When It’s All Too Much
How are you doing right now?
This is HARD.
I hit a wall this past weekend. After these last weeks of adrenaline rush, paying attention to the ever-changing news, making sure I have enough food + supplies for the animals and myself, figuring out what I can offer in these times that will help people, paying attention to all of the other beautiful offerings by people all over the world, going back on social media after a long hiatus, listening to broadcasts and podcasts and reading newspapers, texts and emails, extra zoom calls and phone calls and and and…
I landed hard in overwhelm and overload.
Too much online. Too much talking. Too much news. Too much social media. Too much input.
Too much too much too much too much too much.
I realize that I say this from a place of great privilege. I am healthy. I have a home, resources, safety, online + distance work that I love and that supports me, my beloved animals, my close friends, and a small, beautiful community where I can go into wild places and find peace.
But I found myself crying in the middle of doing the dishes, not sleeping well, worried about things I don’t need to be worried about, feeling all of the collective waves of fear, anxiety, grief, in addition to my own.
When the energy builds up in my nervous system and energy field like this, I know I need to act. Unplug. Put my phone in Do Not Disturb for a long, long time. Get outside. Keep things really, really simple. Get under my weighted blanket, curl up with my dogs and cats. Talk only to people who can be loving, kind, and understanding. Spend time with trees.
I went out to the river on Saturday. The river, the mesa, the trees, the rocks…this is my holy place. I walked and I walked and I walked. I prayed. I cried. I sang. There is so much grief, shock, sadness in our world. And also, so much beauty, goodness, and transformation.
Yesterday, I sat at my piano and played a piece by Beethoven that I haven’t touched in over 25 years. A massive piece that I studied, but never had the courage to perform…knowing, somehow, that I would understand the piece more deeply, in all of its fullness, later in my life.
As I played, with rusty technique and bleary eyes, I realized that this music contains all of the suffering, beauty, goodness, and pain of the human condition. All of it. Beethoven knew, as do all the great artists, mystics, and poets, about navigating transition, uncertain times, and pain.
Some dear friends sent me this yesterday, a gift of beauty from the musicians of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Beethoven:
It is such a reminder for me that our species is capable of such beauty, love, kindness, goodness, and that sometimes the most beautiful offerings come out of the deepest pain.
Here are a few things that have been helping me; I share them in case they may be helpful for you, as well:
- Sticking to a daily routine
- Getting enough sleep
- Resting when I need to rest–I’ve noticed I need more lately
- Sitting outside in the sun
- My weighted blanket
- Music: both listening and playing my instruments and singing
- Paying attention to my diet: keeping my blood sugar stable
- Yoga + meditation
- Exercise: mainly walking and hiking for me right now; sometimes with my dogs, sometimes without…
- This essay by Charles Eisenstein: The Coronation
- This podcast episode by Brené Brown: Brené on Comparative Suffering, the 50/50 Myth, and Settling the Ball
- Our Global Reiki Circle : this beautiful gathering of people from all over the world is ongoing on Sundays; more info here. All are welcome to join this weekly gathering of love, connection, and healing.
- Weekly astrological updates from astrologer Pam Younghans: Northpoint Astrology Journal
- Humor: I am grateful for the people and animals who keep us laughing, like this:
[Pluto Living is the creation of world un-reknowned wildlife photographer, NJ Wight.]
This is a hard time. Let’s tell the truth about that. We are in this for the long haul. Let’s practice kindness, simplicity, and do our best to find joy in the small daily moments of our lives.
Take good care of yourselves, be well, be safe, love each other.
With love + gratitude,