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  • Writer's pictureLaura Perry

Taking a Deep Breath

It's been an unsettling year. Many people are reeling from the Brexit vote, the American presidential election, the various natural and human upheavals around the world, even the sudden cluster of celebrity deaths. In my household this year, we ran through a spate of very unusual computer problems followed by serious health issues that culminated in major surgery.

And of course, the weather's being weird: Here in Georgia, our first frost is over two weeks late and half the trees still have all their leaves on them. There are over 10,000 acres of wildfires still smoldering in north Georgia, western North Carolina, and east Tennessee, with the smoke drifting all the way down to Atlanta where we're under a Code Red for air quality today. Not your typical year.

Even people who aren't normally sensitive to the energy around them are feeling the totality of it all. But for those of us who are sensitive, it's positively overwhelming. So what am I doing to keep an even keel in this storm?

That photo up top is my set of runes. I made them from a branch I cut off one of our hazel trees, and they serve me well. But I'm not using them for divination. All the eddies in the quantum foam (apologies to Michael Crichton) are making divination a little dicey for me right now. Even my trusty Tarot cards are telling me to just take a deep breath and quit trying to see where it's all going.

So that's what I'm doing: Taking a deep breath. Well, not literally, at least not outdoors (wildfire smoke, don't you know). But I'm not going to do anyone any good if I'm freaking out, allowing myself to become hysterical, allowing my "lizard brain" to take over so I can't think rationally or hear my Little Voice.

I know there's still a path forward. I just can't see it, and that's scary. I'm Indiana Jones, waiting to take a step out over the abyss. We all are. We have to trust that the bridge is there, that we won't plummet into the deep if we dare to move forward.

So for now, I'm using those runes to ground myself. I'm picking one at random each day and letting it guide me, letting it gently direct my thoughts toward what's here right now, not what might be, not what I'm afraid could happen, but just what's solid that I can hold onto in this moment. Because that's what I need: something to hold onto. It's there, but sometimes it's hard to sense when all around is in chaos.

If you have some kind of meditation or divination tool that you use, like Tarot or runes, you might give this method a try. Heck, you could even randomly pick words from the dictionary or colored pencils from your art supplies. Then let the item you choose nudge you toward what's here, what's solid, what you can hold onto as we speed forward along this roller coaster ride.

Because we can't get off the roller coaster. But if we have something to hold onto, maybe we can get through the scariest parts with a tiny bit more ease.

In the name of the bee,

And of the butterfly,

And of the breeze, amen.

#culture #psychology #spirituality

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