top of page


Hello there! Remember me? Aside from a brief post in March regarding Shamama's response to the pandemic, the last time you heard from me was wayyyyy back in February. For four months I was in what is known in the baseball world (and Dr. Suess world) as a slump. Holy shit, was I in a slump!

I was riding high at the beginning of 2020: hiring an amazing assistant, selling out retreats and workshops, booking a vacation or professional development trip for every month of the year, leasing new commercial space, gathering 23 heart-centered and passionate people who would provide programming and services in said space, working with a new marketing company to "rebrand" Shamama, fielding calls from the media and well-wishers--and so on. Synchronicities and magical events happened to me several times a day. Hell, even my kids were in a great place--one even got accepted into an Ivy League university for his PhD! I was on what Abraham-Hicks calls a "high-flying disc". And then, well, you know, a freaking pandemic!

Like so many people, my partner and I became distressed over our--and our friends' and family members'--financial, physical and mental health. Like so many, we had to suddenly homeschool our son (who is on the spectrum of autism)--while we both tried to work from home. Like everyone in the whole world, we were sleepless from the uncertainty and political aspects of the pandemic response. But it wasn't just the fall-out from the pandemic: On March 4, I signed a three-year lease on a property that had serious maintenance and structural issues (that I couldn't have known prior to signing), and the landlord was unwilling to remedy them before the lease began in April. On March 9, my home's basement flooded from a frozen pipe and it took four months to put it back together. On April 4, my sweet little Chiweenie was mauled by a dog while on a walk around our normally peaceful neighborhood. And there were a bunch of other stressors that I don't wish to mention here, but let's just say my pain-body and PTSD was in full-swing.

What were supposed to be days filled with creative play, somatic healing, expansion and abundance was a shit-show filled with lawyers, contractors, doctors, vets, teachers and other people who were trying to "fix" the colossal chaos.

In the midst of this craziness, I found that I had no creative output--and surely wasn't my usual loose-goosey self. I could barely write a social media post or text to a friend--much less get into my creative flow to write, hold space for others' creativity, or noodle around ideas for new virtual programming. I was in a creative slump. Like so many others, I felt as if I had no agency in my life; no control over all of the "ambiguous loss" (as therapist Pauline Boss calls it). So, like many others, I spent my energy on things I could control: cleaning closets, painting rooms, planting a garden, organizing my files, exercising and baking. The simplicity of these projects with their beginning, middle and end--and clear results--brought me peace in a time when everything is upside down and in limbo.

For a while I tried some "vibration raising" strategies that usually help me and my clients get into the creative flow, but in this time of extreme stress and uncertainty, my usual tried-and-true methods did little to soothe my soul. It just seemed like the time to be absolutely comfortable repotting my plants, watching movies--and working through trauma-informed somatic therapy to settle my nervous system. I mean, we are in a pandemic and people are losing their shit about masks and football while people are losing their lives! It's okay to just take it easy and just beeeeeeee for a while.

And, then came the social unrest following the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. I spent my days unpacking my beliefs about race, police, history, healing, and policy. I read books and articles, listened to podcasts, watched documentaries and movies, followed leaders on social media, talked to friends and colleagues, and practiced somatic awareness and clearing techniques in order to understand my role in systemic racism and unpack what Resmaa Menakem calls the "white body supremacy" in my body. This was tough, and humbling, work. I realized that I wasn't as "woke" as I thought. I realized that it isn't enough to not be a racist, one must be an anti-racist. I realized that I am not doing enough work in my own community to change systems and amplify marginalized voices. I realized that I hold white supremacy in my physical body and this must be released. I realized I had a latent distrust and disdain for law enforcement stemming from experiences in my young adulthood (this was especially difficult to unpack). And, I realized that I was guilty of "Spiritual Bypassing"* when it comes to social justice. You see, calling for the simple tenets of peace, love and unity lets me get away with not doing the work in my own body, mind and spirit to address and clear trauma and emotional cuts (wounds which may stem from this life, or it may be racialized or other trauma carried in my body from my ancestors). And, being silent in a time of grave injustices is a product of privilege.

So many of us feel unmoored at this time. We are taking hard looks at our priorities, our lifestyles, our systems, our partners and wondering what works and what has value. In the last five months, I have seen many friends divorce, buy a new house, consider moving to another country or region, retire, consider a new profession, start writing a book, and start new goals they never dreamed of before. My friend's thirteen year-old recently lamented: "I don't know who I am", and my friend replied: "I don't think anybody does right now". Our personal and collective lives have been blown up, and it is up to us to delicately look at all of those pieces and create something entirely new.

Because I believe that everything is unfolding as it is meant to, and because I believe that this is all part of a greater awakening and rebirth (into a diverse, peaceful, natural, and balanced existence), I know that this deep--at at times unpleasant--work of excavating, noticing, and releasing is all part of the world's healing and evolutionary process. And this is the time to try to follow paths we never dreamed before, paths that may have seemed impassable before.

You know, when a baseball player gets into a slump, he doesn't just give up: he might take a long, hard look at his methods; he tries out some new techniques; he might shed some habits that weren't working for him; he might seek outside counsel; he might try some mental shifts--and then, slowly, his numbers start to improve, and his attitude follows and he feels lighter, more confident and more likely to harness "peak experiences". A creative slump, you see, is actually a gift of insight. We learn that we ever-evolving organisms that require adaptation, adjustment, movement and growth. It is a time for self-compassion and acceptance of what is. The more we treat ourselves with grace, the more we open creatively.

So what had to happen to un-slump myself enough to write this blog post? Well, recently a dear friend allowed me to work (and play) uninterrupted in her home while she is away, and now--ta-da!--I am back in the flow! You see, I frequently advise my clients to designate certain spaces in their home for certain activities (e.g. writing, restoring, moving, reading, playing, and meditating) so that your body and mind know what do in that space. It is so much more efficient to sit in a meditation corner of a room and have your body instantly relax and your mind automatically turn off. And when you dance or stretch in your somatic movement area; your body will know that this is the space to release and energize (and not fall asleep). Further, when you sit down to write at a certain desk, your body knows to be settled (and not dancing around). In my case, all of that "somatic memory" flew out the window because my designated spaces were being used in other ways all by my family (who normally are away at work or school)--and this in a house that was 1/3 smaller because of a flood! Ugh! Thankfully, I was able to find a large and peaceful space that could support the work of my mind, body and soul. Holy shit, am I in the flow! And now I can practice all of those vibration-raising strategies to hit the proverbial ball out of the proverbial park!

In these past four months I have experienced exponential growth; but this came not from continuing with my same perspectives and patterns. Just like a baseball player, I have looked at myself critically, shed some bad habits, got some outside help and played around with some new techniques--and it all started to come together when I was able to get onto a playing field. I know not everyone is lucky enough to have time to process the pandemic through little projects or read a ton of books--or to have sanctuary to work from. I know that many of you are struggling with uncertainty, fear, isolation, and cramped quarters. Please know that you are not alone. And please know that when you get to the plate, I will be your biggest cheerleader--as well as your trusted coach.

For Further Reading:

Boss, Pauline. Ambiguous Loss: Learning to Life with Unresolved Grief. Harvard University Press, 2000.

Kendi, Ibram X. How to be an Anti-Racist. One World, 2019.

Lussky, Michele. Shamama's Top 10 Ways to Raise Your Creative Vibration, 2020

Menakem, Rensmaa. My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies. Central Recovery Press, 2017.

van der Kolk, Bessel. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body Healing in Trauma. Penguin Books, 2015.

Welwood, John. Toward a Psychology of Awakening. Shambhala, 2002.

*Spiritual Bypassing is a term coined by Buddhist teacher and psychotherapist, John Welwood. It is defined as the "tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks".

Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook Basic Square
bottom of page