It’s difficult to stay calm, not get battered by thoughts that the world is about to end. When I hear the news, two items stand out. The contrasting symptoms of climate change. Fires burning out of control in one part of the world, while floods make half a million people, homeless in another. Then there are the hate speeches, dividing one community or a country from another, spreading like a pandemic virus.

The easiest thing to do, is not to listen or read about what is being said and done in a world that looks frightening. However, given that the last three generations of women in my family were freedom fighters, who fought against colonialism, it’s not in my DNA to remain silent, especially when it comes to injustice towards children, women, other minorities and Mother Earth. (More about these women in the next blog post!) At the same time, I know I mustn’t react to every bit of news that leaves me furious. If I do that, I add fuel, or worse still, become bait for those who want to spew out incomprehensible hatred. Instead, I need to do what the women of my bloodline did thousands of years ago. They bypassed, rose above fear/hate by spreading messages of Love. Please read ‘You are the One’ where I’ve shared about my ancestors.

That’s why I’ve been extra busy, making sure I have a daily self- care routine because I know that will support me to be more like the wise ancient women of my culture. So, I bookend my day with meditation, or mindful movement using techniques such as Feldenkrais. On most days, like everyone else, I try to exercise, rest and eat healthily. I read positive affirmations. Mindfulness helps me to observe where my thoughts have gone, and drag back a wandering mind to peace and serenity.

What has surprised me recently is that the simplest technique for returning to calm and balance works the best during an emergency. Such as those days when I’ve packed in too much and neglected to follow some or all of my self-care routine. I tell myself I’ll survive because I’m a long-term meditator. But I don’t of course. Before I know it, I succumb to a frightening mind trap: Where I convince myself I’m insignificant and powerless, that I can’t help or make a difference in a world seemingly gone mad. That’s when the simple technique comes in to rescue. I stop what I’m doing and take three deep breaths. Almost immediately, the body relaxes, shoulders drop down from where they’ve been stuck, close to my ears. If I’m fortunate enough to be in a place where I can see trees or the sky, my body relaxes even faster.

self careJust three deep breaths allow me to connect with the Wisdom within. I take a dip in the sacred well, where no situation, no one, ‘out there,’ can agitate body or mind. Helplessness is replaced by a knowing that everything is going to be okay. Hope returns when I remember the universe is working with a bigger and much better plan. In that moment of clarity, I realise many of our myopic world leaders are not in charge, and deep down they probably know it. I remember the prophecy of the ancients: Fear is escalating because patriarchy is living on borrowed time. I smile and say thank you to Mother Earth. She knows the next episode in this drama called Life. All I have to do is trust Her and continue speaking words of Love.

In the last few months, I’ve added another ritual that helps me connect to the source of Wisdom. Most mornings, I light a candle and walk into my garden. I place the candle in the cradle of a paper myrtle tree. Sometimes, I drop petals and create an altar. The first time I lit the candle and touched the tree, the experience was profound.

EVERY DAY PRAYER

She calls me out.
Sun rising behind me.
I pluck rose petals
From yesterday’s roses,
And light a candle.
There.
In the cradle of
The paper myrtle tree
lies a new altar.

When the world is in chaos
Singing for hope and peace
To idols collecting dust
Is not enough.

I touch the tree.
She kisses my hands
With her pulse,
And whispers
Thank you.
This is where you’ll find me.
Now we are together.

I return to my desk.
Altered.
Self -doubt
Changes to serenity.
Her words sing
Along to heartbeats.

An everyday prayer.
May it be added
to the Light
That transmute chaos
To Balance.

I wrote this poem on the day I began the ritual in my garden. What I didn’t know was that I was instinctively re-opening a tradition used by the women of my bloodline. For generations, my ancestors connected to the Great Mother through the roots of a banyan tree in a sleepy fishing town in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, India. I’ll get to that story another time!

Meanwhile, if you have ways of taking care of your precious body, mind and soul in these turbulent times, please do share them by adding your comments below. When we share our wisdom, our stories, we support the Light that transmutes chaos to Balance.

If this resonates with you, I would love to hear your feedback. Please leave a comment or share via your favourite social media.

2 Comments

  1. Ramya Reddy

    beautiful and resonated deeply. i am trying to create a selfcare ritual for myself and keep slacking on it and it only pulls me down. perhaps i should go into my garden in the morning and do something that reminds me how much abundance and love surrounds me despite all the chaos that is in my head. thank you for this, bindu x

    Reply
    • Bindu Narula

      Just touching a flower or a tree is enough to return to serenity. Trees, in particular are messengers of Love. It’s simple and we all forget. But that’s why we have each other to remind us xxx

      Reply

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