“The medicine is already within the pain and suffering. You just have to look deeply and quietly. Then you realize it has been there the whole time.”
–Saying from the Native American oral tradition
One way to think of the pandemic is a year and a half of collective trauma.
We’ve all been through some really difficult times —with people of color and poor people disproportionately affected. We’ve been coping with the anguish of loss of loved ones and the inability for shared bereavement rituals, the torment of systemic ills, job losses and loss of financial security, restricted freedom and loss of a social life, concerns for health and safety, and the continued uncertainty of daily life.
When we have these kinds of traumatic experiences, they don’t just disappear. They need tending to. That’s why caring for our selves and healing in community is more important than ever now.
I didn’t always know how to care for myself compassionately; my practice within cherished community here at InsightLA helped me to learn and grow, and for this I am so grateful.
We are meant to heal in community. So much healing comes from the power of shared presence—from sitting quietly together, touching our vulnerability, authentically sharing our stories and struggles and tenderly holding space for others to do the same, from listening deeply for potential strengths and capacities within oneself and others, leaning toward the emergent, and remembering that we are not alone—that we belong to one another, to our ancestors, and to all other life-forms.
Practicing compassionately in community can powerfully offset a sense of separation and help heal grief and trauma. Grace Lee Boggs said “Transform yourself to transform the world.”** I invite you: let’s heal and transform together—the time is now, and we are the ones we have been waiting for!
Please join Alisa Dennis and me for an 8-week course in Mindful Self-Compassion for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) starting October 20th.
Or join one of the many Mindful Self-Compassion offerings at InsightLA.
We look forward to practicing and transforming with you! <3
p.s. Indigenous Peoples have long understood and valued the power of community in healing. On this upcoming Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we can recognize and honor the first stewards of this precious land.