If you feel like you've been living in a space-time vortex lately, you're not alone babe. This past year has been, to say the least, tremendously challenging, harrowing, and heart-breaking — this is in large part because our societal structures are rooted in individualism and abandonment. In the midst of the upheaval and derailment of our most tender hopes and most mundane rituals, we've been left to our own devices or cast off to fend for ourselves in the proverbial wilderness. Who among us witches and queers hasn't felt unmoored from time, identity, and community at some point in the past year?
Given the current circumstances, it's no wonder our nervous systems are in peril. When our survival is on the line, we lose sight of our multi-dimensional selves, and time scatters in the wind. Now more than ever, our nervous systems require profound patience and heaping gentleness. As we stride ahead towards 2023, you might (justifiably) feel as though you've been lashed by a strong wind or sucked into a riptide. And it's only natural that you feel unsteady on your feet, unsure of your foundations, overwhelmed by the options, dismayed by the prospects, and stripped of your landmarks; when the systems that were meant to hold and keep us, ultimately fail us, the rivers of grief and bewilderment rise to meet us.
The question is: how do we rise to meet our grief, our bewilderment, and our traumatized bodies without burning out? How do we tend to ourselves in a time warp, and how to we find our way back to the pleasure, connection, and magic that our human, animal bodies are innately oriented towards?
Small Spells for Nervous System Repair (AKA Escaping the Riptide)
Make time for nothing. If this sounds ironic or impossible, or if you're throwing your hands up in the air in protest because there's so much needing to be done, we're here to validate your frustrations, witch! But listen — you're not getting anything accomplished without rest. You have to re-fill your energetic cup before you can pour it out into the world, and this simply cannot be done without dedicated, uninterrupted time free of expectation, requirements, or demands.
Take a moment to consider how and why your time is slipping out from underneath you. What does your screen time look like on an average day? How much of your time do you spend working? How much of your time outside of work is spent caring for others? What, if any, of your time is left over for deep and restorative rest? How much of your time do you feel really belongs to you? As the answers to these questions bubble to the surface, a new swell of grief might rise along with them. Know that your grief is justified. When we begin to build a conscious relationship with our time, we can better understand our nervous system's wounds, and begin to direct the flow of time and energy back into our own well.
Disrupt the systems that be with radical acts of care and replenishment. Capitalism will never factor in the necessary time, resources, and support required for nervous system repair, nor will it acknowledge its role as a key cause of nervous system disruption in the first place. Be that as it may; every minute of ease we offer ourselves is a seed of liberation planted.
When you make time for blissful nothingness — whether this looks like time spent with our toes planted in the soft earth of the garden and no clocks in sight, or a starlit evening spent basking in a soaking pool under the stars with a friend, or even a quiet evening in front of your altar speaking in hushed tones to your ancestors — you're tending your nervous system. This is sacred time-keeping in action!
Accept that grief is a companion on the path towards your authentic self. When we embrace grief as our ally, our ancestor, and as a tender and well-meaning guide, we can bring clarity to our visions of a world where community support is integral to our systems, language, and way of being. Grief is that bridge to our authenticity, pleasure, connection, and magic that was lost in the time warp; when we grieve, we're remembering a time before nervous system disruption. We're also seeing the brave beginnings of healing! In order to mend our nervous system, we first need to feel our wounds deeply.
As your relationship with your grief, time, and your nervous system stretches into new shape, remember to go gently. When overwhelm rears its head, offer yourself a moment of ease. The small spell of a deep breath, glass of water, or time spent laying on the floor with your eyes closed are just as radical as any ritual!Show more