The word “rest” has a Germanic root that was a measure of distance: after traveling a certain distance, one needed to stop and rest. The very concept of rest, then, was inseparable from movement. When we depended, for travel, on our bodies, or the bodies of other animals, rest was built in. One could, literally, only go so far without stopping to rest.
Rest is a core human experience; better rest leads to better immune systems, less inflammation, lower stress, slower aging, greater creativity, and greater satisfaction.
Without rest, we would quickly age and die, yet many of us are unable to rest, to feel relaxed, to give ourselves the permission to slow down our frenetic activity.
Today, we can board a plane and less than seven hours later arrive 3,000 miles away. In our automated, electric world, we can not only travel without rest, we can do just about everything without needing even to pause.
Factories make our goods around the clock, and strawberries and asparagus are available whenever we want them. At night, after dark, we just flip on the light. Many of us living in cities hardly ever see the dark anymore.
In all kinds of ways, subtle and not so subtle, we get the message that we are not supposed to stop. It’s no wonder, then, that so many of us have a hard time resting. We live in ways that the human body is not built for, yet we have so internalized the message of our ceaseless world that we push ourselves, push ourselves, and then push ourselves some more.
As a teacher and coach, I see the internalization of this message in my students and clients all the time: we measure ourselves by our accomplishments. Even we writers, whose work clearly comes from the depth of the unconscious mind, push ourselves to write more, to produce more, to be more active on social media.
Even as mothers, we often measure themselves by how much we give — to our homes, to our children, to their schools.
In these measurements there is no resting point — no point at which a built-in stop is expected, considered necessary.
But without these stops, instead of getting more of what we want, instead of getting closer to our goals, we sabotage our health, our relationships, our creativity, and the quality of our lives.
Paradoxically, by trying to be more productive, we sabotage our very ability to be productive.
So what can we do?
Fortunately, we are learning more and more about the importance and value of rest. From Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution to Sara Mednick’s Take A Nap, Change Your Life, more and more studies argue for the vital importance of rest.
Here are four essential things we can all do to get better rest:
1. Listen to the natural rhythms of our bodies, and of the days and of the seasons. As organic, living beings, the more we tune into the organic world around us — and within us — the better and deeper our rest can be.
2. Change our framework of thinking about rest. Rather than think of rest as time away from what matters to us to, instead, we can think of rest as the crucial support that we need to live the lives we want to live and travel the distances that we want to travel.
3. Prioritize rest. We may need to start by literally putting rest on the calendar. Take a day off of work. Don’t allow ourselves to go on our computer after a certain time in the evening. Go on a retreat. Think of these things not as indulgences, but rather as necessities that fuel everything else you do.
4. Find rest throughout our days, even our busiest days. We can think of rest not as the “other,” in contrast with our busy lives, but instead as a quality that we can carry within ourselves, all the time.
We can cultivate a peaceful resting place within us that we can return to. Practices like returning to our breath or coming back to the present moment help us find rest even in action.
There is a beautiful song from Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village tradition which celebrates this natural resting place. Here is the song:
“Breathing in, I go back to the island within myself. There are beautiful trees within the island; there are clear streams of water; there are birds, sunshine and fresh air. Breathing out, I feel safe. I enjoy going back to my island.”
This island of rest is not a desert island, but instead a fertile place, full of life-giving element.
We can all learn to inter-be with our resting state, and as we do that, we will learn better to awaken to the fullness, vitality, and creativity of who we really are.
First published on the Copper Beech blog
Working with the Body's Natural Energy System: Chakras for Greater Alignment, Strength and Creativity
I’m just back from Colombia, where Simone and I had a great time visiting friends. What a beautiful and complex country: sophisticated, unequal, stunningly beautiful and ecologically diverse, sometimes dangerous, often friendly, and so much more.
Our time there reminded me that there is never, of course, one story of any place—or of any person. Sometimes the complexity can even feel overwhelming.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been talking about looking inward, listening deeply to the more difficult parts of our own stories, and getting the kinds of support we need to do that work. How do we do that without getting overwhelmed? How do we make order of the complexity?
Do you ever feel like your body and your life is like a messy house? There are so many things everywhere, and you don't quite know where everything is or where it all belongs....so you just kind of make do with what you can find but sometimes you get tripped up on something left around on the floor?
That is how I lived in my body for much of my life: it worked, I could run and dance and feel okay, but when I really quieted, I could also see that it was messy inside and often that mess would get in my own way.
One tool that has helped me enormously is yoga: yoga helped me come to more order, more peace and more energy.
Though a lot of contemporary yoga focuses on the external qualities, yogic philosophy and practice gives us really powerful tools to look inside and create more peace and health on a deep internal level.
I’ve found the teachings around the chakra system especially helpful. The chakras are energy centers that run up the body from the base to the top of the spine and above, each correlating to a different physical and emotional quality.
Often when we experience challenges in life, the energy of that challenge gets blocked in the body, and specifically in the correlating chakra.
When the chakras are in balance, we have greater understanding of and freedom with our stories. Balancing our chakras also strengthens the immune system and gives us more energy and vitality—on both the physical and emotional levels.
The philosophy of the chakra system also teaches us that we need to establish security—in the lower chakras—before we can release the upper chakras and be more heart centered.
We’re like trees: we need to be well grounded in order to be open to the winds and flexible.
This profound lesson helps us with our writing—we can’t look into those difficult places in our own stories or be our most creative and playful unless we feel grounded and supported.
It also helps us have more compassion—for ourselves and for others; when people don’t feel that security they are less flexible, open and heart centered.
The lower three chakras help us develop strength and a sense of security; the upper chakras help us open our heart and come into more aligned communication.
Pay attention to your own energy system. Over time you can notice where you are out of alignment, what needs to be cleared in your body and get the energy flowing more freely so toxins don’t build up.
I find it helpful to start through focusing on the lower chakras—on what gives you strength and security.
You can also get some results simply by bringing your mindful attention to that area of your body and paying attention to feeling grounded and supported.
You can practice with my video here.
Have you ever started doing something and then found yourself questioning why you are doing it?
Or have you started out doing something with one set of expectations and then found yourself doing something quite different?
In my last video, I told you a bit about how I came to the more integrated coaching and teaching of writing that I do. Today, in this new video, I want to share some thoughts on how to stick with writing even when you don't know where it's going or when you want to stop altogether.
I share some of the experiences of two of my clients and the ways in which their most uncomfortable moments led to real growth. I discuss how isolating that particular moment when you feel most uncertain about your writing, sitting with it, instead of running away, and really listening to the messages coming up in your body can lead to exciting creative breakthroughs.
And I offer four practical tips to help anyone deepen their writing practice—especially when it's getting uncomfortable.
The holidays are upon us. In my house, Simone is particularly excited; we’re going to do a lot of baking together, and next weekend, we’ll string up our lights in our living room.
But the holidays are also a time that bring many of us into stress—to top all the stress that so many of us are feeling in the larger world.
As an early holiday gift and a sign of my thanks for you all for being in my life and for being part of my community, I want to share a short video to help you come back to your center and get through the season—or any time that is challenging for you.
I’ve found that one of the biggest stressors in our lives is the disconnection between mind and body.
This disconnection helps explain our nation’s current health problems, our sexual abuse epidemic, and our environmental crises, to name just a few things, and it affects us both as a society and as individuals.
We live in such a segregated, siloed way that there are very few practices that help us bring mind and body back together.
But when we bring meditation, yoga and writing together, we can begin to make connections again between the different parts of ourselves.
Click above or watch here: https://youtu.be/hL0liGYAGeQ
In this video, I offer a balancing meditation, some gentle yoga to awaken the spine, and a writing prompt. Done together, the practice invites you to listen to yourself, reconnect with your integrated self, and tap into your inner knowledge and creativity.
This is a nice, gentle practice that you can do every day.
I hope that you’ll enjoy the video and the practice. As you practice more, you’ll find the experience deepens.
The poem I read in the video, Guest House, by Rumi, translated by Colman Barks, is one I often use because it’s a good reminder to be present with whatever arises and to cultivate gratefulness. And every time I read it, it brings something else up for me.
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
I’d love to hear any experiences you have with the practice. And of course, please share with any friends who may be interested.
We all have stories, but how do we listen to them mindfully so that they lead us to our true purpose and we don't get overly attached to the thorny pieces?
In our complicated world, how can we calm our nervous system so that we are more available to ourselves and others?
I'm so excited to share with you my conversation with Jillian Pransky, a yoga teacher of over 20 years and the author of the newly published book Deep Listening, in which we discuss these questions.
In our conversation, we talk about:
Jillian's also a great storyteller, and she tells some memorable stories that I think you'll enjoy!
(Click above or watch here: https://youtu.be/BywY5dFjCqc)
If you want to listen to the conversation you can listen here:
You can see more about Jillian and her new book Deep Listening at her website www.jillianpransky.com.
As always, I love to hear from you. Let me know your reactions to the conversation and your own experiences with deep listening. And please share with any friends who might be interested.
Many of us have a love-hate relationship with writing: we value writing; we want to do it more, but it also brings out our fears, frustrations, disappointments.
Over the next months, I’ll be writing a series of posts about how to approach your writing and your creativity with more openness, joy and freedom.
Today, I’m opening the series by addressing two common fears I’ve been hearing again and again from students and clients. Maybe you can relate to them:
These fears both have to do with not having control over your work.
It is true that you can’t control the reaction readers have to your work. But you can control when readers read your work and when readers don’t read your work. And that makes all the difference.
Get very clear on this: no one is going to read your work until you are ready for them to read it!
Many people’s private writing was read by a parent, friend, sibling or teacher as a child, casting a shadow over their writing life. But now you are an adult.
If you don’t want anyone to read your writing. make sure you keep it in a safe, secure and private place. This may seem obvious, but sometimes our unspoken fears limit us, and so instead of finding a safe and secure place for our writing, we don’t write. This is unfortunate!
If you like to write by hand and don’t want anyone to read your writing, put your writing in a locked drawer. If you don’t have a locked drawer, get one.
If you write on the computer, create a separate user account with a code that no one can access but you.
Take the time today to be sure that you feel that you have a secure place for your writing and that no one else will read it without your permission.
Once you have addressed the first fear, let’s turn to the second: your writing might hurt someone you love.
I get it. Generations of writers (usually male) have not seemed to give much thought to this question, and their writing often was deeply hurtful to family, friends, community members.
I applaud writers for thinking about the impact of their words.
But many writers today, especially women, let this fear of hurting others stop the writing process even before it begins. We don’t speak our own truth, we don’t even come to know our own truth, because we worry it might hurt others. Often we internalize others’ censorship of our truth. We can become mindful of this pattern and claim our truth first before we worry about its impact on others.
It’s important to remember that the writing process is not the same as the publishing process. Professional writers, as well as newbies, need to remember to keep the creative process and the publishing process separate. Our first, second and even third draft won’t be read by others unless you invite them to read it.
Before you are ready to publish, you can revise, a lot.
If you don’t want to hurt people in your life, you can also show a draft to the people you love and invite them to a discussion about it before you publish. These can be powerful conversations that develop greater trust and understanding.
Or, once you have come to write and realize your own truth, you might decide that the truth can speak for itself, and it is not your job to protect others from it.
But unless you are getting close to publication, this is something for the future and separate from the process of claiming your own truth and power and creativity for yourself and on the page.
Indeed, one of the great beauty of the page is that no one else is watching you. You get to use language to process thoughts, experiences, emotions, fears, rages, lusts. You get to explore, make mistakes, start over, without anyone judging you.
The page’s feelings can’t get hurt. The page can’t yell at you, judge your or decide no longer to be your friend.
So today, I invite you to look carefully at your own fears around writing.
If you can make the page your safe place, it can become your best friend; you get to establish deep trust with yourself.
This trust gives you enormous freedom: your writing process can go from being tortured to being joyful; old blocks might fall away.
You might even find that the things you were so worried about keeping private don’t need to be guarded so closely.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
After lots of snow over the past five days, today was sunny and sparkling! What an amazing world!
In the past few weeks I’ve talked about finding both courage and comfort in finding one’s true center and self.
Writing these posts have made me think about the things that can help us get to that state of inner clarity that leads to both comfort and courage.
I believe what is most important is finding the supports that will help us become our authentic selves, and over the next weeks I’ll be talking more about this.
In the meantime, since it’s Valentine’s day, I want to take a moment to thank my husband, Eric, who has supported and continues to support me in this journey of finding my path and my center—and it is my hope that I support him in the same way.
I’m also so grateful to the teachings and therapists and coaches and teachers and physical and mental practices that have helped me find my center. We are all part of a large chain of teachers and teachings, and none of us can do this alone.
We sometimes think that we are alone with our story, but that is far from the truth. In fact, we can only really find our true story—so that we are telling stories about ourselves that support, instead of hurt us—with the help of others.
We might think that getting our story straight is no big deal, but in fact, it’s utterly crucial—and revolutionary.
Christianne Northrup, a pioneer in holistic medicine and in women’s empowerment and wellbeing, talks about the importance of story in her groundbreaking book Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing, (While Northrup is talking specifically to women, I think her message is helpful for everyone, men and women alike.)
Northrup lists twelve steps for healing.
The first step is: Get Your Story/History Straight.
We might want to jump over our story/history. But we can only truly move forward in the direction we want to go in if we accept our reality, and ourselves, for who we are and where we have come from. Often this work is best when we do it with the support of others. We must learn to be our own best witness, but usually we can become our best witness, if we have the help of other loving witnesses first.
The second step is: Get Your Beliefs Straight.
Included in this section Northrup asks the question, Are you following your life’s purpose? and Do you regularly acknowledge your strengths, gifts, talents, and accomplishments? If you’re not, get the support you need to pursue your own fulfillment.
If you don’t get clear on our beliefs and your own source of strength and life force, your own health may suffer, because our life force is cut off if we are not living from our authentic center.
Sometimes we may think that following our purpose and our gifts is self indulgent—but if you have this belief, it may be time to change that. After all, our life strength is what keeps our energy flowing and our immune system working and allows us to help others.
To live fully is to inhabit our strength, our “courage,” the root of which comes from the French word “coeur,” or “heart.”
So on Valentine’s day, I invite you to spend some time with your own heart getting clear about what stories, teachers and teachings help you get in touch more with your own authentic center.
Because we know that we can only really love fully and fiercely if we embrace our own aliveness and come from our own place of both comfort and courage in ourselves.
As always, I’m sending love and love to hear from you. And I’m listing my calendar of events below. I have many upcoming events that I’m excited about, from afternoon workshops to in person and online classes to my first full weekend retreat that I’ll be hosting this summer at the beautiful Copper Beach Institute. I’d love to see you. Please reach out if you have any questions.
March 11: Om Namo Center, 1:30-4. Embrace and Let Go: Writing and Yoga Workshop
March 28. Inner Evolution for Women: 1:00-4:00pm with Jessica Ronalds, LMHC, Acton, MA
I'm very excited to be offering this afternoon session with therapist Jessica Ronalds to deep healing and clearing work for women to start spring with our full vitality.
Mid-April: New sessions of my online class, Align Your Story, a unique deeply integrative approach to writing with close readings, yoga and meditation.
This is my signature ten week class, and once you enroll you have access for life. I now also have a premium option for more in depth support and feedback. See more at www.alignyourstory.com
Mid April: New sessions of my in-person poetry and creative prose classes will open.
Contact me for more information and to be put on a list. These are great communities of writers and appropriate for writers at all levels. See more at www.nadiacolburn.com
April 2, 2017 2pm
Friday April 28th: Grub Street, A Larger Purpose: Why Your Writing Voice Matters. Boston. 6-9pm.
Saturday, May 13, Writing Towards Freedom: an Afternoon of Meditation and Writing 1-4:30pm.
North Shore Zen Center, Beverly MA
August 18-20 Weekend workshop/retreat Copper Beach Institute. Take a full weekend to integrate mind, body and spirit and come into your aligned center. https://www.copperbeechinstitute.org/center
Today is MLK Day. Our world is full of great injustice and suffering, and also great heroism, love and hope.
This is also inauguration week: we don't know what will come, but we do know that we will be called upon to be agents of peace and hope, that our voices will be more important than ever, and that we will need to stand up for what we believe in. We can do this work best if we clear out the pain that so many of us store in our bodies, if we can ground and come into our own stability.
A few days ago I wrote about the power of shifting our energy to joy through our bodies. Today, I want to share with you a piece I published recently in Spirituality and Health magazine about learning through my yoga practice to listen to the pain that was stored in my body, and the ways I unlocked and released that pain to clear my body so I could be more available to meet the present moment.
For much of my life, I felt as if the external toxins of the world were lodged directly into my body. But through bringing my mind and my body together in yoga and writing, I have been able to protect my physical body on a much greater basis from those external toxins.
Sometimes those toxins are chemical. Sometimes they come from direct physical contact. And sometimes, the toxins are emotional/psychological/political.
In this article I talk about the ways in which, listening to my body, I came to know my own story better, and how knowing this story better helped me live with both more ease and more agency in the world. I went through this process largely without a road map, and it's my honor now to help others with by providing more direction than I had.
This is a personal article. I’d love to hear any reactions or questions you might have, and please share it with others who might be interested or who might benefit from it.
* * * * *
Finally, just a reminder. If you're interested in exploring how your story is stored in your body, please consider working with me. As always, I love to hear from you with questions or comments!
Align Your Story, my online class that brings together writing yoga and mediation begins this week. This is my signature class, and I'm excited to start it with a new group of students. I have a few more spaces. See more here: http://www.nadiacolburn.com/alignyourstory.html
A four week In-person Narrative Healing class I’ll be leading in Cambridge, MA begins January 25th. This is a new opportunity to bring embodied creativity and healing together in a small, in person group community. I’d love to see you there. See more here: http://omnamocenter.com/narrative-healing/
And I’m available for one-on-one work, either in person or over skype. Please reach out for a first exploratory session.
* * * *
THE WRONG I NEEDED TO WRITE
(published in Spirituality and Health here: http://www.spiritualityhealth.com/articles/wrong-i-needed-write)
When I think back on the first years of my yoga practice, what comes to mind first is Pigeon Pose. Actually, when I think back on my experience with Pigeon Pose, it’s remarkable that I stuck with yoga. Because in Pigeon Pose I felt as if I was being tortured. No, this is not hyperbolic speech. Each time I went into Pigeon Pose, I’d have images flash through my mind of terrible situations: women piled onto the train to Auschwitz, unable to move; women crossing illegally into the U.S., jammed together in the back of trucks with no air to breathe; women being held down, against their will.
Relax into the pose, the teacher would say, and I’d try to not to come out of the pose. I’d try to stay a little longer.
Most often, when people are in pain in a yoga pose, it’s because they are doing something their body shouldn’t do. But I was pretty sure that I wasn’t overly straining my physical body. In fact, even though I hold tension in my hips, I’m also pretty flexible in my hips and always have been. My Pigeon Pose looked pretty good from the outside. But inside, it sent me into turmoil—and that made me curious.
So I kept coming back to yoga classes, and my body became more flexible, and I became more able to focus my mind on the movements themselves—at least until we got to Pigeon Pose. And still I found I couldn’t stay with my body. The more I focused on what my body was feeling, the more I felt a kind of panic. So instead, I moved between the images in my head and some larger space, up above them, some distanced perspective from which I could come in and out of the scene.
In retrospect, it is no surprise that Pigeon Pose, which is a hip opener, triggered me. We often store our physical experiences directly in the body—and mine was childhood sexual abuse. Even when the conscious mind cannot remember, the body holds onto its own lived experiences in its cells. Yoga helped me practice coming in and out of this memory—even if I couldn’t put it into words. It taught me, if in a coded way, pieces of my own story that I had not, for a long time, been able to access.
We need to listen—and, at the same time, we need to have frameworks and stories to process what our bodies tell us. We need to be attentive and come out of the conscious mind. And then we need to make connections between the unconscious mind and the conscious mind and knit our experiences back together.
My yoga classes set the stage for me to listen to my body, but classes didn’t really prepare me or give me a real context or tools to understand the kind of triggers that might come up—or the ways really to listen to the stories as they were unfolding through my practice. Over time, I worked with many modalities. I started to practice Kundalini yoga and then, once my body was more comfortable and had cleared out a lot of the stuck energy, turned to sitting meditation and the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh. What I discovered is that I needed attention both to my body and to language; I needed both movement and stillness; I needed, ultimately, mind, body, and spirit all to come together….
At first I was writing poetry. And then I started also to write prose. No doubt, part of my turn to prose was a growing desire to knit things together, to tell a coherent story. Like Hansel and Gretel, I was able to follow the moonlit pebbles that lead back to my own early experiences and that ultimately lead me back to myself.
And when I did this, I received a great gift: I was able truly to come home.
This does not mean that home is always a warm and easy place. It’s not as if, at the end of the practice, we can turn on the lights and all the witches will be revealed as simply a bad dream, a figment of our childhood imaginations. People were brought in cattle cars to Auschwitz, and illegal immigrants continue to face unbearable situations in their search for a better and freer way of life. And women and children and men continue to be sexually assaulted and abused.
The fruit of our yoga practice and our spiritual practice is not that we can simply relax in our comfortable, safe yoga studios and drop the outside world and simply enjoy the present moment. The fruit of our practice is that we can come to better see the world as it is; that we can find peace and equanimity even amid injustice and pain; that we can discover our stories and accept them; that we can experience joy and happiness and relaxation and not turn away from our own suffering or the suffering of others.
HOW THE MIND AND BODY WORK TOGETHER
On Saturday, in the middle of a snowstorm, I led a two and a half hour yoga and writing workshop. I wanted to lead something joyful because I’ve been feeling some real heaviness in the air—especially in response to the political climate in America. And I personally was feeling like I needed a pick me up.
I think of these pick me ups as healing boosts not just for individuals but also for our whole society, because who wants to let certain unnamed people have too much control over our inner lives? Claiming our joy is also an act of resistance. And we absolutely don’t need to be in denial to experience joy. We can let our joy and our sorrow, our joy and our rage stand right next to one another.
Anyway, after a yoga set and some writing and meditation, I asked the class if they were up for some dancing, and I was really happy when they said yes. So there we were, dancing to fun music on a snowy day. And the more we moved to the music, which I turned up loud, the more we shook out those toxins that were stored in us, the more I felt like we were, paradoxically, in real harmony with the snowy stillness and quiet of the day.
This is one of the things I love about bringing writing and yoga together; the practice allows us to open the door just a bit wider to the full range of our experiences and emotions. It allows our bodies, which hold so much, to open up a bit more, and to enter into a different kind of dialogue with us.
Even though we weren’t writing while we were dancing, I think we were more aware of the shifts in our energy and consciousness because we had brought our awareness into our practice and we had brought together our mind and body, our left and right brains. Indeed, most of the time when I talk about “writing” I’m not only thinking of writing on the page, but also, and perhaps more importantly, about our conscious awareness. When we direct attention to our body and energy, we can have greater access to awareness, well-being and creativity.
If you’d like to try some yoga and meditation together, I invite you to join my online course Align Your Story; we start next week. Although the course doesn’t include dancing, it invites you to enter into a more integrated relationship between the mind and body and to integrate mind and body to bring your writing—and your life—to the next level. See more here.
Here is what one past participant said about the healing she experienced through the course:
I have one functional vocal chord and one paralyzed vocal chord. There are moments in my life when energy flows freely through me, and in those moments I am able to speak without strain or pain. These moments are rare. Most of the time I have great difficulty moving my voice from my belly up to my vocal chords and through my mouth. I'm so grateful for Align Your Story. I've tried many forms of healing, and have been so stuck for a long time, but things in me are moving now. I've been working my way through the course at my own pace and have experienced a freeing up of my energy and a lot of relief in my symptoms. My voice is getting stronger. I'm finding ways to connect it to my body differently. I'm coming back to life. In the time of this course alone, I've started two new projects, two blogs that I wanted to create for a long time. –Cathy K.
I’m also hosting an in-person four week Narrative Healing Session at Om Namo Yoga Studio in Cambridge starting Wednesday January 26th. This will be a very powerful, healing class that helps us break through blocks, uplift our energy and listen to our bodies in new ways. The course will give you some tools to do that both in the studio and at home. Class size is limited to six, so there will be community and plenty of individualized attention. See more here.
And finally, I’ll be offering another yoga writing workshop at Om Namo on March 11th.
Reach out to me, as always, with any questions. I love to hear from you!
And please share this newsletter and resources with anyone who might be interested. Thank you! I’m so glad you are part of this community.
I’ll write again later this week with another story of the mind-body connection that helped me unlock some deep healing.
In this unsettling time, I want to offer something to my community: how about we come together virtually and meditate and write?
I’m going to be offering a free session in real time next Tuesday from 11:45-12:30 EST.
Starting every fifteen minutes, I’ll read a short poem, lead a short meditation and give you ten minutes to write. This will be a time to feel our collective energy and to give time to ourselves, whatever we are feeling, wherever we are.
I’ll be starting a new poem/meditation every fifteen minutes. Come for part or all of the call.
If there is interest, I’ll offer this again in December, with some time for conversation at the end.
I know that as I’m still trying to take in the results of the election (this may be a long process), there are a few things that I am certain of:
1) the need to be engaged socially and politically for the long term
2) the need to continue to nourish and feed myself and my own internal peace
3) the need to reach out to community and others with love
4) the need to keep on practicing all of the above and with my personal practices
Meditating, listening to poetry and writing in community help me engage on all of these levels.
Here is Toni Morrison on the need for art in times like this: “This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.”
And I want to add that as we get to work, we continue to stay centered, connected to our own bodies and souls and capacity for love in the process.
Please feel free to invite friends to the call.
And if you can’t make the call, but are interested in coming to a call another time, please reach out to me and let me know and give me a sense of your schedule so I can try to include you.
How to call in: Dial-in Number:+1 (774) 220-4000
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Emotional Healing & Mindful Writing Blog | Nadia Colburn
I blog about creativity, writing, yoga, meditation, justice, women, the environment and integrated well being for the individual and society.