Tiny Habits: I am from…

This month I am offering an unusual Tiny Habit in that it requires paper and pen—this could also be done as a thought exercise so don’t let the props get in the way.

In a time on the planet when safety has become so central—yes, COVID but before that the preservation of human life at all costs has been our Western theme song for a long time… we are not safe is always true while we are perfectly safe is also always true. We passionately reach for one and equally passionately reject/ignore the other.

Have you heard Gabor Mate’s quote?
“Safety is not the absence of fear, it is the presence of connection.”
As I sit each day watching the many bird families doing their thing—the culmination of which is the babies taking to wing, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I think it’s safe to say that the baby birds are not wondering about safety. I believe they may be looking for the right moment instead. Imagine if our inquiry, let’s call it a collective obsession, about safety shifted from the fear-based assumption that we are not safe to an inquiry about where to find safety. “I’m not feeling safe” is a common experience, but often we get stuck with the feeling, and forget to keep moving towards resolution. I would be curious to know what would happen if we shifted the question from the problem and absence of something to a solution like: Where can I locate connection right here and now?

The following writing prompt, or invitation to contemplate, is one way of redirecting yourself around safety—you are connected to your past, even the tender parts so a reach into the past can be grounding and re-connecting.

This is a writing prompt I have been using with young people to begin to land their personal history. I’d say it’s also just a very simple mindfulness prompt.

I am from…

I am from the humming bird banging on my window and the sticker plants stuck in Sasha’s toes.
I am from a state that put mothers out on ether during childbirth and a small town where we could dig our own roots for root beer.

A very random 3 sentences but it’s a wonderful re-set—in trying to name your place in the family of things, you can redirect your attention and illuminate what’s under… sometimes grief, anger, sometimes joy and a sense of interconnectedness. Whatever comes out in lands us in connection… yes, we can also link ourselves to the present and also the future—do this too.
Connection anchors us in belonging, belonging allows us to be right here; the only place we ever really are.

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