Brace for contact? Or soften, breathe, relax? How are you holding yourself these days? And: summer plans for the Wellness Almanac – a delicious pause of the blog, with all offerings moving to instagram for our short summer attention spans. Reach out if you wanna ‘gram for us for a week!

I often feel like I might be the last lonely person still worrying about SARS-CoV-2… and recently, it occurred to me that there was a better way to approach my worries – I could shape it as a question.

I like this art. It injects a pause for me…

when you put it like that…

(As a wise friend shared with me: you can’t pre-do grief. Even if you know some great loss is imminent, you can’t get through it faster by anticipating it. It’s almost like you’re double-whammying yourself. Tough things may be ahead, also lovely things. And in this moment right now, why squander the lightness and joy that is presenting itself to us, because it might not last?)

I shaped my question, then, as this: What stance do you assume when you sense you need to prepare for something challenging – another wave of a virus we’re pretending has gone away or telling ourselves has devolved to mellow, economic slowdown or inflation or recession or depression, climate wobbles, crises, disruption?

I tend to want to brace and contract. Or clench.

That’s made for a somewhat tiring few years.

Everything hurts more when you’re clenched – the needle you anticipate pricks more than the one you breathe and relax to receive. Years ago, I heard a tale of a man who leapt out of a plane and his chute didn’t open. He fainted. And because he was unconscious, and not braced for impact, he survived with a few small broken bones. He managed to land in a relaxed crumple, I guess. In rock climbing, you can actually make quite easy moves much harder, by overgripping and holding your breath.

Brene Brown recently said something about recovery work being about creating space between the emotion and the action – that pause is a powerful thing. She drew it as two parenthesis/brackets, like a mathematical formula, and I like thinking about that literal space in between stimulus and response… That’s the most generative space, she was suggesting. That’s where a lot of amazing growth and ideas and evolution can come from. It’s not easy to inhabit the discomfort of that space – that little petal of possible spiritual awakening.

When the pandemic was first declared, back in March 2020, I wrote things for clients and columns, that suggested we honour the pause that was being thrust upon us, but I didn’t actually pause, personally. My work didn’t pause. My family didn’t pause. The Wellness Almanac didn’t pause.

This is the 3685th post for the Wellness Almanac, a daily offering that has been maintained for 10 years now.

Is this the most useful offering? Is this the best shape or stance for advocating for wellness and reconciliation?

To really explore that question, requires a breath or two or ten thousand. Maybe some well-formed questions in a survey or conversations with people in and around our communities.

So, the Wellness Almanac’s daily blog post is going to take a pause this summer.

We’ll shift our energy to instagram, and throw wide the invitation to anyone who wants to share their wellness journeys, to take the reins for a week long takeover.

We’ll ponder, reflect, relax, observe, and let new ideas burble up.

In the fall, when we return, we might start with a community survey, we might shift the cadence of posts to weekly, we might run guest essays and photos, we might explore ways to be more in person, or experiential, we might shift to micro-blogging. All possibilities exist in liminal space… so we’re going to swim around in it and explore some of them.

We have a beautiful photo essay in the works, to share, celebrating Tanina Williams’ high school graduation. We have a takeover ferreting out acts of creative instigation around town, with a chance to win a copy of the Creative Instigators handbook. We have all kinds of wonderful humans who make up these communities who we’d love to hear from (email us at pembygrl at gmail dot com.)

We have joy to chase and delight to track and softening to practice.

We hope you’ll join us in some time to regenerate and replenish your energy.

And watch our social channels for updates – and (Most likely our Facebook posts will simply amplify other news that is out there.)

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