How To Be Unexpectedly Brave: Find The Fight Within You When Hope Is Lost
You know those times when you’ve ever felt the power sucked out of your belly, fear is suddenly triggered in your Root Chakra, joy turns to devastation, and the wind has been taken out of your sails?
It’s that similar feeling you’ve had when you’ve received devastating news about a loved one.
Or, when you’ve just broken up with your twin flame for the umpteenth (and possibly, last) time.
Or, when you witness what is happening at Standing Rock.
Or… when a genocidal, racist, misogynist, homophobic, xenophobic individual who symbolizes the dismantling of overly masculine energy suddenly becomes leader of your country.
Some people may think that this type of subject matter doesn’t belong in a blog post that focuses on health and wellness, much less one that speaks regularly on energy and light.
However, what do you think gets affected when anxiety and stress rise, due to the heightened tensions surrounding us? How do you think it affects our weight, appetite, diet, mood, sleeping patterns, creativity, energy, and relationships with others when we are regularly streaming in the “stress hormone”, cortisol, and “fight or flight hormone”, adrenaline, into our system, as a result of suddenly fearing for you and your family’s life in an oncoming system that holds no space for people like you?
The personal is political. How we hold it in our bodies is real.
And, being complacent and quiet doesn’t serve us, when we are meant to use our voice. Particularly if it means our survival.
It is exactly times like these, when it seems like we are at the brunt of overwhelming odds do we need to take inventory on what actually matters.
To be honest, I had my own rage-cry when I saw Trump take that stand to accept the presidency on election night.
My Root Chakra immediately worried for the safety of myself and others I love, many of whom are people of color, women-identified, queer or transgendered, from different backgrounds, religions, and ableness, and already showing up in the daily battle to exist in a world that regularly quiets their voices. I was astounded to realize how many people in our country held such hatred for others who are unlike them, not to mention held a great deal of hatred of what they saw in the mirror.
The light bearer Goddess in me was stunned. It was as if someone had just popped my balloon, and my heart had deflated.
However, after the news settled in, the light warrior within me started to rise up. Call it channeled anger, call it purpose. But, it was a spark that was ready to burn big and bright.
And, I said to myself, “This is why I serve.”
Even the next day after the election, the subway commute to the office was especially somber. Some people were crying, and others wanted to. The usually boisterous or directed energy was palpable and very quiet. Some otherwise crabby city dwellers interacted more softly with each other. Other New Yorkers remembered it being similarly somber after 9/11.
And, sure enough, I was honored to hold space for my patients post-election. I am always honored to bear witness to their stories, but almost every patient post-election has been experiencing elevated levels of anxiety, grief, rage, depression, and some form of discomfort in their body and heart. I have been performing a lot of shen/spirit calming treatments, sympathetic nervous system recalibration, and grounding healings since that time.
Understandably, there’s been a lot of Root Chakra survival fear, fear of their tribe being broken up, of the safety of their families, safety of their bodies, safety in their homes, on the streets, access to quality healthcare and livelihood.
Many other chakras are being affected, too, such as the Throat Chakra, which is being challenged, feeling either silenced or being forced to finally break their silence. As the chakra most dealing with communication, we are being invited to speak up for ourselves, say our truth, call out against injustice, in whatever small or big ways we can.
We are being invited to step up, be visible, be seen, be heard, and in ways that are new to us.
I mentioned earlier that the overly masculine energy is starting to get dismantled. As the Divine Feminine has been shifting into greater consciousness – notice that we are collectively awakening at a faster rate, getting in touch with our heart energy, learning about our intuition, gifts, and inner light, and starting to trust them more – the masculine energy that has been a long-time standing force in this world is in its last throes, and throwing the Goddess major shade along the way.
To be clear, we all have God and Goddess energy within us, and reflected outside of us. But, they must be in balance.
Here are some ways to find the fight within you when hope is lost:
- Creatively express yourself. Channel the emotions from your Sacral Plexus Chakrainto the creative expression that needs to release. Paint a landscape or abstract piece, draw the vision you want to see in the world, write in your journal or create a new work of poetry, fiction, or opinion piece, act out a scene that feels good to you, dance and let the music move you, sing a grief-stricken or joyous song, play your instrument, or otherwise express your emotions in a way that deeply enriches you. Doing so will also help your Throat Chakra.
- Find your voice. If what is happening in this world is striking a cord within you, and you want to make a difference as a result, speak your truth, call out injustice when you see it (especially if you’re in a position where you may be more easily heard than others), be an ally in the truest sense of the word, extend your voice to help your community heal, in the unique way that only you can.
- Connect with your heart and with others, deeply. When you listen to what your heart says (it never lies!), you are connecting with your heart. When you do what your heart wants to do, you bring in more of what aligns you with your Highest Self (because your Heart Chakra is connected to your Higher Self, the part of you that is eternal, has been with you through all of your incarnations, and is your total soul consciousness). And, when you nourish your connection with yourself, you are more able to connect with others in healthy ways.
- Do the things that bring you joy. We all have at least one thing that brings us joy. Cultivate those things. Does it bring you joy to walk in nature? Hug a tree? Receive fresh cut flowers each week? Have constant breaks to regain connection with yourself amidst your busy day? Make time for loved ones who you enjoy hugging? Whatever they are, make inventory of them, and make it a point to enjoy those things. By doing them, you nourish your Heart Chakra, as well as your connection to yourself.
- Remember the sweetness. Life can be challenging, but there is always a piece of sweetness to find within it. There is always Yin in Yang, and Yang in Yin. Find what that sweetness is for you. One symbolic thing I do sometimes is when I’m making a smoothie or a cup of tea, and happen to use honey as an ingredient, I swipe the last small bit of honey from the spoon, and relish the taste on the tip of my tongue, enjoying it with my senses, and say to myself, “I taste the sweetness of life.” Little gestures like this reinforce meaning and light in our lives.
- Support your tribe. It is human to want to be part of community and to belong, to be connected with others (yes, even those of us who are loner types need some community now and then!) Showing your belonging can take different forms. Perhaps it’s simply showing up to increase the strength in numbers, such as in a meeting, event, or march. Perhaps you are able to show financial support. Or, maybe you can offer resources and skills, or be a voice for your community. But, there is strength in numbers, and there is always something that you can contribute. And in return, you feel less alone in how you feel, and are supported by others who are in alignment with your values.
- Trust your intuition. One sure way to get lost on our path is to totally distrust what our Inner Wisdom is telling us, to not be in touch with it at all, or by being overly reliant on logic and linear thinking (energy is not linear, and neither is our emotion). Although, truth be told, even if we’re lost, we always find out way back to our path, and the detour always holds meaning for us. But, when we are able to trust that which is not physically evident in front of us, we allow our Third Eye strength to come forward. Double that when we actually act on what it tells us!
- Remember your purpose. When we feel lost, it is easy to forget that there is a reason that we have been put on this Earth for a reason. For some, their purpose is to use their visibility to create widespread change and transformation. For others, their radiance may not be seen on the grander scale, but is no less impactful. Whatever it is, remember what that is now. And, if you are not so clear on what that may be, that’s ok, too. Even knowing that your existence matters in this world somehow, even if you’re not totally in touch with what that is yet, is a wonderful thing!
- Remember your connection to Source/Great Spirit/Universe/God/dess. We are all part of Source/Spirit/God/dess/Universe. But when we feel disconnected from the Divine, which can happen with a blocked Crown Chakra, we believe in an illusion that isn’t real. It can even make us feel depressed, like we are utterly alone. Allow your Crown Chakra to open, allow that beam of light to enter your being through the top of your head, and remember that you are never alone, and never disconnected from the Divine.
- Strengthen your inner warrior. Our Solar Plexus Chakra is where we hone our warrior spirit. It is this energy that may feel temporarily challenged when we are fearful for our existence, when we doubt our impact in this world, feel easily intimidated, don’t believe in our personal power, or feel entrenched with power dynamics. You can strengthen this area through meditation (one effective one involves visualizing a yellow pulsing sphere of light two inches about your navel, and growing that light until it encompasses the whole area with yellow light), working with crystals (citrine is a fabulous Third Chakra stone to start with), and even working out (especially kickboxing, martial arts – internal or external – or any other sport that involves strengthening your core and/or incorporates verbal releases like “Ha!” are great).
Bonus tip: Take a break from your Facebook feed! By disengaging, temporarily, from the constant barrage of pulse-heightening headlines, you allow your sympathetic nervous system a welcome respite, even if only for a moment, so you can catch your breath.
It is our responsibility to own our power. And, the first step to owning it is to realize that no matter who we perceive to have power over us, that we realize, with certainty, that it is nowhere near the amount of power that we have within ourselves. That comes from within us, and no one else.
Because the only way someone can have power over us is if we give it to them.
Don’t give it away.
Shoulder to shoulder. Connect with each other, because it strengthens us. Being divided makes us weaker.