I believe that our body-spirits are created to live in a village-sized community. While I create a healthy life for me and my family, I live a white middle-class lifestyle. Everyone who does is made responsible for a little empire. This ‘wonderful life’ is modeled on that of kings, queens, lords, and ladies who had to hire lots of help. It is work to manage the stable/cars, the books, the housekeeping, the nannying, the property, AND go to work.
Today I live in a world that makes it OK to be without a village, to be ‘on your own,’ to eat alone with no real connection to land or the naturalness of bodies caring for one another. In my world it is normal to pass for days without a dance, song, or kiss from the wind. In my world an individual gets relief by running away from home. You have to spend money to get a break.
And what if you are sensitive and need to care for your mental health in particular ways? What if you are an orchid? Dr. Tom Boyce calls people like me orchids in his book “The Orchid and the Dandelion: Why Some Children Struggle and How All Can Thrive.” A lot of people I coach are in this group as Mystics, Artists, and Healers. We are susceptible to depression. Michael Gerson, a Washington Post columnist offered a sermon about his own depression at the Washington Cathedral. It’s revelatory. Watch it here.
I recently met with Sandra Kim from everyday feminism who helps people address and heal from systemic oppression. Her family immigrated from Korea. She sees most of us in the U.S. as displaced immigrants who gave up villages for the empire. One two or seven generations later many of us are so disconnected from the land and our natural body wise interplayful social life that we are in tatters by the end of the day.
This is a particular challenge for white people who thought personal financial freedom was the goal. But something more is going on. Bodies in times of stress need groups. We need sacred space and time to center into Great LOVE. We need to know we belong. We need to be taken personally, not impersonally. We need this on a body level.
Something systemic is going on. One in five girls is diagnosed with depression. Mental health among young people is at a crises level.
Are we growing too sensitive for this world of industry, cars, and skyrocketing complexity? It’s not hopeless, but it is a challenge to dance between overwhelm, rage, and despair! This feels like a major initiation that may be unique to privileged white people.
Chronic sensations like these may be systemic to the collective body. Join me in exploring how to notice, address, and create sacred paths for the differences in our bodies systemic and personal experience of rage, despair, and hope. Click here.
With Thomas Merton, and with holy hope I am still confident…
“No despair of ours can alter the reality of things; or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always there. Indeed, we are in the midst of it, and it is in the midst of us, for it beats in our very blood, whether we want it to or not…the fact remains that we are invited to forget ourselves on purpose, cast our awful solemnity to the winds and join in the general dance.”