In the past six months, I have been in close proximity to so much trauma, tragedy, and pain. So many of my friends have been experiencing the real hardships of life. In my close circle of beloveds there have been dying parents, cross-country moves, gravely ill children, sudden divorces, houses flooding, and violent crime. I’ve been dealing with my own personal heartbreak, the demise of my five-year relationship in May.
This is to say nothing of the daily-life hardships of never enough money and always too much to do that most of us live with on the regular. And all of this is happening alongside political upheaval, the threat of nuclear war, powerful hurricanes churning in the golf, wildfires, earthquakes, police violence, and on and on.
The list of tragedies, small and large, is endless.
But all along I have been so humbled and grateful to see the way that my friends just keep showing up. For me, for themselves, and for each other. So many of my loved ones are practitioners: of yoga, meditation, and artistic practice. My people are healers, whisperers, and listeners to the universe. And they are the evidence that these practices work.
These practices work.
These practices make us able to sit with the terror of real life. So that when the shit hits the fan, we are able to stay present. When our big feelings arise, we know how to process them, how to compost them into a rich and fertile soil from which to grow. And when our friends go through their own big trauma, we are able to be present with their pain without needing to minimize or problem-solve.
Because we have struggled against our own physical weaknesses and our own flighty attention span, we now have strength and presence. We have built up the capacity for staying present with difficulty.
So this is my reminder to us this week, that these practices work, and that we do them for a reason. Because your life might be smooth and easy for now. But they only guarantee we have is that that will change. So keep practicing.