Home, Home and Deranged
Remember the old TV commercial “airplanes flying, children crying?” I think it was an ad for some sort of pain killer, probably not scotch. We apparently have a blessing during the pandemic: no “airplanes flying.” I’m not sure the airlines feel blessed.
On Sunday, I heard of a man feeling worn down about how to reopen his business. He had multiple issues: how many employees to rehire, how long to stay open, how to maintain distancing, whether to require face masks, how to attract customers, what if nobody came? He wanted to know how to overcome his exhausted feeling. This was on a public Zoom meeting with English poet David Whyte.
David suggested the man’s problem came down to the approach he was taking. The man was trying to solve his problems using only what David called his “strategic mind” (the left brain). This is patriarchy’s age-old approach. Add up the pros and cons and go with the most logical (and greedy?) solution. There is a place for this, but it needs balancing. It gets balanced by tending to the solver, before tackling the problems. Giving the right brain its due, besides restoring a sense of well-being, can open the floodgates of your intuition to find more enlivening solutions.
Of course, I know many of you have found salvation in yoga, and you know I’m going to recommend meditation. I have something new I would like to share with you. The HeartMath Institute is located in Boulder Creek, California, near Santa Cruz. Part of the emerging new paradigm on the planet is people’s increasing desire to live from their hearts. Our heads are just getting tired.
One exercise they recommend is called Mind Heart Harmony. First, close your eyes, shifting from the outer to the inner world. Gently touch your heart center, located in the center of your chest. Keep your touch there. Next, slow down your breath, giving long, deep inhalations and exhalations. Breath is the language the body receives with the signal “I am safe now.” Next, choose a feeling from among gratitude, care, compassion or appreciation. For three minutes, continue slow, deep breathing, as you gently repeat one of these words. After three minutes, ask your heart three questions and listen for the answer. Each question will have a very brief answer — the heart does not ramble. The three questions are “My heart, what do you want me to know right now?” “My heart, what do you need from me right now?” and “My heart, what is true for me right now?”
Try it and let me know at the email below how it worked for you.
I notice the longer the stay-at-home order is in effect, the more my street, Shepherd Lane, resembles a boardwalk, not to mention bicyclists and children on scooters. Then there’s that weird old guy walking fast and pumping five pound weights in each fist (that’s yours truly).
Remain calm everyone. Pandemic, yes; panic, no. Have a jolly June.
Bill O’Brien is a consciousness coach and shamanic practitioner. He and his wife Linda have lived in Shepherdstown since 2005. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.