How do we stay fully present with ourselves and others when there is so much happening in the world? So much trauma, death, hate, and fear. I have asked myself this as worldwide, humanity was hit with the COVID-19 pandemic, as the United States experienced even more social injustice and political unrest in 2020 and 2021, as global warming is becoming even more apparent and wildfires are devastating the continent in the west.
I have had to look deeper into myself and my identity as a person of Chinese descent born in the United States, a native Californian. How do others see me? How do I see and experience myself? These past two years, it has been really important for me to pay attention to what I’m experiencing inside myself. I noticed my fear, triggering and hypervigilance when hate crimes began to be directed towards the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population around the nation. Reading the news was disturbing. I began to scan the faces of those around me to see if they reacted negatively to my presence and I began to scan for danger walking down the street of the small rural town that I currently live in. Even though nothing bad has happened directly to me, just reading about it in the news and hearing folks talking about it was triggering. I had never experienced that hypervigilance before and immediately sought my own somatic therapy support so I could reduce or eliminate the symptoms and come back to my baseline, a place of centeredness and love. I also began to realize from the inside out what a BIPOC (black, indigenous, person of color) individual most likely experiences day to day. So this, the pandemic, and everything else…..all on top of my normal daily stresses…there was and is a lot swirling inside.
It is not life as usual these days and I encourage you to take even better care of yourselves and your loved ones. Slow down and pay attention to what’s happening inside you. Be fully present with yourself and with those you love. Center yourself and tap into the well of love that exists in each of us. Beam love out; beam love to yourself. Writing this is reminding me to take a moment to notice my breathing and to tap into my well of love. That is how I plan to stay fully present.