How is Your Body, Mind and Your Spirit?

By Shannon Harper

Plant breaking through dry ground, with text for the Seaway Gathering Event

Rev. Megan Visser invites you to join us on April 18th for this event.

Pay attention.
Do you feel that?
In your body? In your blood?
Do you feel your genes writing a new chapter
Of the book your ancestors began?
Continuing the story that started before Time.
Changing the plot for future generations?

Do you feel that as well?
Your muscles, your bones,
Tendons, fibers, absorbing
The weight of the world?
Does your body feel
Like you are moving through water
In a dream,
Slower, more buoyant?
Or does it feel stretched, taut
Like a trampoline,
Deflective, ready to spring?

And that?
Do you feel that almost imperceptible shift?
Like tectonic plates, sliding
So deep you forget they are there.
Until there is an earthquake.
Or tsunami.
Or all at once you realize a mountain has formed
In your body
While your mind was on your skin
Your breath
Your temperature.

Friends, how is it with your bodies, minds and spirits these days? Are you doing regular check-ins with yourself? Noticing some things that weren't there before?

In hard times I go back to my toolbox. I have all kinds of tools in that magic box. Tools that came already inside, gifted to me by my ancestors, from the hard times they endured. My life experiences have afforded me many sets of tools too, from being a single mother with limited income, from dealing with health issues and an invisible disability, from extracting myself from unhealthy relationships and environments. Some of these tools work better than others. Some are broken and I really need to replace them. I said I have a toolbox, I didn't say it was a perfect toolbox.

I'm finding though that some of my "go to" tools are not working or not accessible right now. These times we're living in are unprecedented. Of course the same old tools aren't going to work. I'm digging into that box, pulling out tools of wisdom from my great grandmother about cleanliness and from my mother about healing herbs. I'm remembering I have dusty (and a little rusty) tools from our years of homeschooling and living frugally. And I'm seeking out new tools for taking care of myself, building resilience, and caring for my people.

Our new Online Engagement Studio was dreamed up to provide a space for people to learn, practice and connect with tools that can help us survive and even thrive in this time. At our first Studio Rev Megan Vissor will share with us practices rooted in somatics that help us connect with our bodies and notice how they are faring during pandemic. Our bodies are going through everything our minds and spirits are right now and yet sometimes we forget the connection. All those Zoom meetings and screen time, the daily reports and check-ins, they are having a toll on our bodies. And before you say “I’m not sure how another Zoom meeting is going to remedy the problem of too many Zoom meetings!” let me explain that this is no ordinary conference call. Rev Vissor will be showing us techniques using our bodies and voices that we will practice in real time. And then we’ll break into smaller groups to practice some more and talk about how it feels to use these tools. During small group practice you’ll have the option to meet with an affinity group (POCI, Youth, Trans/Non-binary, Disabled, etc), with a randomly chosen small group, or just practice with your family or by yourself in your home. Studios are where you show up in sweats (top and bottom - we all know you're wearing sweats and shorts on the bottom any how!) ready to engage. I’m looking forward to adding these tools to help ward off “Zoom butt” and online fatigue, into my toolbox.

For more information and to register visit our Rooted for this World event page.

About the Author

Shannon Harper

Shannon Harper joined the Lifespan Faith Engagement Office as Co-Director in the summer of 2022. Previously, Shannon worked with the Central East Region since the Fall of 2016.

For more information contact .