The structures of our lives have dramatically changed over the past few weeks. We are all redefining what it looks like to feel and be safe. Things we used to not think twice about, like saying hello with a hug, going to the grocery, a park, or standing close to someone all now come with potential threats. Structures of reality create safety, and when the structures of our lives quickly change it can be destabilizing.
What structures are helping you to feel safe right now?
Being energy sensitive gives me a unique perspective on this question. Inconsistencies of character, being in the presence of untruths, out of alignment with myself, around dis-resonant external energies… all stimulate not feeling safe. Likewise, certain practices and habits create safety. The other day I told John, my sweetie, that the only difference between being an energy sensitive and “everyone else” is those same things everyone else can distract their self from feeling, sensitives find disruptive, sometimes even disabling.
Here are some ways I’m keeping safe and rooted in the Now.
1. Defined boundaries of time and space create safety. Timeframes might feel important to define, now, adjusting for the slower pace of things. Overwhelm is a common issue for energy sensitives — who track so much at once– potentially creating destabilizing feelings of un-safety. It is likely now unreasonable to think we can accomplish what we’d planned, in the same timeline as before this time. This fact, and taking the time for a bit of psychic re-organization of our newly shifting agendas, priorities and values can help us to feel more safe and secure (as an aside, I am loving learning how people’s values are positively shifting into a more natural and human shape, as a consequence of being forced to “stay inside.” This shift feels right, healing and recalibrating.).
2. Being aware of what you like and what you don’t creates safety. Doing things, activities you don’t like, i.e., having loose boundaries, allowing an unwanted situation or unaddressed issue to persist, an unwanted commitment, etc…. always creates energies of anxiety and lack of safety. Those who consistently ignore their own self-wishes do not realize that THIS habit of self disregard is the source of their major anxiety. As a rule: resonance feels safe; dis-resonance stimulates fear, insecurity. If I feel unsafe, I check-in: What am I allowing into my life that I don’t like/don’t want to be doing? Disregarding what I like and want doesn’t honor me– and is a number one way to feel unsafe.
3. Structured times to check-in and get present create safety. After breakfast, before I begin my day, I go to the mat. But I am flexible within this structure. Making myself stretch or do yoga every day feels rigid because it is disconnected from what I may want in the present moment – which stimulates feelings of insecurity. Sometimes I focus on breath, stand there, or lay down. Always, I check-in with the intention to rebalance in a way that feels most natural to me in this moment. The rules are there are no rules– other than to show up, check-in.
4. Don’t allow habit, or mind, to override your intuition. It’s easy to go on auto-pilot around shifting agendas. Yet our energies, preferences, change moment by moment. The other day, I felt so tired. My mind told me it was because I wasn’t sleeping well; while true, that didn’t mean sleep was the answer. Sleep was a logical (mental) solution… I tried, it only stimulated anxiety. Because I didn’t want to sleep! When asked my gut “what do I want?” and checked in with my intuition, laying in the sun for a half hour felt right to me. Afterward I felt recharged.
5. Know when you are out of your energy, then pull your energy inward. Being attuned to external energy is like watching the play by play news all the time 24/7. Not good. You need to be able to turn it off. You know that moment right before you go to sleep, and you are totally inward? This is the time to practice that moment. Tuning into others’ energies, constantly having my attention on things outside of myself, is a number one way for me to feel unsafe. This is more than just turning off my phone or limiting exposure to media, though that is the first layer, and a practical step. It is learning to notice where my attention and awareness is and energetically bringing it back home.
6. Be open to examining stress responses that don’t feel good. You may be feeling ways you haven’t felt in a long, long while. This is an invitation to dig a little deeper. My reasonable response to a chaotic childhood was to feel unsafe around the big people who were out of touch with reality, or held a laissez-faire attitude about actual threats.To survive, I became uber-responsible, and as an adult sometimes judgmental or critical of others who aren’t. I suspect if you had a chaotic upbringing, you may identify with this, too. This time period has brought this up, and out!
While practical in its ability to alert me to real threats and dis-resonance toward people and situations that I don’t like or aren’t right for me, judgment and criticism easily turn into defensive rigidity – a posture or way of holding my energy that is opposite of the flexible loving presence I truly am. Since our bodies hold our inner worlds, unyielding attitudes create brittleness and tension in the energy body, contributing to, or even causing, fear. Now I know when I have judgment and criticism toward others or myself it is a sign that I feel unsafe. I can use this understanding to gentle and soften toward myself when this happens, and ask myself what I want/need to feel okay.
You may notice a common thread to my ideas about structures that create true safety. Soulful PRESENCE to what we LIKE and want RIGHT NOW (even during times of limitation there is always something to like or want for our self, in this perfect moment) …always creates safety. Defining structures for establishing a relationship to presence is step one. Next is committing to inner listening. From a place of awareness, our desires and preferences reveal supreme intelligence… telling us more about what will keep us safe than anything outside of us ever will.
This is living with mastery!