in former blogs, but I feel led to return to it.
A big thank you to DJ Lactose for supplying the awesome music to accompany my dance this month!
How to keep our heads above water? I know that it isn't my calling to tell people what to do, but rather to just show what I'm doing, so that is what I'll attempt in this blog - to describe some of the ways I'm trying to keep from "drowning" in pessimism.
As I've shared many times before, nature continues to be a powerful place of refuge for me so I try to be outside as much as possible and interacting with nature through gardening, walking (barefoot is especially soothing), swimming, stargazing, lying underneath trees and looking up into their branches, hugging trees, leaning against them, talking to them and to animals. I keep fresh flowers in my home at all times. Also, enjoying the fruits of summer....watermelon and nectarines in particular. The wild blackberries are just beginning to ripen where I live and I love to forage for them, along with wild plums. The study of astrology remains one of my biggest sources of inspiration and connection to nature as well. Some of my favorite astrologers include Timothy Halloran, Christopher Renstrom, Debra Silverman, Anne Ortelee, Bracha Goldsmith and Pam Gregory, along with everyone associated with The Astrology Hub.
Talking to like-minded people who share my values and concerns has been helpful. I like having a "tribe" of people with whom I feel "aligned." Likewise, I've distanced myself from people (and institutions/organizations) with whom I feel out of alignment as my beliefs and tolerance level for "BS" has begun to shift. Life's too short as the saying goes, and I'm aging and need to choose wisely where my energy and attention are going. My close friends and family members are central to my sanity! I'm blessed to have this amazing support group and I actively engage in "reciprocal" sharing.
As I shared in last month's blog, I do believe in practicing gratitude, but I also believe in "selective cursing." I have a small handful of people with whom I can have good old fashioned cursing sessions - after we've expressed all the things for which we are grateful of course, including the blessing of having someone to curse with! It's very therapeutic and fun! My cursing circle is a very special kind of support group! I was raised not to curse. I was told it was "not lady-like" and thus especially not appropriate for girls. However, I know that cursing is a very healthy way to express anger, particularly for women as our natural emotion of anger continues to be censored.
I've become more politically engaged out of necessity and to address my feelings of pessimism, anger and powerlessness. As someone close to me whose opinion I value reminds me frequently, "Everything is political." She's so right about that and I understand that my resistance to become involved arises out of my privilege. It's so easy to just to be in my little "blue state affluent suburban bubble" and say, "well, these polices don't impact me, so why should I care?" But I do care, so I try to take action based on my values of personal freedom and bodily autonomy. I've become much more outspoken in expressing my opinions and try to practice authenticity.
I had to have the old mercury fillings removed from my teeth at the dental office recently and it was not a pleasant experience - not painful, just caused me anxiety due to all of the protective measures they had to take to keep the mercury from escaping into my blood stream. I maintained composure during the procedure, but as soon as I got into my car afterwards, I burst into tears, releasing all of that bent-up anxiety! When I told my daughter this, she said, "What did you do to treat yourself afterwards?" She recommends treating yourself following any unpleasant encounter or even a minor inconvenience or sometimes for no reason at all, I love this idea! My favorite treat is a grande decaf soy iced mocha and a long walk along the water, but that day I just came home and went back to bed which was a treat! I think resting is a major form of resistance now!
Doing little things to help others is keeping me afloat too. I find I'm better at one-on-one care-giving rather than participating in large group efforts. This week, my friend and I delivered flowers and a care package to a mutual friend who is battling cancer and today, I made a donation to Lonesome Pine Mutual Aid which is a relief agency that is serving victims of the recent floods in the southern area of Virginia where I grew up. I continue to donate to funds that assist people to travel in order to obtain abortion care.
I pray constantly and have expanded my definition of what constitutes prayer. Just as everything is political, everything is also prayer to me. Every breath is a prayer. Even sleep is a prayer. I meditate every day when I wake up and before I go to sleep.
What about you? How have you been feeling? What makes you want to curse? What gives you hope? How have you been taking care of yourself and those you love?
Thank you for reading my blog; I wish you all the best.