“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
― Brené Brown
Many of the narratives that have emerged from amid the COVID-19 pandemic revolve around needing help and what that means.
In a recent conversation with a business owner and colleague who, like many, is struggling, he said, “I’m not used to needing help. I’m used to helping. What does that mean that I need help? I thought I was beyond that.”
Let’s think about the implied judgment around those who need help or those who give help. Does it feel out of balance, like there’s perhaps a higher or lower relationship in each role? Or can there be an equality to it, of sharing the same experience?
Perhaps the universe wants us to wake up to our connectedness. To wake us up to how we’re all similar. To wake us up to what we have in common. To wake us up to our humanity.
What meaning are you making of this? Is it challenging to ask for help? If so, what makes it challenging? What have you learned from helping others or asking for help during this time? Watch today’s Awakenings video and share your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.
P.S. If you’d like to take a step back with us, reflect and make meaning to begin to transform your experience, sign up to receive the Awakenings series along with a free guided journal page to your email every week. Sign up here.
As the world changes — for many of us daily life pared to the essentials — with less travel and shuttling back and forth to the office, gym, kids’ practices and social engagements, we find ourselves adapting as well.
Have you noticed that conversations with friends, family, clients and colleagues have become more real? More truthful and authentic? That they are saying things you’ve never heard them say before?
We at Learning in Action have tuned into this wisdom and truth in the everyday language of people everywhere in the past few weeks of quarantine, and it inspired us to launch this new Heal the Divide video miniseries, “Awakenings.” We invite and encourage you to explore this awakening with us. This is how it will work:
First, come as you are. Connect from a place of comfort and sanctuary twice a week for short, 3-6 minute videos, on Sundays and Wednesdays. Wear whatever is comfortable and be ready to take in what the world is trying to communicate and what meaning can be found in what’s happening right now. Each week, we include a downloadable guided journal page where you can write your reflections. And we encourage you to share your reflections or awakening with us!
This series invites and encourages a way for us all to find meaning from this time of uncertainty, together. The series is simple, focusing on this one very important question:
What is this time wanting us to awaken to, in ourselves, each other, the world?
Join us as we take a step back, interpret, make meaning, try to understand the universal why of these times and begin to transform our experience. Sign up to receive Awakenings by email.
“The best way out is always through.” — Robert Frost
We at Learning in Action are here for our community, and we’re listening deeply to what’s needed in the world right now. And what we’re hearing is that there’s a need for resources and insights for working with fear.
We developed the new video course, “Moving Through Fear,” to help you name, tame and move through the fear of what you may be experiencing and would be so natural to be experiencing during this really challenging time.
Much has been written about how to handle fear of things we can control, like fear of flying, fear of public speaking or even fear of failure. But less is available about how to handle the fear that comes with situations like we’re experiencing now —those over which we have little to no control.
Whether they’re top of mind or running in the background, our questions and doubts can generate fear. Will life ever return to normal? Will I or someone I love get sick? Will I lose my job? What about my financial future?
And so that’s what this article — and the video course — is about. How do we work with fear in the face of great uncertainty?
For years, I dallied with meditation, starting and stopping many times, struggling to build a habit. At one point, I even tried my first attempt with a Meditation Teacher Training to kick-start my practice. But, for a variety of reasons, that was a bust too.
It wasn’t until I set a goal to develop a consistent meditation practice, with more determination than before, and with a little help from a device called Muse. Muse is a brain-sensing headband, designed to provide biofeedback to the meditator about their brain activity. When the brain is calm, the meditator is rewarded with the chirp of a bird, letting the meditator know, whatever they are doing (or not doing) is working and the brain is getting calmer. When the brain is active, background sounds selected in advance get louder and louder, letting the meditator know that they are headed off track. (I like the beach background and the rainforest backgrounds best).
The feedback provided by Muse made me curious about what was occurring within me during meditation and how that was affecting my brain. I started journaling after each meditative session, indulging my curiosity, hypothesizing about what aspects of my internal experience were arising to impact my brain activity. That’s when I began to discern distinct parts of me.
Over time, I noticed that five unique aspects of myself were showing up consistently on my meditation journey and they each had a different impact on my brain activity. I began to refer to them as the Five Sojourners.
For most of us, when someone tells us to meditate, the first thing that comes to mind is sitting in stillness, legs crossed and our hands in Chin Mudra (your index finger connected with your thumb, forming a “seal” or circle). Meditation is actually a broader concept and can be done in a number of ways.
Meditation is a practice of creating a state of self that is aware and calm and allows you to be present and mindful of what is. Once you have an understanding of this broader concept you can consider doing almost anything from a meditative state.
As I’ve learned more and more about this broader concept of meditation, I realized that one way I meditate is by taking a walk every morning. I wake up early in the morning before my kids are up and I walk my dog. I love feeling the cool morning breeze and looking at the different colors created by the sunrise against the clouds. This moment gives me a state of calm and awareness and it’s a daily practice.
You may already be doing things that are a form of meditation practice or maybe you haven’t found an activity that gives you that state of calm and awareness yet. Here four ways you can practice meditation: