Category Archives: inner wisdom

Inner Self Care in Uncertain Times

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Social media is full of “how to be productive at home” suggestions. This isn’t one of them. Virtually all of us are distracted.

Nor is this a suggestion to be grateful for what you have. I’m hearing too many people proclaim gratitude through tightly gritted teeth.

Even those disciplined souls who typically stay far from the news are tuning in for updates. And there, we get more confusion and chaos.

I’ve been re-reading When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron’s extraordinary reflection on traversing life’s inevitable obstacles.

She writes: “We think that if we just meditated enough or jogged enough or ate perfect food, everything would be perfect” but that, she says, is a form of death. It “doesn’t have any fresh air…It sets us up for failure, because sooner or later, we’re going to have an experience we can’t control.”

And darlings, we’ve collectively hit that spot, haven’t we? We are all in an experience we can’t control. And we’re not only out of control, we don’t know how long we’ll be home, out-of-work, out-of-school, separated from each other, and away from our normal lives. And who knows what we’re going back to?

But there’s tremendous clarity in that. We have no control and we don’t know what’s going to happen. Once we surrender to those facts, the only wise thing to do is to feel our feelings, find our truth, and stay connected with each other.

I think having some honest conversations about what is going on inside us is the most effective way to maintain or restore our vitality. Whether it’s anger, despair, fear, frustration or self-attack, to move forward in these uncertain times we need to begin inside, to feel what we’re feeling with loving acceptance, to discern what we need as best we can, and to proceed from there.

With that in mind, I’m offering two weekly group calls, focused on inner self-care, on a pay what you can basis. There is tremendous power in coming together to connect with others. We’ll meet, connect, and share our stories and wisdom, and I’ll do some coaching.

We’ve tackled all kinds of topics in the last few weeks:

  • Exhaustion from lack of sleep
  • Loss of vitality as we numb and disconnect from ourselves
  • Self-attack as the Inner Critic roars more loudly
  • Worry about overuse of alcohol and food to relax
  • Loneliness and a deep longing for the company of others as we live every aspect of our lives in one place
  • Stress in managing our businesses when everything has changed
  • Anxiety trying to juggle homeschooling and work when you just want to do nothing
  • Fear of the unknown. When will it be safe to leave our homes again? What will it be like?
  • Anger being quarantined with someone they were ready to leave
  • Frustration over not being more productive
  • Sadness and grief over the whole damned mess

I’m offering these support calls twice a week on Zoom:

  • Tuesdays at 8:00 pm Eastern/5:00 Pacific
  • Fridays at 1:00 pm Eastern/10:00 am Pacific.

If you’re are on my email list, you’ve gotten the Zoom links, one for Tuesdays, another for Fridays. If you need those again or would like to get the Zoom info, please send a request to support@terrydemeo.com.

Come whether you’ve got this, or whether you don’t. Whether you are stable or whether you are freaking out. You can come and participate, or hang out quietly and lurk. Or simply come out of a desire to connect. I’ll do some coaching, you’ll have a safe space to talk about your feelings, and we even manage to laugh.

If you are able to contribute, you can do so with Venmo @Terry-DeMeo or PayPal terry@terrydemeo.com–please use the Friends and Family option.

Again, to join please send a request to  support@terrydemeo.com.

African Lessons in Noticing

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Among the many lessons in the African bush, the lesson of stillness unfolded again and again. Many times during our game drives, we were invited to get still and notice what was happening around us.  Putting down our cameras and stopping our social chitchat, we sat still and simply did nothing.

Africa’s a place where there’s stillness in every direction, where the sights and sounds of human activity are completely absent, where not even the hum of a distant highway or an occasional overhead airplane breaks the silence.  Only the subtle presence of nature surrounded us.

Before long, our Shangaan tracker would quietly gesture to something which we hadn’t noticed.

Like the beautiful blue heron sitting beside this lake,

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the impala grazing across the field,

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or zebras hiding in the grasses,

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and hippos disguised as boulders,

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and elephants emerging from the forest.

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The more still we got, the more we saw and heard and learned, and the more we connected with the beauty and wonder around us.

And we can do it anywhere.

This is the place we can become the detached, curious observers of ourselves and access our inner wisdom and intuition.

Lao Tzu teaches, “Empty your mind of all thoughts, let your heart be at peace  . . . you can deal with whatever life brings you.”

Africa is a powerful reminder.