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.
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?
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.
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.
*I am offering sliding scale video therapy to those in need during this challenging time.
Artwork by Rich Black https://rblack.org