Coming to you today with something a little bit different.
Some words from Amber Wheatley, the soul-sister I co-host the podcast ‘Conversations on Being Human’ with.
Before I share her story, I want to fill you in on the impact it had on me.
I had to pause and ask the question, “Huh, how safe do I actually feel in my body?”
Today I’m not coming to you with an answer to that question, just an invitation to read her words and notice what arrives for you.
How is your heart, body, soul, or mind touched by Amber’s baring of hers?
One more thing…
Amber and I are collaborating on a 40 day challenge over the Lent period (starting this Wednesday Feb 17-Apr 3) that we’re hoping invites you to make peace with your body, your life, your self.
If you enjoyed December’s Advent challenge of 24 Reasons to Celebrate 2020, I think you’ll like this too (think simpler, maybe some yoga, with weekends off…)
The official home of this challenge is on on the podcast’s Instagram and Facebook page. I will likely share it here too, however,if you know you want to play along, then connect with us at Instagram.com/cobhpodcast and facebook.com/cobhpodcast
Over to Amber
I frequently find myself saying ‘I am tired’. Only recently did I sit with myself and ask what it is I am tired of.
There are a lot of reasons for me to be tired. I’m working [in a hospital] in a pandemic, I’m stressed about starting a new job. I have an exam coming up in 2 months. My eating has gone to the dogs and I’m probably not fuelling myself adequately to keep up with the anxiety. Small things drain me.
As I’m slowing down, I’m starting to notice that it’s not the small things that drain me. What’s draining me boils down to this: I am tired of Injustice and injustice is insidious.
One day while driving to work, the glare of the sun hit the condensation on my windscreen and I couldn’t see the road ahead. Cars were coming up behind but if I kept going I ran the risk of rear ending the person in front of me. So I slowed down to give myself safety while I figured out what to do.
Then suddenly a lorry was blaring its horn behind me. I froze. I still couldn’t see. They were getting closer. Thankfully the road was quiet and they switched over to the fast lane instead of barrelling towards me. I breathed a sigh of relief as my heating cleared the condensation. I was back on track; we all have those mornings.
As I kept on my drive, I passed the lorry. An angry arm shot out a rolled down window, middle finger extended.
Inside something snapped. Do white men ever have to second guess their emotions? Will I ever feel safe in this body?
The anxiety dial ramped up to a million in my head. In the chaos, the search for peace began. Peace in the world. Peace in myself.
What I needed was a break from the constant reminders of ‘not safe/not welcome /not needed’. I feel like I’m surrounded by them. I’ve been conditioned to look for them to defend my safety. But I rarely feel safe, so what am I defending so fiercely?
Every day getting into my car brought the memories back. Not of almost crashing or of losing vision, but that arm going out of its way to say ‘your needs are not valid in this space’. It even pops into my dream space.
I rubbed an essential oil blend into my mask, shoved a grounding crystal in my bra and went to work. Then peace came. It came in the acknowledgement that for every sign of ‘not safe’ there was a sign of sanctuary and community.
The peace came when I knew that I wasn’t alone. The peace came when I gave myself the space and attention I felt the world wouldn’t give me.
I spent the weekend doing nothing but resting. Resting. While the peace continued to come, I showed up for myself in a world that I felt was telling me: this isn’t allowed.
When Kendra mentioned the idea for a “40 days for peace” challenge during Lent, deep inside me there was a holy hell yes. It was that yearning for peace to finally come in.
This challenge is far from a white-washed wellness attempt at a quick feel good. This is going to help lay a foundation that can create lasting change if you let it.
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