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On the Brink and Coming Back to Life ~ Death By A Thousand Paper Cuts

I woke up in a major funk today. I did not want to get out of bed. I have so many small detail tasks that have been piling up for work, my kids school-from-home, house work, and a long list of creative projects that are nagging me for attention. Then there's the stuff that really matters that so often goes unattended even though it's the foundation of a healthy and fulfilling life which for me are: body, mind, spirit, family, friends, and other relationships.

I woke up today just wishing I could stay in bed all day but there are deadlines to be met and certain items that really just can't wait lest the whole system they support collapses. My mind spinning in circles and not able to find my own proper focus, I pulled out my tarot cards which simply help me view my life from a different point of view. I've been following this Instagram page: EscapingStars for awhile now and scrolled down to find an "Energetic Check-In" Tarot Spread. Let me just say that I haven't done the reading yet because just that idea of reminding myself to check in with my energy field was enough to shift my understanding of why I'm feeling like I am: exhausted and yet — still spinning.

When I closed my eyes and sat with the contemplation, how is my energy body doing? I "heard" the phrase — which my subconscious paraphrased; "it's like the death of a thousand paper cuts." I am feeling simultaneously agitated and depleted. I also have a strong sense that I'm not the only one.

The last year has been hard, but let's be honest, the last FOUR years was also really hard on us a nation. Half the country voted for someone that the other half of the country viewed as a direct threat to our perceived values of what the American dream was/is. Now a battle cry, it's true that from day one our nation was split and instead of "the two sides" listening and addressing to the other sides concerns/viewpoints, the political parties and their followers locked horns and rolled on into a four year brawl. (I don't want to get into my political leanings here but I will say that my guiding values are based on personal freedom with mutual respect and that responsibility and accountability are necessary for those two things to co-exist.) Back to the point, my heart and soul still hurt from all that we've been through and all that I imagine is still coming. It's hard to settle when there's so much irritation and so much bleeding.

Here's the thing I wanted to take the time to share to today. I think the paraphrasing of the cuts to paper cuts is exactly what this time, and my energetic irritated/depletion (and maybe yours too) is all about. It's just so many small hardships, frustrations, restrictions, limitations, and disappointments that by themselves wouldn't seem like a big deal but added up together: it hurts! It's true - it could be worse... I know things are worse for many other people around the world — but in order to not get stuck in them, it's important that we honor our challenges and vulnerabilities. In my life, I am a problem solver. I don't like to complain and I annoy myself when I do get stuck in that mode. But... it's really hard to heal problems that you won't acknowledge as a problem and that way too often ended up being perpetuated because we refuse to acknowledge them.

Soooo.... my demand for myself and my invitation for you is to do the things that help you feel whole, and healthy, and more fully alive and "in love" in your life. Today I'm taking the time for exercise that's been pushed to the edges over this long and gloomy weekend, I'm going to the art supply store, and I'm going to cook a good meal. It means the 1099's, my work newsletter, my website updates, and my housekeeping are going to wait another day but if I know that if I take the time to take care of my "energy body" (body cells and chemicals/hormones, "electricity" of nervous system [affected by outer & inner environment, thoughts, and feelings], heart & soul) then my to do list won't actually feel so daunting and I'll have more space in my day to feel happy and will have more energy to heal & build better resiliency for the days to come.

Identifying what is wounding us won't always make us automatically heal but the truth is very often we stay in harmful/depleting/agitating states of being simply because we've gotten used to them. In identifying what's wounding/depleting/agitating us we can have a better understanding of how to best respond to the circumstances which may mean coming to terms with the current conditions -or- making the effort to change them. Here's one example from my life:

Watching the news, and social media, was a big one for me over the last four years. I was never a news-watcher before but I felt so concerned by all the drastic changes that I saw happening in my country that I felt compelled to stay up to date. I was alarmed and so I was on guard. I feel like it does take time to be a conscious newswatcher these days. There's so many programs/hosts trying to spin the news to match their audiences point of view in order to hold viewership that you really do have to watch a lot of the actual hearings and events for yourself. Giving my time over to my global concern limited my time for my personal concern but it wasn't wasted time. I do think it's important to have the clearest picture possible of the reality we share as a country and in our world. Our words and actions, just like those paper cuts, do contribute to the collective well-being. For me though over the last four years it had just taken up TOO much of my time and headspace. I've since limited all my media viewership and now know which sources I trust to give the fairest and least biased reporting of the facts. In knowing who I can trust, I can spend less time myself getting to the truth. In freeing up my screen watching, I've returned to art making and even though I'm still missing community time because of Covid, I am taking time for something that feeds my creative spirit.

Our resources as humans are limited: time, money, motivation, focus, and energy. Doing an "energy body" check-in is a great way to assess how you're really doing on a more subtle and accessible level than just mad, sad, tired, confused, etc.

Inspired by the Escaping Stars Energetic Check-In Tarot Spread, I shifted the questions a bit and created a contemplation that could be used for a meditation, journal sesh, or walking contemplation. A good way to do this would be to find a comfy spot, close your eyes, and connect into the core of your inner body energy field that is made up of your living cells, your thoughts, your feelings, and I believe — your soul too. You might imagine your energy body has a certain feel to it that is changeable though out the day based on what's going on in and around you. Maybe you can imagine your energy body with shape, texture, color, pattern, energetic flow or feeling, etc. Let your mind filter through these contemplation questions and trust your imagination to help you see yourself and your life in a new light to gain insight on how you can live your life in the clearest and truest way possible for you.

  1. What does my energy body feel like today?

  2. Where does my energy flow?

  3. Where is my energy blocked?

  4. What is disrupting my personal & natural energetic state?

  5. What can I do to cultivate & support a more naturally balanced energetic state?

  6. What value would it add for me to take the time and effort to make the shifts that will support the health and well-being of my energy body?

  7. What might I need to give up or cut out to have better energy balance?

  8. What might I add or do to fortify my energy body which encompasses and supports my physical body, my heart, my mental state, and my spirit/soul.

Feel free to share your thoughts & ideas with me or someone you trust. Sometimes naming what shifts we want to make in our lives helps us stay better plugged into our intentions and promotes positive changes. I'd love to hear what's inspiring you to learn, grow, and heal.

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