Which medicine works most effectively during COVID-19?

When the paradigm shifts is when new medicine is needed. Right now during this COVID-19 pandemic, our reality is drastically changing exponentially every second and of course that brings up so many emotions. From disbelief, to fear around surviving financially and physically, to excitement around all the free time allowing for the projects you now get to do at home, then shift into claustrophobic isolation, to an overwhelm of friends reaching out, etc etc. 

All Tarot artwork created by Rich Black

I personally have been going through so many emotions in one day. At one moment I was excited that I could spend more time with my kids and husband making medicinal tinctures and clearing out those closets at last. Next minute I think about the daunting reality of this new normal as we are all stuck in one house for who knows how long, the media telling us it may be weeks, months, endless. Next minute my heart is warmed as I see so many people reaching out.  We are all coming together more than ever, and this desire to support is so delicious and inspiring. Then I shift again thinking about how 2 months from now when people get desperate and start to attack one another for resources and I flash into all of those apocalyptic movies that show what the city will look like abandoned, ravaged, people hiding away and the government not knowing what to do. Total love and appreciation into bleak despair. So many emotions and so many shifts in one day. This is what is the most unnerving. A new medicine is needed, one that can manage the chaos within me of so many thoughts and directions…

Healing during the chaos

Through all of this I am continuing to work as a therapist via teletherapy online, watching the tides and how it affects us all. I am seeing the same shifts happen for my clients. Some feel more centered and aware of all that they have and feel gratitude. Others not knowing how to spend their time and shifting from total binging on food and Netflix as a way to cope as opposed to knowing what to do with their choices.  Some are trying to work as usual as companies are scrambling to do things to take care of the financial demise while those in the company working from home are now with their kids and overwhelmed, not able to manage the workload and work like “normal” from home when nothing right now is “normal.” Others have relationship issues around having to spend so much time together and seeing that the avoidance that was afforded by having distance is no longer available, while other couples feeling closer than ever as a united front and putting their differences aside. So many emotions and so many manifestations, as expected.  And back to me. The one who is with all of this. How do I manage being present with all of this and still offer therapy when so many of my emotions and parts are tugging at me? 

My practice

I am learning about my new medicine during this: Learning to trust my True Self as capable, creative, compassionate and clear.  This connection to Self requires deep listening, developing heart consciousness, slowing down and being with your emotions. As Yoko Ono said “My religion is to trust myself.” It’s what I practice as I sit with clients and it’s what I work on with my clients. It is based in modalities like Internal Family Systems, Mindfulness Somatic practices, Gestalt as well as modern day witchcraft rituals where there is a time and intention created to listen deeply to your heart, connect with guides and resources within and all around you in order to develop a trust in your intuitive knowing. This cultivates our ability to stay with the fear, pain, uncertainty, even death with readiness and a courageous heart. 

Parts model

This navigation and practice towards connection with my innate knowing brings up the need to differentiate between “parts” of me that are not based in essential Truth;  parts who are fragmented internal managers or encapsulated exiled younger parts that are trying to have a need met through anxiety or disconnection as opposed to a grounded connection with what is authenticity needed.  For instance it makes sense for us to feel sadness during this time, which is essential to feel with kindness and curiosity towards yourself. Does your sadness need to be heard, loved, taken seriously and cared for? When a fragmented “part” deals with sadness it will try to bring distraction, judgement about the fact that you are feeling the emotion or a scrambling to project a future story about what the sadness means or will do. Some parts feel scared to feel sadness because of historic memories of potential hurt that will be inflicted if we show it and help us to put it aside.  Though these parts are trying to manage or protect us they are bypassing the need to stay in connection with our heart’s needs and don’t serve us truly. When we are in connection to our Self, we can feel the sadness and take care of ourselves without making meaning out of it or fear that we are feeling it. It is a spacious holding as opposed to an overwhelming experience to manage the feeling.

I’m here to help you find your medicine

This is my practice and what I offer clients. A path towards understanding what parts are coming up for you and distracting you as opposed to pathways to yourSelf, center, Truth. 

Right now we will be all over the place, as we expect. Having a place to navigate and orient yourself towards integration will be valuable in your psychological and spiritual health, which is not disconnected from your physical health. 

Psychotherapy is not a substitute for the action we should take towards helping others or the resources we should all be thinking about offering. Psychotherapy right now is not a replacement but a tool towards staying connected with yourself as all of this develops. Now is the best time as we have time available and the technology available to take care of your emotional health and I would love to be here for you if I can. 

To request a session please email me at mayaclane@gmail.com or  please find me via my website Mayalane.net 

*I am offering sliding scale video therapy to those in need during this challenging time.

Artwork by Rich Black https://rblack.org

So now what?

Two of Cups Tarot

I started working at my current office at the San Francisco Hobart Building  in 2015 . As an entry to the office, I was invited to join a network of independent therapists called Psyched in SF,  lead by Traci Rubel, MFT who started Psyched Magazine.  Traci inspired us all to write for the magazine, regardless of how we viewed our writing abilities.  This gave me a sense of permission to make my voice heard, to capture my experiences around psychology  and healing. Besides the magazine, Traci also created  Sidewalk Talk, an organization of therapists that set up free listening seats on city sidewalks. These volunteers, usually counselors and therapists, make themselves available to walkers by,  offering unconditional listening for  5-10 minutes. Being heard regulates the nervous system, makes one feel seen and can make a huge impact, even if its for a few minutes.  Traci sees this as a way of changing this isolated nation, one person at a time, through offering connections and empathy rather than the usual competition and judgement that we encounter daily. 

Back to my story.  While I was there at Psyched, the therapists were inspired to share potential ideas for articles at the staff meetings. During one of those meetings, a fellow fledgling writer/therapist talked about her latest article, where she discovered a new angle on therapy via an interview she conducted with a successful female entrepreneur.

In this interview, this entrepreneur attributed her success to the work that she had done with her therapist, who at her first session handed her the well-known book  “The 7 principles of making marriage work,” by John Gottman. Understandably, the reaction of the entrepreneur was one of confusion upon receiving the book. “No, I am here to focus on myself,  I’m not here for couple’s therapy,” was the entrepreneur’s reaction.  “But you are in a relationship aren’t you? To yourself, that is. Isn’t that right?” said the therapist.  “I would like for you to read this book and apply the principles to yourself,” continued the therapist. “Try and focus on what kind of relationship you are in,  with yourself.  Do you trust yourself? Do you treat yourself with respect? Do you love and admire yourself? Do you take yourself out to dates? Read the book, which is intended towards developing skills to become a healthy and loving partner, but apply the principles to how you treat yourself,  internally.”

 

According tho the interview, this concept of being aware of the relationship you are in with yourself changed the entrepreneur’s life.  She went from being stuck in a self sabotaging cycle to developing a lucrative business as she started to support her internal foundation. Her direction was clear when she focussed on her truth and the beliefs that got in the way of owning that purpose. She emerged from having a negative internal relationship, which translated into low self-worth and self-regard, and replaced it with  a healthy internal regard, yielding a new sense of self and the ability to invite her desires.

This idea really resonated with me as a framework at the time, and I started to incorporate that curiosity into my work and personal practices.  At first I thought, yeah that’s an obvious concept. Nothing new here.  I’m an only child and was positioned to be my own best friend and relate/talk to myself all the time. That’s a relationship to myself, right? Not quite. The difference is how I respond to my actions internally. Do I criticize myself when I do something embarrassing or am I accepting?  Am I able to be compassionate with myself if I fail?  Do I look at myself and feel proud or do I shame myself? Even further, is there a part of me that shames another part of me – one part acting as a bully internally towards another more vulnerable internal part?  This, of course,  is related to getting to know our inner critic https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inner_critic .

Being aware of our internal relation to ourselves is a practice that can yield more potential internal support and acceptance. We start to notice if this critic is running the show and abusing our internal sense of self and instead start to converse with this critic to find what it is serving. This critical part is working hard to give us something- usually trying to save face and make us do better.    If we actually listen to this part we can gather the cream at the top of what they are trying to offer and let go of the criticism.

When we tune into the relational parts internally, then the parts start to relax and trust us. We begin to integrate more and develop more self acceptance by having a loving connection with our own Truth. I’ll get more into this in the next blog entry as I discuss the concept of the difference between the fragmented parts of Self – like the critic- vs the essential Self, which is connected to a deeper consciousness and an intuitive Truth. 

 

 

 

 

 

Give it a rest

I finally did it. And I and intrigued. I finally allowed myself to take a rest form the daily posting and scrolling that I was engaged in for years on my social media platforms. I am, naturally, guilty of the smugness and preachiness that comes with taking that action. It’s tempting to gloat to others that social media is a waste of time, that it doesn’t help anything  and that those who are addicted to it are somehow less evolved. Of course I was in their shoes a week ago, but now I somehow have an upper hand on what is conscious. Yeah, I’m thinking, but let’s see what happens in a month, or two.

What really strikes me is what social media serves for us all.  The need to post is the need to be seen and heard, a primary and crucial need we all have as soon as we enter the world. To be seen is to be valid, to be validated causes ease and regulation. To be heard and applauded allows for a sense of purpose. We matter and what we have to offer is important.

But what if we don’t have this daily platform of validation.  I’ve been noticing that what is happening now that I am not on the platforms is that the opposite experience of myself started creeping in. I recently found myself having an epic, IG-post-worthy weekend with amazing views, great meals and my kids doing the sweetest things and looking so adorable. But I couldn’t post it on the platforms to show the world about it (or at least decided to take a break from posting).  My experiences suddenly felt less important, like me having these moments just for myself was insignificant if others didn’t see it. 

I thought about how long we lived without this outlet. Were we less satisfied? Were the events less significant? Well obviously no, in fact some research indicates that we were just as satisfied with less information, perhaps more satisfied,  and that social platforms are causing more depression and conflict than ever before. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/social-media-use-increases-depression-and-loneliness#Does-social-media-cause-depression?

I know, I know,  social media is also great in so many ways. It can link us internationally with a flick of a swipe,  can advertise our services and allows us to work remotely.  That’s not my focus here. What I am more interested in is what happens when we stop. Can we find our own compass of worth? Can we find meaning and validation in our experiences and art on our own? It may not be as shiny with the likes and comments but it may feel more solid. It’s your own knowing of self and its about finding your own internal validation.

So how do we find this internal guide? How do we re-orient towards our own oracle vs needing to be “liked” to be valid? It boils down to your own relationship with yourself and finding the path towards the Sovereign Soul. I’ll be writing thoughts  and insights on this new blog that covers practices, explorations, frameworks and sometimes my personal expressions around this journey to find an internal satisfaction and a healthy relationship with my True Self, my sovereignty. 

This blog is my personal insights as a developing woman, a mother and a Psychotherapist (mayalane.net)

Thanks for reading. I see you…