There is immense privilege in being connected to individuals on a daily basis. And as a practice watching the trend of how we process massive collective stress. You might think that as a chiropractor I’m only paying attention to the physical, but if you know me and my practice, you know – there are so many types of stress our bodies deal with. We often talk about physical, chemical and emotional stresses. And I feel them all. There have been several themes in the previous month, with some weeks heavier than others. I have shared some thoughts with many people and here are the most common messages that seem to have helped recently.
I’ve alluded to it before, and it comes up now and again in the office. THOSE PEOPLE. And trust me, it comes from all directions. THOSE PEOPLE. My message is this: You can use your energy to point the finger, or you can turn it back on you. 3 different mentors of mine, in 3 different ways, have reminded me recently that no matter what I face, I can CHOOSE to fortify my mind and body. I am forever in awe of what my body/mind can handle and put my effort into supporting myself, against physical, chemical, AND emotional toxins. Adjustments, healthy nutrition, exercise, sleep, fun, connection, fresh air… the list is endless in the ways that I can support myself. I promise you, focusing on that will be more empowering than looking at what others do or don’t do. Early in the pandemic I learned that pointing/blaming/shaming is simply a tactic we use to give us a sense of control when we feel lost. Take back your OWN power.
So many people came in recently feeling like they aren’t doing enough. Primarily in the form of parents feeling like they are not enough for their kids. My 2 thoughts: #1 Of COURSE you are enough! And of course you aren’t. You cannot replace an entire village. “It takes a village to raise a child” and that village has disappeared. Its only in comparing ourselves to what that whole village offered that has us believing we are less than. And of course we are. We were never meant to be the only ones for our children. But YOU are the most important, and maybe you’ll feel a little more enough with point #2: A little neurology. A brain that is healthy can always learn. A brain in trauma cannot – or at least not as well. So as I see it, while we cannot replace the WHOLE village, we are enough and all our kids need to help keep them as healthy as possible. If their brain is healthy – they can catch up. But if not, it will take years to heal the trauma. So while education is important, our focus in our house is to do what we can with school, but ALWAYS keep our family health, connection, and emotional wellbeing front and center. The rest will come and we only do our best. (Several educators have shared that they also feel the same in their homes and in their classes). You Are Enough. Take care of you. Take care of your kids. Do what you can. If you can hold that focus, you are enough for that, as we were never meant to replace a whole village.
A year ago when this became everyone’s parting wish, I was a little thrown off. This is our greatest wish for each other in life? That’s not to say given what is going on, that its not important. I just kept thinking, my whole life, if I wanted to stay safe, I would never have left my house. Like – ever! Never would have gotten in a car, ridden a bike, tried a new food… you get the idea. But here it is. Safety allows us to be healthy. We do not heal if we don’t feel safe. We do not open up if we are not safe. A patient gave me a beautiful gift and note this week and in it she said “my soul feels safe with yours”. I think my heart overflowed in that moment. This is so special and deeply meaningful. So yes #staysafe. When I say that I mean this:
-I wish you to feel safe enough that you can rest deeply
-I wish you to feel safe enough to be fully authentically you
-I wish you to feel safe enough to learn and grown and ask questions
-I wish you to feel safe enough to BREATHE
-I wish you to feel safe enough that you can be at ease
-I wish you to feel safe enough that you take care of you and yours
Ok first let out the breath you are holding. Let your shoulders drop. Unclench you jaw and other muscles of your face holding tension. NOW, take a breath. But not one like you are drowning and you are trying to suck in enough air to last your last few minutes. Just a breath.
-Through your nose
-Let your diaphragm pull air in (your tummy will move)
-Let your ribs move in and out instead of up and down
-Let your shoulders and neck stay relaxed so you don’t need those muscles in a nice easy breath
It’s been awhile, right? When in doubt BREATHE. So many of you are holding your breath. A LOT. Take a moment and breathe.
I am here for you. And more importantly, you are stronger than you know. Focus on you. Focus on health. Breathe. I wish so much for you.