Artwork by Luca di Napoli.
Hi Folks-

A friend of mine used to describe this morning activity she would do called "stacking", where she would lay in bed in the morning and mentally stack everything that she was worried about onto her chest before getting out of bed. I remember when she was going through a particularly challenging time, her whispering "pile it on, pile it on" to herself, or really to the universe, as she decided how to deal with the addition of yet one more thing she didn't need or want to deal with.

In my own personal world and in the worlds of many people I have spoken with lately, there seems to be a distinct feeling of the universe "piling it on" of late. Just when you thought you had plenty, maybe even too much, to hold, here comes another thing to be added to the list. And as I receive this energy, and as I watch myself move through wave after wave of emotion as I attempt to adapt, I'm feeling a lot of tenderness — for myself and for all of you who are moving through this stormy weather alongside me.

So, in that spirit, this newsletter collects some ideas that are in dialogue with the intensity of this moment and how we can soften in response to it, how we can move into deeper self-awareness and self-acceptance, and how we can respond not just from our heads but from our hearts.

Of particular note within this mood of tenderness and acceptance, is my most recent interview with writer, meditation teacher, and my dear friend, Sebene Selassie. As I listened back to this conversation a few weeks after it was recorded, it magically had become exactly the medicine I needed — and hopefully the medicine that you need too.

Sebene and I explore transformation not only as a proactive impulse to change something you want to change, but also as a state of deep allowing, where we accept the changes that are already unfolding and allow them to happen even when they are challenging or painful or unexpected. We also talk about coming home to the body, working with chronic pain and illness, how our ancestral trauma and DNA impacts our bodies, and holding space rather than giving advice.

Listen to "Sebene Selassie: What It Means to Be Human"

Sending warmth,
Artwork by Luca di Napoli.

Staying soft vs tightening. I enjoyed this piece by Lisa Olivera about the power of softening: "Tightness erodes clarity. Tightness reduces expansion. Tightness broadens fear, scarcity, and the feeling of being powerless. Tightness keeps me wound in my own Small Self, forgetting entirely about everything that exists beyond the tightness. Tightness looks like turning away from reality. It looks like worst-case-scenario, all-or-nothing thinking. It looks like 'What if this doesn’t go the way I want it to?' and 'I don’t think I can handle this' — like worry embodied. It looks like self-doubt and rumination, catastrophizing and smallness. It looks like forgetting about my body and only listening to my brain."

Are you the same person you used to be? A good friend shared this New Yorker article after listening to my recent podcast episode about archiving the self. It's a good pairing: “Try to remember life as you lived it years ago, on a typical day in the fall. Back then, you cared deeply about certain things (a girlfriend? Depeche Mode?) but were oblivious of others (your political commitments? your children?). Certain key events—college? war? marriage? Alcoholics Anonymous?—hadn’t yet occurred. Does the self you remember feel like you, or like a stranger? Do you seem to be remembering yesterday, or reading a novel about a fictional character? If you have the former feelings, you’re probably a continuer; if the latter, you’re probably a divider."

Getting out of your head and into your heart. I'm a fan of Ann Marie Chiasson's thinking and writing — her book Energy Healing is wonderful — and I just dug up this vintage interview with Tami Simon about activating the three energy centers: The head, the heart, and the body: "The body is saying 'yes' all the time to consciousness that’s going on around it. The head has a different agenda sometimes. The heart is always saying 'yes' as well, as long as you can stay attentive to these things. So for manifestation to happen, it’s really about following what is already happening, and the body is the tracker of what’s already happening. The head has a different thing that it wants to happen, for a variety of reasons. There are lots of things in the world that we don’t want to happen. There’s cruelty, and there’s difficulty, and there’s suffering. What head would say 'yes' to that? What heart would say 'yes' to that? But the body knows what’s going to happen."

"Deep Okayness," or how I attained persistent self-love. An interesting long read about moving beyond self-loathing through shadow work, loving awareness, and psychedelic experiences: "Deep Okayness is not the feeling that I am awesome all the time. Instead, it is the total banishment of self-loathing. It is the deactivation of the part of my mind that used to attack itself. It’s the closure of the self as an attack surface. It’s the intuitive understanding that I am merely one of the apertures through which the universe expresses itself, so why would I hate that? It’s the sense that, while I might f*ck up, my basic worth is beyond question—I have no essential damage, I am not polluted, I am fine."

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Artwork by Luca di Napoli.

The artwork is from: Luca di Napoli, who lives and works in Paris, France.

Link ideas from: Human Stuff, Dense Discovery, and SwissMiss.

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Hi, I'm Jocelyn, the human behind this newsletter. I created the online course RESET, a cosmic tune-up for your workday, as well as Hi-Fi, a journey into the wisdom of the heart. I also host Hurry Slowly — a podcast about personal and collective transformation.
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