Surviving uncertainty. Dear ones, these times are confusing for all of us. We now know that we have a POTUS and a LOTUS. (Kamala in Sanskrit means lotus).
Even so, with the concerns about the transition and the fears about the growing numbers of COVID cases, uncertainty seems to be a steady state of being. Even as we pledge (and hope our leaders do too) to find ways to reach across the barriers that have divided us for the last four years, uncertainty persists. This is our time to cultivate our compassion and understanding of our neighbors’ and our own emotional dysregulation.
Uncertainty is an obstacle that we need to address because it makes everything feel worse than it actually is. A recent study published in Frontiers in Psychology last March concluded that “The greater the perceived ‘uncertainty stress,’ the higher the prevalence of mental disorders.” To the mind, uncertainty equals danger.
So how do we surviving uncertainty in these times? Click HERE for a practice to increase calm, peace, and stability. Sometimes a five minute break like this can change everything for me. Please share to those in need-it works!
Finding the Eternal
Through my yoga and meditation practice, I touch moments of certainty. I glimpse a deeper and unchanging reality, and you can too. We can find the eternal in nature. That’s why stopping to watch a sunset settles the busy mind. Sunrise never ceases to inspire awe in me. No two are ever alike. Gazing at the stars anchors me to my spot on the earth. A dear friend wrote to say she had a black-throated gray warbler in her backyard today. “Just a beautiful little bird,” she said, “and I was able to watch it from about five feet away for at least five minutes!” Her full absorption and love for the warbler gave her a pause in the uncertainty that surrounds us now.
Reading can make a difference too. I like reading about folks who are making a difference through their kindness and compassion. It reminds me that despite the divisiveness in the United States, there are those who still practice kindness.
I read and write fiction. When I read a well-written novel, like Bernadine Evaristo‘s Girl, Woman, Other, I feel that I’m getting the deepest psycho-emotional truths. Fiction isn’t my escape from reality. Fiction brings me home to reality, sometimes painful, sometimes joyful, but deeply and intimately true. When I’m writing fiction, it feels like I’m on the high-dive, and I’m afraid to take the plunge. When I dive, I open to receive something far grander than any personal story I might write. Carl Jung called it the Collective Unconscious.
We open the portal to that flow of creative thought and feeling when we do what fully absorbs our bodies and minds. That’s how I felt when I wrote my new novel Temple Dancer. Or maybe, it wrote me–the first draft, anyway.
At this time of uncertainty, perhaps you too can find a way to do something you love every day. Dance, write, read, practice music, art, poetry, or yoga and meditation. Or if crossword puzzles and word games absorb you, give yourself time to play. Promise yourself to do something that nourishes you with moments of certainty every day. It’s the antidote to uneasiness.
Here is our brave new world. I am inspired when I see those Facebook pictures of little girls of color in their Kamala tee shirts. The light in their eyes gives me hope. We are surviving uncertainty.
My warmest namasté,
Every novel has a backstory arising from the author’s experience, imagination and research. Because there are several plot threads in Temple Dancer, there are at least three backstories. In this 3-part series, I’ll review the backstory that led to the emergence of Saraswati as a character in an Indian village in 1938.
Backstory Part One with CS Lakshmi, Indian feminists, and Goddess Yellema
Backstory Part Two research, the empowered devadsis, and a warm embrace
J Brown and I discussed the divine feminine and sacred sexuality on his YOGA TALKS podcast. Have a listen HERE
The reviews are wonderful, and I’m grateful to each and every one of you. Thank you! Please keep sharing, and spread the word.