A Message from Dina Glouberman
I find myself wanting to reach out to everyone I can during these challenging and difficult times. So here I am.
Things fall apart.
So many of the structures that we rely on physically, psychologically, socially, spiritually are disappearing fast, and we don’t know what the world will look like when this time passes. This is profoundly disorienting and anxiety provoking. And of course I don’t need to tell you that many people around us are having terribly difficult times as cafes, theatres, restaurants, shops and small businesses generally close down without financial support, people in the gig economy are left high and dry, self employed people may be losing clients, and financial security seems to disappear in a minute.
Many people reading this email may be in this situation. I’m so sorry about this, and I hope that our government will decide to provide the much needed support. Add to that the closing of borders, the grounding of planes, the people unable to get to the funeral of loved ones, or the birth of a new baby. On the positive side, it is great for the environment, but keeping foreigners out and stopping journeys of love also have very difficult implications. We also get crucial but conflicting information from right and left and up and down, in each email, text, what’s app and social media message, and we don’t know what is true and what is not true. How not to feel confused?
Things fall apart, it seems.
We come together.
Yet, this is a time when many people are beginning to take responsibility for each other in a new way, reaching out to the vulnerable, phoning their friends and checking that they are okay, setting up or joining volunteer groups, finding their own way to be of service.
I applaud what everyone is doing, and there is not much I can add to help with these wonderful efforts. But I do want to say that there is also an inner level to what is going on, and we neglect that at our peril.
If you are feeling anxious, lonely, frightened, depressed, panicky, confused, or any other uncomfortable feeling, this is not your personal neurosis you have to live with. Recognise that you are not alone. You are part of a difficult world, many others are feeling this way, indeed some of these feelings are not your own but are picked up from the general emotional aura, and there is a reason you feel this way. Look at yourself, and at all the others you can picture who may be feeling that way, with a look that combines compassion for your pain and respect for your magnificence.
These words “social distancing” and “self isolation” which are bandied around don’t just denote a physical reality. Being confined in your home, particularly if you live alone, may be delightful for some , but for many it is traumatic and endangers mental even physical health. Solitary confinement is a torture. Loneliness is a risk factor for illness and mortality. So it is not good enough just to remove social contact without thinking about how to supply what we need in some other way.
Remember that we are physically distant but we can decide to be socially, emotionally and spiritually close.
I find that I am naturally checking in my mind everyone in my life, and wondering how they are, and wanting to reach out to them, as if to gather them into the fold, into the home and hearth, the community of loved ones. And indeed people are phoning me to check on me, and I am phoning loved ones I normally think of and move on because I’m too busy or I think they are.
Imagination and Transformation.
Luckily we do have means from phones to Skype, Zoom, Whatsapp and social media to connect to people. But we can also connect by sending light and love and healing, and imagining our loved ones and the vulnerable people in our life smiling with joy and healing. As someone wrote to me after a cancelled workshop, “It’s such a very strange time and if ever imagination and transformation was needed, it’s now!”
Remember that in the world of the imagination, we don’t need to be physically present to be with people, to love them, communicate with them, be a healing presence.
I suggest that as often as you wash your hands to protect yourself and others physically, you can think of someone you love, or the neighbourhood you live in, or a local hospital, or the people in a passing ambulance and shed light and love on them and see them healing. If the washing is 20 seconds, you can spend a few more for this precious activity. And if this inspires you to contact them as well, or offer some help, or ask for some help, then do it. Even asking for help makes a connection that benefits both. Do try also co-listening or oekos by phone, Skype or Zoom to deepen your connections.
The other thing that is so important is to keep our stability, and align with our inner light, and indeed live in that light as much as possible. There’s nothing like light to make our whole life holy, rather than full of holes and loss. Whenever you think of it, step back into the light, and shed light on yourself and on the day ahead. You can picture the events of the day and suffuse them with light.
You may all have your own methods of meditation, which can include breathing, gardening, yoga, or chanting. But if you haven’t already tried the meditation on my website, please try it. Follow this link and then look at the “Morning Meditation and Visualisation.” If you’ve already bought my “You Are What You Imagine” double CD or MP3, this is the tenth Imagework exercise. It is a wonderful way to align yourself, mind, body emotion, and soul, and to get messages for the day, shed light on the day, visualise your intention, and send love all around.
Perhaps you might try this little sequence of gestures that came to me when my life was tough:
I put my palms out and say: Thank you. And then, I think of one thing I can do to make the situation better, and do it.
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