Despite the physical separation, the Shakti in the Mountains’ community is continuing to stay connected with Zoom circles and Facebook Live events. I enjoy seeing your faces on the screen and listening to your voices. Our virtual connection makes quarantining bearable.
I’d be lying though if I said I wasn’t getting tired of connecting via a screen. I typically limit my screen time. For one thing I don’t like sitting still that long, and for another thing, my posture deteriorates the longer I sit in front of one. I’ve been wearing ear buds for so long that there are times when I think they are in my ear because the sensation is still there.
I miss physical touch. I love hugging my friends and I feel the loss despite the fact that I can hug my immediate family.
I miss having a house full of people and working in the garden with you all.
I feel like we have hit the weary phase of this pandemic experience. The initial adrenaline rush is over. We have adjusted, as much as we can, and our new routine is not so new. I’ve noticed that I and my family are feeling more tired and more apathetic. The novelty is wearing off and we are having to dig deeper to sustain our energy.
I share all this to say that if you are noticing a restless feeling or a blah feeling, you are not alone. If you are more prone to get angry or to weep, I get it.
I also get it if you feel guilty complaining. After all, you may think, there are people who have it worse than me.
Brene Brown, the emotions researcher and author, says this type of guilt comes from “comparative suffering.” Comparative suffering is when we compare our suffering to another’s. As you may imagine, comparative suffering does not encourage kindness or compassion.
When we resort to comparison, then we automatically set up a dynamic where one person “wins” and another person “loses.” Comparison fosters judgment and criticism and perpetuates the myth of “not enough.”
Comparison comes from a scarcity mindset, and in regard to suffering, assumes that there is not enough empathy or compassion to go around.
I don’t believe empathy and compassion are inherently finite. Rather, I think the more we allow ourselves to receive empathy and compassion, the more we are able to give.
Some days are going to be tougher than others. Some days you only have 20% to give. On other days, you may feel like you have 80% to give. Both types of days are natural in the evolution of a human. If you choose to engage in comparison, then you move into judgment. And when you move into judgment (of yourself or others), you cause suffering.
Our world does not need any more suffering. Our world needs more kindness.
I invite you to spend time every day practicing kindness to yourself and to others.
Be flexible with your definition of kindness. Kindness is more than the absence of harm. Kindness is a willingness to suspend judgment long enough to look for the unmet need.
We all have needs and not all of our needs can be met by ourselves. That is one reason why community is so important. I don’t have all the answers or the resources and neither do you… but together we have enough.
Thank you to all who are showing up in my life and in the life of the Shakti in the Mountains’ community – I feel your kindness and I am grateful for all the ways we are showing up for each other.
I am grateful for the donations to the Little Free Pantry and the Little Free Library. I appreciate all the kind comments on social media and the lovely emails. I am in awe of the number of people showing up for our virtual circles and for your openness and honesty.
There are no better people to be showing up for than you all. Hang in there. We are going to get through this together.
Kim Bushore-Maki is a soul-driven entrepreneur who understands the undeniable urge to create a business and a life filled with meaning and purpose. Her vision of opening a center where women could heal and grow led her to open Shakti in the Mountains in Johnson City, Tennessee: a place where the creative, feminine energy is nurtured and valued.
Five years later, Kim is still in the flow of supporting and building a healthy, vibrant community and now guides retreats, teaches yoga, and provides one-on-one services for women who want an immersion experience into the life-affirming, Shakti energy.
Kim’s training as a therapist and yoga teacher allows her to safely and compassionately guide women on a heart-centered journey to Self, where women re-connect with their beautiful, authentic spirit.