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Small & Slow Solutions

Originally written August 30, 2020


To my dear community,

It is now evermore clear to me that the moment we are sharing is a marathon, not a sprint.

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With this awareness in mind, I will be taking a brief hiatus - a breather, if you will - from offering bodywork and yoga instruction. I plan on returning to the office and the mat the week of September 14th.

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I am utilizing this time to resource (return to source) myself, address personal and collective trauma, and assess my place and purpose in the world. I hope to emerge from the healing cave refreshed and available as a sturdy pillar to lean on for those who need rest and care.

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In adrienne maree brown's book Emergent Strategy, Naima Penniman suggests biomimicry of the oak tree as a source of community resilience:

"Instead of digging its roots deep and solitary into the earth, the oak tree grows its roots wide and interlocks with other oak trees in the surrounding area. And you can't bring down a hundred oak trees bound beneath the soil! How do we survive the unnatural disasters of climate change, environmental injustice, over-policing, mass-imprisonment, militarization, economic inequality, corporate globalization, and displacement? We must connect in the underground, my people! In this way, we shall survive."

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In the spirit of interlocking roots, I would like to outsource some resourcing by directing you to my own stand of oaks (mentors, friends, practices) that have helped me greatly in the past few weeks:

  • Yoga nidra/ conscious mental rest - here is a 15-minute body scan meditation that I recorded. I find the practice helpful for fatigue/ exhaustion (mental, physical, emotional, spiritual) and coming home to oneself.

  • Movement and breathwork - Luma is currently offering free and by-donation live classes to support the community in this time of acute crisis. You can also access an on-demand library of classes which features breathwork practices with Valerie Moselle.

  • Robin Penney is temporarily opening up her online class library to support folks, especially those with limited space and time.

  • MELT Method with Allison Marino. Allison teaches live group classes as well as private sessions - the MELT autopilot rebalance and foot treatments have been helping my nervous system tremendously.

  • Trauma Release Exercise, or TRE, is a powerful somatic practice that supports integration and resilience. I learned it as part of the Resilience Toolkit and there are a handful of local facilitators in the Santa Cruz area.

  • Sedalia is a homeopathic remedy for all kinds of anxiety and is an essential in my toolkit. Oh, this would be a great time to remind you that I am NOT paid through any affiliate links NOR am I a doctor...I'm just a fan!

  • I am currently reading The Future Earth by climate journalist Eric Holthaus. Once you get through the scary parts (you know, the ones we're living through right as we speak), this book projects a positive vision for how we could solve the climate crisis and build a just and thriving world for all. It's not fantasy or science fiction - it's a possible future that we are capable of creating together.

  • If you are interested in learning how to create sustainability in your own life whether it be in a garden, your work, your relationships, or your inner life, my permaculture mentor Heather Jo Flores offers a slew of free and by-donation offerings including a free year-long permaculture design course.

  • My comrade Jordana del Feld's website hosts a wealth of meditations and embodiment games, some that she designed to address 2020-specific stressors.

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Years ago during a Silvestre dance class that celebrated the Orishas (of the Yoruba religion of the African diaspora), we danced the medicine woman who tests the medicine on herself first before offering it outwardly. While this is not my own inherited biological culture nor do I consider myself a "medicine woman," I find the image resonant as I prepare to restore and discover what's next...with you in my heart and service to our community on my mind.

Roots intertwined,

Zoë

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