A Choice we have even when nothing feels certain

I was supposed to be in London today, preparing for an Embody your Feminine Leadership event scheduled for tomorrow, yet here I am in my home, sitting at my new upcycled writing desk, writing to you, trusting that this is where I am meant to be.

I am feeling loads, as I’m sure you are too.

Most of me is feeling grounded, which might sound strange considering all the uncertainty that is going on. I’m even surprising myself.

I’m feeling grateful. Grateful for all of the Somatic Experiencing therapy, embodiment coaching, and trauma and nervous system regulation training I’ve had that has added up to me feeling as connected to my self as I do, even in a time of crisis.

I’m feeling in awe, of the times of personal crisis I’ve lived through. That only 2 years ago we were living week to week as we watched our Tilapia hatchery business fail, and then just when we were about to run out of cash, my husband contracted with a new investor that breathed new life into the business. Awe that miracles can happen, and mostly awe that we don’t realize it’s a miracle until well after the fact.

I’m feeling a need to take action. I’m not interested in stocking up on toilet paper, but I feel like I need to be using my voice more. That the experiences I’ve had and the teachings I’ve learned from have somehow prepared me to be able to give in times like these.

I’m feeling the need to take things slow. Recognizing that my default response has been to rush into ‘the next best thing’ and do it quick, get it done and find myself back in the seat of control. Now that I can name that as a hypervigilant response, a sign that there’s some ‘fight’ energy in my system in response to the uncertainty, I’m realizing now more than ever I need to find a slow and steady pace.

I’m feeling guilt that I haven’t taken as much action as I could have up until now. That if only I coulda shoulda figured things out sooner then maybe I would be further along. I could’ve been more focused and more helpful to people and maybe then somehow people wouldn’t be as freaked out as they are now, and there would be more toilet paper and guns left on the shelves right now.

I’m feeling the humor of that statement. That somehow I, Kendra Anne Tanner, single-handedly could have prevented everything that’s going on right now. I mean, that is kinda funny right?

I’m also not feeling.

I’m not ready to feel the pain of grief that I am miles and oceans away from my immediate family at a time when my dad needs to start cancer treatment, which puts him in the ‘at risk’ category for corona, and it’s now highly unlikely that I’ll be able to be there with him, my mom, my sister and her kids due to travel restrictions.

I’m not wanting to feel the weight of the magnitude of the potential lives that might be loss, and the collective grief that is already happening and is likely to continue.

I’m not letting myself consider the familiar helpless feeling that may come if my household’s streams of income suddenly dry up.

I’m not feeling the vulnerability of the possibility that close friends and family may be catapulted into dire financial or health situations and I may be asked to feed them, clothe them, or just sit with them.

I’m not feeling them, but I know those emotions are there, waiting to be felt on another day when I am not feeling so alone. For a day when I’m more ‘resourced’, a trauma term for having a wide base of internal or external support.

I’m also feeling hopeful. Hopeful that on the other side of this chaos, we land in a place of more wholeness; for ourselves and for the Whole.

Hopeful that, since not one person on the planet is immune in this situation, our vulnerability can unite us.

Hopeful that we use this time of crisis to let ourselves actually feel. Let ourselves be human and let our emotions be a litmus test of where we are on the path to being an expression of Love.

And not only feel, but also to think. About who we are, how we are living, and could there possibly be an opportunity to evolve into a way of being that is closer to who we were created to be.

The venue where Embody your Feminine Leadership was meant to happen tomorrow is called St Ethelburga’s, a Center for Reconciliation & Peace. I subscribe to their newsletter and in their most recent one, the words ‘Opportunity in Crisis’ jumped out at me.

I googled ‘crisis’, curious about what that word really means at its roots, having a sense that there was more to it than just ‘time to ring the alarm bells!’.

Sure enough, it has roots in a Greek word ‘krisis’, which means decision. The word was originally used to mark the turning point of a disease.

I had to laugh when I read that. Here we are in a collective crisis, and for the most part, worrying that the sky is falling. When actually we are missing the whole Holy point.

We are being given a choice.

We are being asked to decide.

Aside from the actual pandemic of Covid-19, my sense is this virus is highlighting another pandemic; call it a spiritual pandemic of fear that leads to behaviors like control, over-consumption, extraction, separation, and decades and generations of trying to survive by coming out on top.

Perhaps the choice we are being given is whether we will continue to live in the grips of fear, or learn how to reorient to Love.

While I’m painting a very black and white picture here, there are nuances, with no straight road going forward.

Perhaps as things as we know it are falling apart, we can just sit with a question for now.

What do we want to do with the pieces? Do we want to put them back where they were? Or is there an opportunity to create a new future? How can we use the pieces to plant seeds for new life?

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