Monday, September 22, 2014


I read this short post today. It compares the self-soothing of a new baby with the self-soothing of its new mama. A friend and student who works with trauma recovery posted it.

I know a lot of new mamas right now, so though I am not one, I am becoming familiar with their particular brand of fraying. However, I am well-familiar with an overloaded nervous system of other sorts - any sorts - in both my students and myself. One thing I particularly like is how the author draws attention to self-soothing - that it can manifest as overwork, drug addiction, rubbing feet together or going for walks. In other words, she does not judge one as better than the other, simply recognizing that we all have our own methods, most of them semi-conscious.

I've seen this quote a lot lately:
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
and it was also nice to learn that it's from a theologian, Ian Maclaren.

Simply bringing attention to how I am trying to make things better: ease my suffering, soothe the dramatic effects of samsara, is a lot. Does a lot. Just noticing which soothing methods make me feel better in the end and which do not is crucial. Without insulting my own intelligence, I can use observation to show me the causes and effects of my own actions.

With that, I am going to get off the computer for the rest of today. Turn off the attempting self soothers like social media and getting work done, and spend some time in the September sun. One is not better than the other, but awareness reminds me I've had too much of one and not enough of the other.

Balance, for me, is the best soother of all.

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