Our Human Spirit
Updated: Jun 3
I live a stone’s throw from Edinburgh’s Portobello Beach and Promenade. The beach is crowded every day: people in flip flops eating ice-cream and having picnics. At the weekend, six police cars sped past my flat. It seems they were looking for a gang of youths who had apparently tried to break into the sailing club.
Walking to a quieter part of the beach, the sound of the sea and the sight of a wind surfer being carried by the wind and waves became mesmerising. Hundreds of fresh footprints in the sand left an imprint of socially distanced walks.
I went in search of the mural that someone had painted on Portobello Beach to honour the memory of George Floyd. The reverberations from everything that is happening in the US right now are being felt across the pond over here in the UK. We are all grieving and heartbroken.
Walking back to the still busy prom, people sat together but separately. There seemed to be an invisible line that everyone knew they couldn’t and musn't cross. And just as quickly as we have learned how to stay alert and keep our distance, it seems that with lockdown easing, we might have to learn how to re-emerge, re-integrate and engage with fellow human beings. How will that be? Is there a gentle way to ease back in and for each of us to find the space to do that, so that the transition becomes more manageable? Sudden changes give us very little time to find our footing and affect our sense of where we are and who we truly are. Shock and emotional upheaval unground us, make us lose our centre. How can we learn to regain something of ourselves in the midst of so much happening around us?
ADAPTING AND ASSIMILATING
When we are unsettled, we feel it in our gut. Emotional shock gets held in the abdomen. In oriental medicine, the Small Intestine (SI) meridian is a key grounding point. It protects the Heart from external emotional shock and trauma. It helps us to assimilate and adjust to our surroundings and to have mental clarity, discernment and good judgement. The Small Intestine‘s role is also supported by the food that we eat. It separates the pure from the impure, helping to distribute nourishment and nutrients to the body and discarding what it does not need. The more healthy our diet (more wholefoods and whole grains, less mucus-forming foods like sugar, processed food, dairy, red meat) the easier it will be for the bodymind to process and digest food and regulate information, and the clearer our physical, mental and emotional health will be.
FINDING OUR ALIGNMENT
Like Qi Gong/Chi Kung, a meditation practice supports the smooth flow of Qi/Chi and Blood circulation in the body. Listening to the body helps it to find its natural alignment and to heal. Gentle movements ease misalignments into place.
For a few moments each day, find a quiet place to sit comfortably. Allow the busy mind to settle. Sit with your back straight. Sense your feet touching the ground. Accept how you might be feeling right now. Gently breathe in through your nose. Feel the air moving to the back of your nose and into your lungs. Do this a few times. Now breathe in gently into your abdomen. Are there areas in your body where you feel there is tension? Breathe into these areas. You might find that these areas are now beginning to feel more relaxed. Sense your spine, your shoulders down to your elbows, arms, wrists, fingers and finger tips. Now sense your hips, legs, knees down to your ankle, feet and toes. Breathe into your limbs. Following this simple exercise for even 10 minutes every day can give you a glimpse of what it feels like to be whole. We are more than our thoughts, moods and reactions. This sense of presence and stillness is key to finding our centre.
FINDING OUR TRUTH
Being in alignment helps us to find where our truth and true strength lies. We will also have the courage, conviction and wisdom to stand up for justice, dignity and freedom. ✊
Strength, truth, kindness, generosity and knowledge will prevail and are stronger and bolder than any kind of fear.