Honor the Pause

img_20200630_195429882Each one of us has had their own experience with the last five months.  On this beautiful summer morning, I am ‘honoring the pause’ to reflect what’s taken place in my little world and giving space for what may occur over the fall and winter.

It was February when I began watching with regularity YouTube videos out of China on what they were experiencing in Wuhan.  Our national news or officials were not reporting about this.

In a panic, I met with a colleague of mine just to touch base and ask was I being paranoid about being concerned.

We met at a quintessential Seattle coffee shop, C&P in West Seattle.  It’s still one of my favorite spots to go to.  The independently owned shop is located in a converted house that has couches and dining room tables spread throughout.  Every week there would be live music, or poetry, or open mic.  It was one of the last places emerging artists could come.

I can easily put myself back there, on the couch, next to my colleague, asking about what she knew about the virus. I remember the casual atmosphere of the coffee shop and the ease with which people moved about.  That moment in time seems flash frozen, as does the world in which we had met.

I remember sharing my feelings of being quite anxious and having the thought, “All this will change”.

Our meeting was reassuring not in that I had nothing to worry about, but that someone with whom I have great respect confirmed what I had been concerned about.  My response was to enjoy the time remaining before the inevitable came to pass.

Until the order to stay at home came in March, my partner Richard and I went to museums, parks, movie theaters, shopping malls, places we knew would be closing in just a matter of time.  It was a bittersweet diversion.  I cried a lot of the time, watching people unaware of what was to come.

I cried off and on each week until about July.  As a psychotherapist, holding space for my clients, going through similar emotional experiences, I reached a low point I have never experienced before.  I contemplated a complete career change at one point.  To help me through those dark weeds I started my own therapy at the lowest of lows.    That began to help me see a way through.  I also brought more of my existing supports into my world.

From the beginning, I offered virtual Reiki circles, at first daily, now several times a week.  My Reiki community was and is such an incredible gift to myself and the planet.

I also reached out to my cousins, aunts and uncles more than I ever had in prior years.  I still maintain regular contact with my family spread out all across the US.

My love of art took awhile to return.  I dabbled back in to the clay art I had once had such a passion for.  I’ve been painting all the exterior surfaces of my house on my time off.

I ‘mastered’ leading Zoom groups and sessions and now when I do see the occasional masked client in person THAT feels strange.  Such an odd shift.

As the summer came on more socially distanced  nature walks, talks, energy meditations and eating outside has occurred.  All have helped my mood, my vision, my relationships with others.

But now, as the blackberries become overripe, I start to think about how to maintain all this support, activity and focus going into the more internal parts of the year.  When the colder and wetter weather has us retreat within.

I hope more organized testing takes place so that it becomes as ‘normal’ as temperature checks.  There is an organization, Testing for America, which is comprised of scientists and business people to permanently and safely reopen schools, businesses and the US economy by providing affordable, accessible and frequent testing and screening.  It’s definitely a start.

Just as embarking on this journey back in March was a complete unknown, the future ahead is uncharted.

If I have learned anything that has helped me navigate this far, I’d have to say what has helped me are:

  1. Practicing Mindfulness through Reiki and meditation.
  2. Watching something comedic as often as possible
  3. Making space for and reaching out to friends, family and community several times each week
  4. Engaging in some creative/artistic pursuit several times a week
  5. Exercising in some fashion every day
  6. Taking Naps
  7. Eating a little chocolate every day
  8. Getting a pedicure (with a mask and face shield on), shutting off the phone and zoning out in the massage chair
  9. Look at something else besides the news when I first wake up
  10. Practice the safety protocols as recommended

What will you be doing as the weather turns colder?

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

Just the messenger

Speedy-Delivery-e1472106532704My clients and students have been getting the message this week and especially today that I’m now working remotely, offering circles and workshops by webinar, sessions by phone or Skype.

I can’t ethically put them or the public at risk when the public health division of your city and county issues the statement: “If you can feasibly avoid bringing large groups of people together, consider postponing events and gatherings.”  “Workplaces should enact measures that allow people who can work from home to do so. Taking these measures can help reduce the number of workers who come into contact with people with COVID-19 and help minimize absenteeism due to illness.”  See the full announcement here.

And yet if you look on the local community calendar listings, groups are still meeting, events still occurring.  Most of the schools are still open and people are going to work.

But driving around today just to get out of the house and take a walk, the streets are definitely more quiet.  There is caution and hesitation in the air.  The city feels ‘on hold’.

Pulling back from the daily rhythm of life is hard, but as a community, we are being asked to do this.  We aren’t being told to…yet.

The governmental leaders in enacting states of medical emergency, all have the power in one degree or another to cancel events and gatherings.

My preference would be to have the choice to opt-out rather than have it dictated to me.  It’s something I ‘am in control’ of in a situation that is very much out of control.

I realize that my ability to work from home is a privilege that not everyone has, but I am exercising that privilege for the greatest good of public health and to protect myself, my clients, students and larger community and world.

It’s my hope that this action along with the many tens of thousands (more?) of others who can work from home are all helping to contribute to slowing the transmission.

Because, the transportation hub that is Seattle has not ceased.  Planes still come in and out (except for the limitations imposed by the Feds), trains, ships, cars and buses are all still running, still taking people, infected or not all over the world.  If those channels were to have limitations imposed upon them, further disruptions will occur, of course.

We’re not there yet.  Our leaders, I feel, have been keeping our community informed every day, and now twice a day.  Each successive day since last week we’ve gotten updates and progressively more encouragement to withdraw and set limits on our social activities.

This is all still the ‘new normal’.  Many people I’ve spoken to seem to be in some early stage of grief about it:  Either flat out denial that this is really something to be worried about, that it’s being blown out of proportion by the media or they are angry that it’s intruding on their lives and disrupting the ‘flow’.

Some people are paying attention and making adjustments, but this is really just the beginning.

People who live elsewhere and have 1 or 2 COVID-19 cases in their community, I encourage you to look at how Seattle is handling the crisis.  It will probably serve as a model as more cases occur where you are.

It remains to be seen just how this develops and evolves, and I feel it’s always best in times of crisis to do only what you are really able to do.  Limit having to make too many decisions if you can and help out if you feel called to do so.

In my work as a community leader, I feel it important to serve as a connector for individuals to resources and information that may be helpful to make the most informed decisions.

Creating the (now) bi-weekly online healing circle/meditations, switching my classes to webinar and sessions to remote have all been blessings in disguise.  I’m still able to maintain connection and groundedness  with my community and to the people I serve despite how fast everything is rapidly changing.  It’s a touch point.  I’m grateful for the technology that exists today to permit this to occur.

I foresee the importance of maintaining this connection as we are either asked voluntarily or are required to make changes to limit social interactions.

People are social and usually do not fare well in isolation.

In future blog I hope to explore this last point.

In the meantime, keep calm and stay informed.

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

Photo credit

Calm in the storm

IMG_20200220_133021246Tonight the Reiki Fellowship connected around the shared experience that is the ‘new normal’ in the Seattle area.

We talked about ways to maintain good health, including exercising at home or going for walks/runs/biking vs. going to the very public gym.  We commiserated over the mob mentality at Costco and other stores and how public transit, despite best efforts, didn’t seem like a great idea.

I have lead in-person healing circles for many decades, but this was my first online version.  It felt rich and supportive to connect to others who have meditative and healing practices to help ground and center despite times of crisis and uncertainty.  Connecting in this way is the key to prevent feeling isolated in such times.

Below is the meditation I wrote and read followed by sending healing energy to the health care and frontline workers, patients, families, friends, loved ones, co-workers and all those effected in our area.

We also sent healing energy out in the future into the next day and days ahead as more is revealed.

We’ll be back online next week, 3/11 7:30-8:30pm.  If you care to join, please do so here.  Password 010470

Calming Meditation (read to  the music of Shamanic Dream)

Take this time to center yourself and receive the calming benefits of working with your breath.

Inhale deeply and exhale all the way down and through your body to the tips of your toes.

Now, let’s do that again.  Deep inhale and then exhale all the way through.

Feel the strength of that breath.  It is always with you and supports you in all that you do.  Day in and day out.

The changes of the world happen around you and yet here, in this moment is your breath.  Even and flowing.  Feel it now.

Your are sustained and held by the breath.  Give yourself permission to receive this time to be refreshed, rejuvenated and restored in the abundance of ki now flowing through your system.

Ki, prana, chi flows through the breath.  As we take this journey, we receive the benefit of this healing energy through every molecule of our being.

So, let’s get comfortable and settle in as we imagine ourselves taking a walk on a beautiful sunny spring day, like today through a wooded park.

The air has a slight chill to it, but the sun makes your skin feel warm and your body relaxed.  As you approach the trees lining the edge of the park you feel yourself take a deeper breath and feel the support of mother nature all around you.

As you walk onto the earthen path,   you feel the forest ground underneath your feet and you enjoy the sounds of birds chirping in the distance.  Inhale the serenity you are starting to invite into all of your being.

In gratitude, you take a moment and pause,  perhaps envisioning yourself opening your arms all the way and taking a deep inhale as you enjoy the comfort of being.

You feel all the thoughts and worries you had melt away and in it’s place is the calm, cool quiet of this shaded wood.

As you continue to walk through the park you notice distant sounds of the city, passing cars, maybe even a lawn mower.  But you are not disturbed.  You are part of this city and it is part of you.  You find yourself acclimating to the background noise.

Take another deep breath, return to the sensation of being in the forest.  You feel the connection to both nature and to the community you are part of.  In this moment, you are healthy, well and grounded and can even take a deep breath further into your own sense of well being.

Through each breath, you bring healing ki into your cells and the systems of your body:  cardiovascular, respiratory, skeletal, nervous, lymph, reproductive and endocrine.

Each system responds by shining a different color with each breath you take.  Notice the various colors and textures with each breath.

Spend a few moments here inhaling healing ki into each system and notice what you notice.  Honor the pause here and be grateful for the effortless functioning of your body.

Now, in the next inhalation, take a full body scan from the top of your head to the tips of your toes and notice how you feel now within body and mind.

What’s different, what’s new, what’s still taking it’s time.

From this place you are now at, feel the centerdness within you and how present you are in the moment.

Remember this place when you need to feel the support and abundance of the healing energy all around you.  Take a few moments and inhale deeply.

Now, when you are ready, begin the process of returning back through the woods along the path.

When you reach the edge and are ready to return back from where you started, give thanks for taking this time.

You are healthy and well and full of light and the refreshing natural energy.

Give yourself time coming back at your own pace.  Perhaps first feeling your feet on the ground and your body in the chair you are seated in.

Next, take each arm and rub the tops of your arms and legs and slowly, slowly, come back to this space now.

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst (includes photo)

 

 

 

 

Distant Reiki Healing Group 12/22 8am-9am PST

Get ready to fire up those Reiki engines…..
For the first half-hour let’s send Reiki to the victims and survivors of the devastating floods and declared national calamity in the Philippines.

The remaining half-hour I’d like to split into two parts, the first 15 minutes towards our neighborhoods and communities and the issues effecting them.

The last 15 minutes to our own friends, family and selves in need of healing.

Thanks again and see you on FB for updates! For individual request feel free to email me as well.

Have a great solstice and happy holiday! Hope to see you in Seattle when I’m there visiting through the first week in January 2012.

in light

Eileen Dey, M.A., LMHC

http://www.reikitrainingprogram.com

Photo credit.

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