I went to a sound bath the other day. (Village Yoga hosts Kerry Dorey once a month and it’s an interesting and lovely experience.)
I settled onto my mat, wrapped myself in a blanket, listened to Kerry’s introduction and then closed my eyes. And I noticed that a little bird of sadness had been keeping me company all day, but hadn’t had anywhere to perch, because I hadn’t had the space or quiet to be still enough. And I noticed it, and I think my system did a quick scan and was like, yep, safe here. Now is a good time. And I literally said, in my mind, “sorrow is here. I see you. Come sit in my lap.”
Eyes leaked a bit. Time passed. Sounds were made. I didn’t get lost in my worry about my brother’s marriage ending or my friend’s slow recovery from the loss of her husband. I just let it all be. In that dark warm space. And afterwards, I felt grateful. For the friend who’d shared that way of expressing sorrow with me – instead of “i am sad”, you can say “sadness is here.” Instead of “I am angry”, you can say, “rage is here”. And it’s a way of not getting over-identified with the emotion, of addressing our concern, maybe, that if we feel the hard things, we will be overcome with them.
Sorrow came and sat on my lap a while and moved on and felt different 90 minutes later or the next day, then it had in that first moment.
I was thinking about this safe space when I read a news headline about another First Nations community conducting ground radar searches of a former residential school site and a huge swirl of emotions began circling. These are important stories for us to acknowledge and attend to. And, as a trauma teacher I follow recently shared, healing happens in relationship, and healthy relationship requires a sense of safety.
It left me wondering: what kind of safety can I offer people in my community, so they can feel the feelings they need to feel, in order to heal? What kind of safe spaces are we creating, investing in, tending? How can I invite everyone to a sound bath? How can we resource ourselves with supporting practices, so that we can offer our laps, or our compassion, to the hurt that is around us, and the truths that are surfacing and asking us to help remedy.
Just questions, friends. Offered as gently as possible.
May you find safe spaces when you need them.
May you know how to be one, when it is needed of you.
May all the healing pathways and modalities flourish here, for people to find when in need.