responsibility as a way out of suffering
When COVID-19 first came to town I was paralyzed. In shock. Locked away behind closed borders from my family and everything that felt familiar at the time. I had moved to Belgium just a few months before and was only in the first stages of finding a routine in my new situation. Normally I would go back and forth between Denmark a lot. This was why it felt rather easy to move this time. Suddenly that freedom was taken away and I lowkey panicked on the inside. I'm telling you - anxieties were HIGH! PHEW!
After the first panicky days had settled down and new creative solutions started popping up here and there, I decided to take action. Like a boss babe and all that. I know from my past with mental health issues that taking responsibility for how I feel is the best way out of getting completely overwhelmed by it. Because what do I want? To just keep feeling like shit and blaming myself for not doing enough? No. I always wish and hope to feel different whenever the waves of Anxiety washes over me. Always. It's just not always that I have the power to stop her. However. Little baby steps helps. As long as I keep moving forward. Closer to love. Even if it's from a crawling/dragging my body across the floor-position. Forward is the way. That first step is the hardest and heaviest ever (!) but right on the other side of that, things feels easier. It gets easier. I start to believe that I will be okay.
When I'm first able to think "okay, I'm here to feel different. I welcome guidance and I am open to step out of my misery", I know it's all about inviting in a little bit of softness and compassion for myself. For me to step into full on solution mode yelling won't work. Calling myself stupid or not enough wont work. Compassion works. Kindness works. And once that was re-introduced to my system I could really start to act.
What is especially hard for me in times of frequent visits from Anxiety, is getting out of bed. I tend to feel like my presence is not important in the world on that day, so I might as well stay at home doing nothing. Which only empowers Anxiety, Shame and all their sisters. It's hard. It's a lot. I felt like that in the beginning of lockdown. I just wanted to eat pasta for breakfast and watch TV all day. Not just one day. Everyday. Like a it was a full-time job. But without making any profit.
One day I finally granted my body a sweaty Yoga-class from an amazing fellow teacher (@wildestyoga love u), I had a bit of an epiphany. I was everyday searching for online classes that could help me friggin just get out of bed in the morning. I had this knowing that I would then feel different throughout my days and weeks. That class couldn't really be found. And at the same time I knew still needed to take responsibility for my own health and feelings, remember? The definition of insanity is "keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result". I wasn't insane just yet, so I needed to do something different. And there it was. Morning Club. With hosting my own classes in the morning it would not just get me out of bed, but also help others in my online community doing the same. That meant I would actually be taking responsibility for my own mental health AND supporting others in taking care of theirs. Bingo.
As the weeks went by Morning Club became a success. It helped us all get out of bed. We met in our virtual Yoga-shala and practiced every morning breath, movement and meditation. So AAAHMAZING and glorious. We journaled together. We took care of our entire being and health. So powerful. Such a strong movement. I could feel the change within me. I could feel the change amongst my fellow Morning Clubbers. We felt different, because we decided to feel different. We took responsibility and were lucky enough to have each other's support in doing so.
That's the beauty of community. When things are hard and we feel like we "just have to make it through", it's twice as hard to do it alone. It might feel scary and very vulnerable to share our struggles with someone else but if Shame keeps us quiet for too long, she will win. The moment we take responsibility for how we're feeling, speak out our hurt and share it with someone who listens, we are setting ourselves free. We are coming closer to love no matter what it is that we're feeling shameful about. Whether it's a "hey I think it's really hard to get out of bed right now" or a very real "I'm not really sure why I'm placed on this Earth", you are never alone. These feelings are not just mine or your feelings. They come from all of us. It's our feelings. It's human feelings.
To belong is a basic human need.
Take responsibility and remind others that they belong on this Earth.
Let others do the same for you.
extra extra: Morning Club still exists to this day. Three months later. Now in a closed Facebook-group where 40+ women from 10 different countries practice together twice a week. Some in the morning, some in the afternoon. Either way it's an online platform where we all gather to share our deepest strengths and sorrows. A place where every individual is showing up - not just for themselves but for every single member in the group! That makes everyone important and so needed no matter what season of life they're in.
If you wish to become a member of the Morning Club, or simply hear more, then please send a message to be added to the waiting list.