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Reflection Practices

Pillars of Our Shared Work #10

Author: Lamia Gibson

Committing to reflection   

Our commitment to reflection is a deeply rooted pillar at Six Degrees that cannot be easily seen in daily operations.  Taking time to reflect and align energetically is our most trusted tool when making decisions about Six Degrees and in supporting the practices of Medicine offered to us all.  We believe taking time is one of the hardest parts of "be-ing" in this hectic dominant society that thrives on us not having time to reflect.

On one level it is a practice of patience. From lineages connected to Buddhist practices of meditation along with life experiences, therapeutic support, the use of Acupuncture and the practices of revolutionaries over time (video: Angela Davis and Jon Kabat-Zinn on Mindfulness and Social Justice), we learn time and again the value and necessity of taking time to sit and be with the myriad of emotions that can come over us at any given time. Being patient with a practice of reflection is the basis of it all.

Ways we reflect:

lighting candles before treatment

personal meditation practices

doing something regularly to connect with our physical selves (Taiji, dancing, stretching, walking, working out...)

doing a thorough wash of our hands and arms as a cleansing practice at the end of a shift

doing a movement or meditation after working with clients to reground

seeking support from other practitioners to support our work (reiki/energy healing/spirtiual healing)

taking time in between clients to internally reground in some way

Taking time to reflect is also a practice of faith in the strength of humanity.  Trusting that we need this time, that even with the most urgent of needs, we must sit and reflect (even if only for a moment) so that decisions we make, words we speak and actions we take are rooted and less reactive.

To bring alignment we need determination and direct action.  In relation with this fire we also need the stillness of calm water.  It is the basis of all Traditional East Asian Medicine, the balance of Yin and Yang.  When Qi stagnates it creates fire and heat builds more heat; conversely, cool and calm nourishes the still lake possible within all of us.  We need to nudge stagnant Qi into flow and we need some stillness for that flow to gain momentum and for the quiet of a calm lake to drown out the roar of raging rapids.

What are your practices of harmony? What offers you a return to your resilient strength on a daily basis?

Nourishing a daily habit of harmonious attention is a tall order in this day and age. Depending on where you find yourself and with which experiences of oppression you navigate, along with the distractions from social media and the realities of making ends meet, it is an absolute shock that we could find any time at all to be still and reflect.  Yet it is this very reflection that can nourish us and align us with the environment, ourselves, the earth and its people.

Your unique ways of taking time are to be honoured.  This Late Summer season, energetically speaking, is all about laying the groundwork for an introspective and reflective Fall and Winter.  We are preparing to go in, how we do that is up to you, that we must do it, is without a doubt.

Reflection can be deeply painful.  Looking in the mirror, being still with the thoughts, attempting to know oneself amidst the tragedies, uprisings and marvellous truths of our time is not easy work.  It is reflective of the struggle we all live in.  I know that for myself (Lamia) I distract as needed, and with compassionate joy, but also at times to excess, with netflix, facebook and all the other escapes that are so effective and appreciated, because facing it ALL is agony.  Sadly, in this time, it should be.  Our Earth is aching and the people of this Earth are aching too, in disturbingly disproportionate ways.

We need to lay down our roots and strengthen for this task.  With reflection, this Late Summer, maybe we can nourish our compassionate hearts and continue to go deeper, together.  In truth, it is only as an informed, reflective and compassionate many that we will save this Earth.  We learn, again and again from Indigenous communities, now at Standing Rock, the devastating impact of Oil greed.  In every way possible we need to get up and do something.

click here to financially contribute to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

The need for justice and harmony is everywhere.  Black Lives Matter continues to act locally and globally, thousands of people around the world choose to work for justice every day.  For some, they must fight this fight in order to live.  We will always make mistakes. On some level, we are all still learning, but to risk not doing anything for fear of doing something wrong is the greatest mistake we could make.  This is where reflection takes centre stage.  If we can nourish the practices of reflection alongside the skills and awareness needed to act, we could make this whole trajectory of destruction turn around.

As a practice of our commitments to ourselves and the practices we share, each practitioner at Six Degrees works with some kind of reflection practice to support grounding and a greater connection to a greater good.  Not saying we do this perfectly, or even regularly or all the time.  If anything, we practitioners are our own best, and painful, examples of being a work in progress.

Our strength is in the commitment to keeping on coming back.  When called in, we return in our unique ways, to the practices that ask us to be still and move inward, connecting with the deeper strength that asks us to create the space to practice the Traditional and Natural medicines offered at Six Degrees.

With preventative and curative health care, we engage in the alignment towards freedom for all.  There will always be suffering. There is no way for any one of us to avoid the ultimate transition from living to dead, but there need not be this devastation we share right now.  We can change; we are changing. And if we are still, we can notice the change already underway.  This is, perhaps, the deepest pillar of Six Degrees.

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