Many of us are having a difficult time right now, experiencing some fear of the unknown and concern for friends, family, our communities and beyond. The global impact cannot be denied, and compassion for ourselves and those suffering is a place we can focus.
Right now feeling into love may seem difficult, but much like gratitude, the practice of finding a point of love and expanding on it can open your heart and bring you relaxation and even joy. Start with where you are right now. Feel into your body and see what you observe. Simply allow. If you feel judgement or discomfort that brings up the desire for change then take a breath see if you can release those mental reactions. Just be.
Allow yourself to think about all the work your body is doing right now to keep you alive. Your heart is beating, pumping your blood where it needs to go. Your nerves are firing and your brain is responding, giving you comprehension of these words as well as sensations all throughout your body. Your digestive system may be working on a recent meal, or one consumed many hours ago, extracting nutrients and nourishment, while your hormones are responding and secreting to support a vast array of bodily functions.
And you are breathing. Life-giving oxygen comes into your lungs and disperses, often without thought... but take a moment to be with your breath. As you slow your mind to feel the breath in your body you are supporting your parasympathetic nervous system which allows your body to relax and digest, and complete many other functions more efficiently and effectively. It feels good! Feel that breath and just think of it. Other thoughts will come, but you are the master of your bodily universe, and you can let them pass you by, to once again feel the pace of your breath. Think of how it supports all your systems and how it is able to slow your mind. So powerful! Thank your body for all these things it is doing for you automatically, and then thank yourself for taking a moment to tune in like this, taking care of yourself. See if you can feel love and appreciation for your body - even if parts of it may not be feeling the way you'd like - for all the things it is doing to care for you and maintain your survival. This thankfulness, this breath, and this care for your nervous system are all boosting your immunity - right now!
Next, see how you can connect with compassion and love for those suffering. You may be suffering, those near you may be, and we know many in our world right now are as well. Think of a best friend, a dear relative, or a cherished pet - and think of the love, support, and desire to ease their suffering that fills you, when you see or hear of their ordeals. Really feel how you open and extend yourself to bring them comfort. Embrace your capacity for loving others in this way, and feel how you are connected to all the beings of our universe. You have a natural ability to sympathize with humanity's shared experience of difficulties.
When you honor yourself this way, and tune into your connection, your compassion, and your love, you are changing your energy. You are uplifting yourself while also sending out a frequency that elevates our world. To find a way to move into love at your darkest times will allow you so much peace.
Connect in this way as often as you can, but I don't recommend you deny fear when it comes up. Fear is a powerful emotion to honor and observe at times when you can be kind to yourself and make space to allow it and explore it. When you are feeling fear see if you can take a moment to stop everything you are doing and be with it. Take a deep breath and feel into your body, then you can make a connection to look at your fear and talk to it. See what it is all about. Ask yourself where it comes from and what it means. Experiencing and allowing your fears can bring great healing and provide insight on what you might need to feel calmer. If I feel fear begin to overwhelm me I stop in this way and dive into it. I allow it to be as strong as it wants; the deepest elements of my expression of it, my despair. Just by accepting I have fear and opening up to allow it, I find I soften... for me it's like choosing to watch a really sad movie for that experience of grief and recovery - my expanses of the strongest feelings.
You can embrace your experience of fear for what it is - no right or wrong - a human emotion, a need, a longing that deserves your compassion and acceptance - just as it is. If you feel fear at a time when you cannot take a moment, still honor it. You can thank your body and mind and tell yourself you will explore this fear later, when you have the space to experience it. This recognition, paired with a deep breath, will usually allow you to move past the fear back to your priorities, but be sure to keep your commitment to revisit the fear when you have the time and space later that same day.
Consider also when you are feeling fear, where is it coming from? Did something you just read or heard create this reaction? If reading or watching the news is leaving you feeling panicked, or every time you check in on social media, then determine how you might adjust. I believe getting information and staying connected to community is critical right now, but I also know it can bring up fear in me. I keep changing the amount of time and the times of day that I spend getting updates: I am currently limiting my time, and directly following up with meditation and self-Reiki, to bring myself back into the awareness and sharing of my infinite love. I am finding a balance that keeps me thoughtful and informed, while including mindfulness -and always love. You can complete an exercise like my breath and compassion guidance above many times throughout your day - in just a few minutes. There are also many other wonderful resources for free meditations and mindfulness exercises that make a world of difference. (I love the app Insight Timer.)
Taking care of yourself and allowing, without judgement, while feeling your breath and body is divine expression of love. Remember this. See how you can find the time to love yourself, and share your love for those around you.
Any experience you can have right now that moves you into love is a wonderful gift to yourself and to the world.