It's no doubt that 2021 has been a challenge for many, if not all of us. The pressure on relationships is off the Richter scale.
On all types of relationships - friendships, partnerships, love-ships, family-ships, work-ships. Many types of ships.
And the thing about ships is that at the moment, many are all out to sea. With no rudder, no mainstay, no land in sight, and no lifeboats left.
We are being tossed around on the seas of uncertainty.
So our survival instincts are on high alert.
And uncertainty triggers FEAR - the most dangerous virus of all.
Fear makes us do funny things.
Out of character things.
Things we regret later.
Fear makes us blame another for our hardship or our struggles. Fear makes us freeze, immobilise, run or lash out.
Fear turns to anger and makes us use words like weapons so we can protect our sinking ship.
What if we just surrendered to a deeper truth - that we are all in fact in some level of grief?
A deep collective grief.
Grief at the loss of another's understanding. Grief at the loss of freedom of movement, loss of livelihoods, loss of being able to hug a loved one, to look into their eyes and tell them you love them face to face. Loss of what once was. Grief for our children and grandchildren and what they are living through.
Grief as the ships around us, or the one we are on, being either hopelessly lost out to sea or smashed up on the rocks of conflict, never to be restored again.
And for some, the deepest grief of all - the loss of another's life, of a soul that we treasured so dearly. A casualty of the time we live in.
What if, instead of projecting outward, we could all just STOP. And feel.
And acknowledge, 'I'm scared'. 'I'm devastated.'
And see in the eyes of another, that they feel the same. And draw on our deepest level of compassion, to say, 'I see you. I understand. And I'm here for you.'
It takes a heart that is undefended to do this.
And a mind that is clear of the storm of overwhelming and triggered emotion. (Not easy in times of stress) But also a heart that is willing to excavate out the superfluous arguments of the mind, one willing to dig deep into kindness, gentleness, and compassion. And respect.
These qualities go a long way in nurturing the many ships in our lives so that we are not left to drown and to offer an extended hand to pull another out of the raging sea.
A strong dose of humility and thoughtfulness and recognising that nothing good can come out of acting momentarily on strong or overwhelming emotions.
And sure, there are times when we just don't have the resources or capacity to hold ourselves together. And it's then that we must recognise our limits and self-care like our life depends on it.
So take a breath - take some extended time out of the intensity and concentrate on getting back into your heart through nervous system rebalancing, seeking good support, and intentional inner work. And understand the fear that is in the field right now and not let it take over you.
Love is the life-saver we all need right now to steady our ships and steer in a direction that sustains us, no matter what the stormy seas or uncertain weather may bring.
I wish you a gentle holiday period. One filled with love.
11th - 14th AUGUST
(Limited numbers -This retreat is already half-booked)
Sun 15th - Sat 21st MAY
Sun 16th - Sat 22nd OCTOBER