Self-Care, the aftermath of the Route 91 Harvest tragedy in Las Vegas
Over the last six weeks, I have come to understand at deeper and deeper levels the importance of self care. The past four days here in Las Vegas have only enhanced that knowing.
The world has seen a lot of turmoil recently with hurricanes, earthquakes and lingering threats of terrorism and nuclear war. These events have people stressed and overwhelmed and the usual tools for self care are not working the way they have previously.
I personally have increased my self care practices by at least double.
The shooting event this week has pushed people over the edge....people aren't sleeping, people are coming down with sudden and mysterious aches and pains, people are feeling anxious and panicky. When I mention "people", I mean general society who weren't necessarily at the event or had loved ones there.
Over the years, I have found three tools that everyone should know and use regularly, and during times of increased stress, use in increased measures. Can any of these fix or solve traumas as deep as we have been experiencing/witnessing recently? No. They can not. Can they bring a measure of peace and break the stress cycle? Yes, they can, and with increased use, they bring greater measures of peace, until healing is complete.
The easiest one to do at any time is CV-17. In traditional Chinese medicine, the front channel that all other meridians impact is called the "Conception Vessel". The 17th point helps reduce trauma, reduce grief and bring balance. I have observed in myself and others that this point-sometimes combined with a heart point- can stop hysteria and reduce panic attacks. During times of increased stress, I recommend putting a drop of an essential oil that calms and uplifts on this point in the morning and wear it like perfume, reapplying as necessary. To find this point, on the center of your chest, on the nipple line ( the original one for anyone who asks), simply hold lightly or apply oils at the intersection of these two lines. Take 3 deep breaths and see if you feel better. If not, keep holding and breathing.
The second easiest tool to use anywhere, is the Hawaiian spiritual practice of Ho'oponopono. I tell people that we do this practice for ourselves first. The literal translation is " to set things right". When we love ourselves and forgive ourselves for anything any part of us thinks we coulda, shoulda woulda, things start shifting. Suddenly, I find myself responding differently to the same or similar situations. So, for the next 10-30 days, I invite you to repeat these four phrases, 3-5000 times per day. "I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you." (Breathe) I picture myself, the most innocent part of me, and I hold her in my heart and speak these phrases to her.
The third tool requires a flat surface that is not too soft. This is a psoas release that I first read about in Liz Koch's "The Psoas book". Psoas' store and process grief and anger. Right now, I'm finding these muscles feel frequently like cement. These muscles are also involved in keeping us physically upright. They are a pair of muscles that stabilize our pelvic girdle. They know who they are. So, to release them, and also release some fear and anger in a really gentle way, lay on your back. Have your feet flat on the surface and your knees up. Put your attention on your low back. Just check in and see if one side feels heavier or light, warmer or cooler, or if you notice any other difference. Without doing anything physical, invite the psoas to release and relax. As soon as 30 seconds, you might notice that your low back feels more balanced, flatter against the surface, more comfortable. In these times, it might take 10 minutes or more before you notice a difference. I like to do this when I get into bed, and then I just roll over and go to sleep. Others say it works better first thing in the morning. It doesn't matter, what is easy for you.
None of these practices can be done too much. In fact, all of them increase in benefits the more consistently they are used. I hope this helps to remind to you to be gentle with yourself, to love yourself more, to increase your practices that bring you a greater sense of peace.