It was one of those moments of truth…albeit a small, privileged one. My wife and I decided to call off the one trip we planned for the year to see our family, who live over 2,000 miles away. We couldn’t justify planning for a summer vacation with our extended family when so many other people are scraping by to afford food and rent in this time of crisis. Even more uncomfortable is that we don’t know what our financial future holds in the coming months.
It was one of those hard phone calls with my sister and mom where we had to tell the central truth and rock the boat. Family exchanges can be really tough; fraught with tricky communication in a sea of historical patterns. Seemingly small stuff can sometimes drag up really big stuff. I called my mom and sister to have the talk. The honest truth must have rung through because we were able to navigate each of our needs fairly well. Though they were disappointed, they understood. My mom and sister would go on the vacation and we would stay behind this time around. We all felt good enough about the mutual decision that we left on a sober but positive note.
It takes something for you to hold firm to what you believe. Because we humans are prone to going along with things even when we don’t like them. When we stop to share our needs, perspectives, or beliefs, it can feel like swimming upstream or walking in a thicket. We can physically sense the increased exertion and energy needed to communicate against the momentum; especially when the stakes are high or very personal. That’s why it’s so appropriate to use the expression, “Taking a stand.” You have to have the posture to pull it off or you will cave in.
This global pandemic offers us the chance to practice moment by moment the art of stand-taking. Whether it is keeping physically distant, putting on a mask to go shopping, helping those in need, or going to a job on the front lines to interact face to face with the public, we are confronted with doing the right thing in ways some of us have not seen in our lifetimes. This is an almost unprecedented time for summoning your deepest power.
Practice: Super Power
Let’s say you need to find your power–your super power–for doing something very important (reminding a colleague or relative to keep their physical distance for example).Taking a stand begins with the body. You will feel an emotional rush or surge in the body…like a wave.
Step 1: Be upright. Lengthen your spine and pull the crown of your head upward without tightening.
Step 2: Center. Breath much lower than you usually do. Come from your belly. This is your source of power.
Step 3: Reach in. Pause for 1-2 seconds to find your words. It will feel like an eternity but take your time!
Step 4. Deliver. Share outward your words in a way that is clear and energetic. Don’t mince words. Get right to it. If you waiver, go back to step 1 and start again. Yes. Start at step 1 you can do it! Play with this, develop your superpower. You will create your own unique voice and way of being in the midst of challenges. Superheroes, especially, need to practice this and so do you. Cultivate your superpower!
Share your acts of WE-NESS at a weekly Journey Wild call (Friday at noon): https://zoom.us/j/801958549. This is our new weekly opportunity to connect and share events that have inspired a sense of compassion and community for us in recent days.