I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that every day there is at least one new story which describes an act of violence or a gross miscarriage of justice. As I scan the paper, looking at headlines, I see one article after another highlighting the suffering of so many people, in particular people who are marginalized and who have less power and privilege than those who govern.

After scanning the headlines, I allow myself to have all my feels. I usually begin with anger.

Anger is my shield. It protects me from the unwanted feelings: the emotions which make me feel vulnerable and overwhelmed. When I feel angry, I rage. I hurl insults, I threaten retribution, and in general, I get scary.

Because I know my initial anger is both a shield and a weapon, I make every attempt to express this feeling in isolation or I ask the permission of a willing witness who can hold space for me. I have noticed that the expression of anger is an important first step toward getting unstuck.

After my initial outburst of anger, I sit with my underlying feelings.

The underlying feelings are harder for me to feel. Feelings like sadness, despair, and fear often are present. These emotions can feel like a tsunami wave and are often accompanied by anxiety. When the anxiety is intense, I have learned to reach out for support as well as to use a technique I call wave breathing.

Wave breathing is just like it sounds.

I like to imagine I am sitting on a beach, watching the waves roll onto the shore.

As the wave builds (the inhale), I feel the unwanted feeling.

As the wave recedes (the exhale), I let go of the unwanted feeling.

Breath in and feel, breath out and release.

I have noticed that within a few minutes the intensity of the unwanted feeling subsides.

Once I have made space for my feels, I then engage in a mindfulness practice which helps me ground and redirect my energy.

(Note: Some days the feels are so big that I have to practice grounding multiple times before I can redirect my energy. Please give yourself permission to rest and to care for yourself without any timeline. You will know when you are ready to move forward. Trust yourself.)

One mindfulness practice which works very well for me is crafting.

Using my creativity to make something is medicine for my heart. I love having tangible evidence which reflects aliveness, expresses my thoughts/wishes/dreams, and puts beauty into the world.

As I craft, I let my mind empty and focus on the task at hand. Depending on my mood and my need, the type of craft varies. Sometimes I need a repetitive task. The act of doing the same motion calms my nerves and is perfect for reciting a mantra. When I need this type of movement, I use crochet. Insert hook into yarn, breath in. Yarn over, breath out. Insert hook into yarn say, “I am,” yarn over say, “here.”

If I need to get a big feeling out, I like to use color and form images. Many times I move body first. I dance or I do a yoga flow practice. I let the chaotic energy move through me. Once I feel less antsy, I sit with blank paper and let my hand move across the page, using color to express my feelings. Sometimes the images I draw are abstract and other times I draw symbols which reflect what is rising up within me. (I love using chalk pastels for this practice.)

Another way I like to engage with my creativity is to find a project in which I learn a new skill. I particularly enjoy when another person has gathered all the materials and the instructions, so I just get to show up and play.

Crafting has multiple uses. Crafting is a way:

  • To recycle and repurpose items. Not only does reusing an item save money, reusing also prevents more trash from going into the landfill.
  • To beautify space which encourages pleasant feelings and provides inspiration.
  • To encourage gifting and to share what one makes with others.
  • To slow down and get centered.
  • To engage in activism. Craftivism is a mindful and kind way of supporting causes which reflect your values.

For these reasons and more, Shakti in the Mountains has opened a Makerspace. We invite you to stop during our Open Hours where you can use the materials present to create (freelance or pick a project), bring your own project, or simply hang out with us. There is no fee to participate.

The Shakti Makerspace is a part of a new program called School of the Lost Arts. More information is forthcoming about the new school, be sure to sign up for our newsletter to be one of the first to know.

Wishing everyone a beautiful week!

Love,

Kim Bushore-Maki

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.

Since 2010, Kim continues to build and to support 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.

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