Channeling Congressman John Lewis. Channeling RBG.
Channeling Congressman John Lewis & Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in facing these troubled times.
I’ll be honest, it’s hard to be coherent these days. This newsletter has been fermenting for weeks now. Every few days, I start from scratch, integrating the most recent injustice, calamity, or loss. And, right in the middle of my own bewilderment, I seek refuge in the breath, and look for inspiration all around. I breathe in RBG and John Lewis. These two icons embodied such stamina, determination, willingness to speak truth to power, love…and more determination. I inhale, their courage and inspiration. Exhale, I release the desire to know tomorrow. Inhale the chaos & destruction of wildfires. Exhale mutual aid for a neighbor. Inhale, shaking rage and sorrow at racial injustice. Exhale, voter registration, policy and legislative advocacy. Inhale the loneliness and separation from those dear during COVID. Exhale a phone call, an audio text, an email, a hug (yes, a hug).
The waves of suffering and distress in our world keep coming from all direction. Here’s truth. We have ZERO promises about tomorrow, or our next breath in this precious, human life. We are deeply relational creatures. We have tremendous influence on and irrefutable need for relationship together. So as we pivot to autumn, toward the election, indoors in the midst of this pandemic, toward financial hardship and food insecurity for so many, let’s slow it down and step it up. Invite in some reflective self-awareness. Call up your inner John Lewis. Invoke your inner RBG in these times.
Consider how you’re doing with these concentric circles. How are you:
- showing up for yourself?
- showing up for your community?
- showing up for this world?
And then, while keeping yourself safe and healthy, try these out.
GET WITH YOUR PEOPLE: Zoom, phone, distance walk or meal. Online class. Election prep. Meetup-virtual groups. Activism.
MOVE YOUR BODY: Everyday in some way. Celebrate it. Play in it.
GET OUTSIDE: Wildfire territory? Modify appropriately. If not, go out and breathe for someone who is.
CONNECT TO THE EARTH: Try the updated River Rock Practice mp3.
SLEEP: Disturbed for so many in these times. Here are some tips.
HYDRATE: Water. Tea. Any warm cuppa. Avoid ice this season.
WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? Great time to review Food is Medicine!
SOCIAL MEDIA: What’s a reasonable “serving size”? Binging? Grazing?
FIND THE EXHALE: Explore the meditation resources on my website.
VOTING: Check your voter registration. Help post card, text and phone banking efforts to get out the vote.
SUPPORT BLACK LED ORGANIZATIONS. WA4BL. Africatown Community Land Trust. WaNaWari
SUPPORT MUTUAL AID FOR THOSE STRUGGLING CLOSE BY.
COVID-19 IS NOT TRANSMITTED THROUGH EYE CONTACT: Do what you will with that insight. Learn to speak with your eyes.
HUG THOSE DEAR TO YOU: Dicey counsel from a health care provider in the midst of a pandemic? with social distancing guidelines? We know enough about COVID-19’s transmission to hug and stay healthy. The adverse mental health consequences of prolonged touch deprivation are very real. Balance accordingly.
Considering the plywood fortified, desolate downtown, many people have inquired how I’m managing. My clinic doors have been open since the beginning of May. And, I’m not going anywhere just now. After some very stressful months of applications and institutional bureaucracy, in late May I received assistance from multiple directions, enough to stay afloat these recent months. I received PPP through First Sound Bank, a grant from the City of Seattle Economic Stabilization Fund, and a grant from Amazon for small businesses close to HQ. This has allowed me to continue doing what I love here: caring for my PEOPLE who are coming in. I’ve been able to do so for these months without being panicked about how empty downtown is and how far in the red my clinic is in this Time of Corona.
Downtown? Yes, it’s weird. And, here’s truth. I regularly see patients coming in from Vashon Is., Shoreline and Auburn-Tacoma. So while downtown IS a strange place to be in September 2020, our little sanctuary in Suite 1358 is steadfast and it’s central for people coming for care & support. Like many metropolitan centers all over the world, we won’t be “going back”. We will be going forward. And the world, whoever shows up, will co-create that together. I’m sticking around to participate in the journey downtown, at least through my lease 2023. I’m happy to talk about safety protocols I have in place in clinic.
Less than an hour before I learned of RBG’s death, a young woman I know jubilantly shared with me she had passed the LSATs for law school with a great score. She has her eyes on justice as a public defender. Inhaling, confusion about these dark times, exhaling the determination and passion of a generation primed for the path ahead. All around me, I see middle-aged and elders galvanized, and I see passionate young leaders, engaged! And if you need a spirited example, Yolanda Renee King, MLK’s 12 y.o. Granddaughter. Her Commitment March Speech in August will not disappoint.
Take a moment re-read my encouragements above. Scratch some notes. As always feel welcome to share these musings with anyone you believe would benefit. They are offered with humility and profound, tender care for you and our world. Blessings in these profoundly disorienting times. Inhale, fear and injustice. Exhale mountain air, clear skies, the courage and determination to vote.