I have been opening my eyes to greet the St. Louis Missouri sunrise to this heavy, tingling feeling right smack in the center of my chest.
I know I am not alone in it; I have heard from clients who have unexplained anxiety sensations out of nowhere, friends and family who have dramatic situations unfolding, and unexplained bodily pains.
I practice subtle energy medicine and work with the connection of the mind, body, Spirit, and home. I strongly believe in the power of oneness and collective consciousness, and I am in that work most every day. Yet, I have noticed spurts of myself forgetting my own chaos and discord is related to everyone else.
For the sake of my mental health, I try not to be a news watcher in general. The misleading, money-making efforts of the media can be an off-putting waste of time that rarely brings me joy. But while Russia’s unprovoked attack of Ukraine unfolds before us, that feels very shallow and self-absorbed to write.
I can’t not look, and I am not allowing myself to look away. I know the feeling that I am waking up to and the gloom casting over the world is interconnected because we truly are one. The people trudging through the debris from the attack don’t get a choice. An elderly woman struggling to walk through the wreckage as she hunches over her cane. A woman holding her baby close to her chest, with pain and confusion in her eyes. Soldiers walking through mud trenches, some with guns bolstered, and some peeking over ledges with anticipation and fear of what they may see coming.
I can’t not look. It’s heartbreaking, devastating, disgusting, and it’s a part of the collective energy of who we all are.
The Ukrainian people don’t get a choice now, so I am not giving myself one either—I am looking, acknowledging as the situation continues to escalate, so does the need for help.
We can all stop and help Ukraine now. Here are five ways to do so if you haven’t already. While money from emergency relief is certainly needed, not all require money.
1. Practice Tonglen. I recently took part in Elephant Journal’s Maitri course, and what a beautiful journey it was. It sparked an old practice I learned in my BTB Feng Shui training, called Tonglen Meditation. I have found it has helped me to cultivate a being state of not only safely living with all emotion but transmuting it. It has been my go-to the mornings I wake up with an elephant of pain on my chest.
The meditation practice is four steps:
1. Open and feel the space around you, sensing suffering and happiness.
2. For a few breath cycles, breathe in, visualizing or sensing suffering as black, dark, and heavy. Breathe out, imagining or feeling white, bright, and light.
3. Call in your own situation. Think of a person or event that has caused pain, and repeat step two, but with your situation in mind. Here you are connecting with the pain and touching relief, being in the resonance of transformation.
4. Do this for all beings. When you feel ready, take it a step further and do this for everyone in the world. When we touch the suffering on the in-breath, we can imagine doing so, so no one else has to. We can imagine and feel giving happiness, joy, and light that may help all on the out-breath.
2. Stop small wars and fighting. I practice subtle energy medicine and work with the connection of the mind, body, Spirit, and home. I strongly believe in the power of oneness and collective consciousness, and I am in that work most every day. Yet, I have spurts of forgetting my chaos and discord is connected to the world.
Recently, my husband and I had a distressing situation with someone. We hired him to fix something at our home; we stopped trusting him when we felt he was taking an exceedingly long time to repair our house and accused our insurance of trying to cheat us. After several disturbing email sequences, I took for mediation. I also shared honest, fact-based reviews, written from my perspective, so others didn’t experience what we did.
While we received suggestions on the next steps, the mediators were apologetically unsuccessful at mediating the situation. We then received an email from the man. He wanted the reviews down. Integrity is my number one value, and I struggled with the decision to remove them, as doing so felt I was going against my value.
After speaking with a good girlfriend, doing Tonglen with this situation, and acknowledging the discord in Ukraine, I decided I could do my part by taking a step to putting an end to this mini-battle in my own life. It’s still unfolding, but the discord only brought warlike energy to the collective, which I acknowledge was not helpful.
We can all look at the personal wars we are fighting and ask, who is the Putin in our life, and how can we put an end to the discord? Take a step today to conclude it.
3. Book an Airbnb in Ukraine. Airbnb is making it possible to book reservations in Ukraine to send immediate monetary assistance to people in hard-hit areas. They are waiving fees so all of the money goes directly to the host. Some stays are as little as $20 a night. My inner Feng Shui Practitioner has experienced interconnectedness through our homes and places we sleep, and I very much appreciate this way to help.
4. Look to friends and local businesses who are creating pathways to donations. Many people are raising money using their small business products to donate to raffles and generate financial help.
Victoria Martin Jewellery is donating a beautiful sunflower necklace as a raffle prize to raise money to help the Ukrainian people. It’s a gorgeous, handmade-in-silver set with a Vincent Quote and encourages us to look to nature to find beauty all around.
Tamay and Me has a raffle to win a £150 TAMAY & ME gift card, for £10 entries.
Olivia and Oliva fibers in the Netherlands are raffling off a €150 gift card, a full collection of their Spring Meadows Collection (six skeins), and three dyed to order skeins in a colorway and base of your choice.
Emmanuel FineArt is donating an acrylic print of Pittsburgh 20 x 30 to help raise money and aid for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine.
5. Visit Global Citizen for up-to-date ways to help. Global Citizen connects Global Citizens and artists to call on world leaders, corporate leaders, and philanthropists to do their part.
They have a page titled, “25 Meaningful Ways You Can Help Ukraine,” and they are keeping it up to date as the situation evolves. Check out the website here.
With so many ways to help, please just do something. If you have another avenue of contributing, please do share in the comments. May peace reign.