Anti-Anxiety Tool of the Week
Feel your feet. When I am are upset or anxious, I tend to head way off in the future or back into the past. I am certainly not aware of the present moment or my body in those times. When a friend notices that I am lost like that, all bunched up with worry, she reminds to simply feel my feet. To just become aware of them, feeling the sensation of the socks or shoes I may be wearing, or the ground or floor I am standing on. This brings me back in to the present moment. To more of an ahhhhhh place, where there are often resources for facing whatever is happening in that moment.
Just a few days ago Lawrence and I noticed that our rainbows were back. "Ours" because they show up on the walls of the little hallway that connects our living room, bedrooms and bathroom. They appear for a week or two a couple of times a year when the sunlight, coming through the east-facing bathroom window at just the right angle (42 degrees), shines on the beveled edge of the mirror on the hall side of the bathroom door when it is open just enough. And voilà, the light is split into clear and soul-touching hues of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet that grace the center of our house.
You might wonder why I am writing about rainbows in the midst of such a hotly contested, and yes, combative, election. In part that's because we just started seeing the rainbows again. And they are always such a nice surprise. And in part because rainbows are not just pretty playthings, or airy fairy emblems. They are symbols of hope, an amazing combination of deep beauty and mathematical precision, elegant little signposts pointing to the nature of the cosmos. God's angels of the 42 degree angle.
It takes awareness and sensitivity--and courage--to notice and appreciate beauty. It takes courage to have hope. It takes courage to be kind and compassionate, especially in a time when name- calling, bullying and theatrics pass for qualities of leadership. In a time when compassionate and hopeful people are called out at "snowflakes."
Ah, but in my mind, snowflakes are first cousins to the rainbow. Miraculous little amalgamations of beauty and precision. And don't forget--a whole lot a snowflakes together are known as a blizzard, which is anything but weak. And what happens when you put a whole lot of snowflakes under whole lot of pressure? You get a glacier.
Glaciers press and groan their way down to the sea, taking everything in their paths with them, calving icebergs of exquisite blue beauty. Eventually they melt into the vastness of the ocean, only to rise and begin the whole heaven-and-earth moving process all over again.
So, in this season of division and struggle and anxiety, take heart. Rainbows still form when light hits a prism at just the right angle. Snowflakes still materialize as gorgeous little pieces of amazement, which can end up as part of great objects of power. These thing will not change. The Good Big Thing will not change. We can still love and laugh. And perhaps--hopefully--find some common ground in our common human needs for hope and wonder and beauty.
Until next time.
Rainbow across field, Karson DJ, unSplash
Rainbow on a hand, Ruan Richard, unSplash
Feet, Toa Heftiba, unSplash
Snowflakes, Aaron Burden, unSplash
Blizzard, Zac Durant, unSplash