Day 74/366 days Towards Self-mastery.
We don't lose ourselves all at once. It comes in stages.
On the outside we look great. No one would ever guess that we haven't got it together, yet on the inside we're haemorrhaging with fear.
When the storm is visible on the horizon as we are finding with Coronavirus COVID-19, that fear rises to the surface.
We're used to feeling safe, having blind trust in our medical system and hopeful faith in our politicians. We've become reliant on the supermarkets to provide an endless supply of reasonably priced foods for our weekly shop.
And now things are changing. We're beginning to see cracks in our food production and distribution system, items that we've considered essential are no longer available on the supermarket shelves.
The chemist runs out of our medications and we have to await the next shipment. Our medics are preparing for the crises they are witnessing in hospitals overseas.
In a short period of time, we begin to see the first signs of panic in communities and populations.
Fear is our signal that we are meeting with a challenge that we are not sure we can handle.
Resilience comes with meeting those challenges effectively.
This challenge is not one that you can pass on. This challenge is for everyone.
Today's inspiration is to allow your fears and embrace them, acknowledge them
And remember to be kind to yourself, and care for yourself and your family first.
Take a few deep breaths and calm your nervous system, then look around you and begin to assess your resources.
One such resource is the knowledge of how to care for your own health and well-being. There are a myriad of effective home remedies that your mother or grandmother may have passed down to you that will support you through this crises.
This is a rich source of common sense, and healthy immune boosting remedies. If you can't remember them, make a call and ask her to remind you of all that you've forgotten.
The first rule of thumb when you are meeting challenges is to assess your resources, and access those you don't have if you are going to meet this challenge effectively.
Your inner resources that are available to you include:
your relationships with each other and in your community
your decision-making ability
your gut feelings
your family knowledge
You then may want to turn to assess your physical resources:
what's in your pantry
what's growing in your garden
community groups that you belong to
your financial resources
your home remedies such as essential oils, herbs
your GP, your local hospital
local complementary practitioners
Look around your garden and discover the edible plants there. Personally I can't afford to buy 6 leaves of silverbeet for $9 at the supermarket currently. Yet there is a wealth of herbs in my garden that are rich in nutrients with which to supplement my diet.
What do you need?
food for a few weeks
The level of fear you experience will determine the amount of resources you feel comfortable accumulating. Hence the toilet paper debacle.
There's no rule around this. Just feel your way into it and make a decision.
For me, I have about 4 weeks worth of dried foods that I can prepare into meals, and medications for about the same length of time.
That level of fear you are experiencing might be well worth exploring if you find it difficult to calm your system down. If you were my client that is what we would focus on. Often our fears are connected to stories that have passed their use-by date. Once discovered, the level of fear subsides.
Don't underestimate the value of complementary practitioners. They are a rich community source of knowledge and skill and can be very competent with supporting your general wellbeing.
To reiterate something I've been posting a lot about on Facebook, fear depresses your immune system because it activates your stress hormones. Stress hormones switch off your immune system.
And a few more tips that I hope you'll pass on to your children some day
Rest and sleep. Going to bed with lights out by 9-9.30pm offers your immune system the best boost of antioxidants available in the form of melatonin produced by your pineal gland at that time. The conditions are, you have to be in darkness between those hours. No lights, no devices. If you're used to late nights, it will take a while for your system to adjust.
Sunshine. In spite of all the rules about sunscreen, sunshine is vital for your immune system. Immune cells in your skin need sunshine to mobilise. No sunscreen for a while.
Breathe. The breathing cycle is enormously beneficial to the immune function. Most of us do not breathe well, our breath is often shallow chest breathing which is "stress" breathing. Deep slow belly breaths. Practice a few times daily.
Movement. Some movement of your body is essential to keep everything moving, including the waste products of your immune function. They have to be processed and eliminated from the body. Walking or Qi Gong are my favourites.
On pandemics: To manage a pandemic requires us all to understand just 2 things.
Reduce your risk of getting the virus,
and reduce your risk of spreading the virus
I've also put together an ebook with the information I think is essential for you to support your immune system through this and any other virus crises, along with some research. You can download it here for $1.20. There's nothing new in it that you can't source online, I've just taken the time to pull together what I think is important, and with some research to support my suggestions.
Ideally you will stay informed, be prepared should you or one of your family become ill, and able to settle back into observing life whilst you get on with what has to be done. Thoroughly enjoy your work and entertain yourself in any time you have to have away from work. Stay well.
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.