Creating Personal Space
Here we are at the Spring Equinox 2020. Still drowsy with winter dreams. Looking for signs of renewal where the line is fuzzy. Just like the photo of mushrooms. Are they new or last year’s? Are they Velvet Foot of some other species? Unsurety is uncomfortable to sit with. Who would have known we would be faced with a worldwide crisis today? It’s not easy coming out of our winter time face to face with a complete stranger. Not many of us have been through a pandemic situation. It’s frightening and serious. Finding balance and courage is a badge to strive for. So we check with the scientists and medical people. Try to separate truth from fiction from the go betweens we hear on the news and online. In our search for the facts it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Sometimes it’s important for our mental health to step away. Look at it from a distance. Get in touch with our own perspective. The news will always be there for us to come back to.
Today, I want to suggest a way to step back and create a space where stress is minimal and centeredness is a polarization. It’s called “sitspot”. A term that came to me through my training with ANFT. The ideal sitspot is outside, in nature. However, some people do not or cannot get outside today. So, to them I suggest you find a window with a view of nature be it birds, treetops, or the ground and if that is a problem, gather a plant or two to sit close to you. Try to quiet your surroundings maybe earphones with nature sounds or no sounds. To those who can get outside to a yard or park bring a stool, chair, sit pad or blanket. Be sure to dress for the weather. Make yourself as comfortable as possible. It doesn’t have to be for very long. You will be surprised what twenty minutes can do for you.
If you have your cell phone, put it on airplane mode for the sitspot time. When you get comfortable on your stool or blanket send imaginary roots down into the ground. Let your roots glide down into the earth. Notice with your mind’s eye anything in the ground your root passes by or sways around. Take a few slow, deep breaths. Now, take notice of what you are seeing. You can list it in your mind, you can do a play by play or just observe. Take notice using your vision. Now, take a few slow, deep breaths. When you are ready, rest your eyes gently and notice what sounds there are in your peripheral hearing. Reach out as far as you can with your hearing. What do you hear? Is it manmade or natural. It doesn’t matter which it is. Bring your hearing in closer - about 50 feet in circumference. Let it set there for a minute or how ever long you want it to. Take a few slow, deep breaths. Now check in with your nose. What are you smelling? Is it a known or unknown scent? Maybe you smell a campfire in the distance. Stay with it for as long as you like. Take a few more slow, deep breaths. Do you have any tastes in your mouth? Like from something you recently ate or drank. Can you taste anything in the air? Take a few more deep, slow breaths. Sense your skin. Sense whether the temperature is the same throughout or if it is different in different places on your body. Does you skin have goosebumps anywhere? Do you feel a breeze on your skin? Now, take a few more deep, slow breaths. Take mental note of anything that draws your attention outside and observe whatever it is. Allow yourself to just be. What do you notice where you are sitting?
Getting outside in nature is a very good way to de-stress and center yourself. Nature has a way of absorbing us as we absorb nature. After you spend this time with nature, it’s good to leave it with a smile and a thank you, gratitude for the time.