Take Care Of Your Self. Follow Your MOJOE – Joy, Oxygen & Ease
As I’m watching refugees fleeing from Syria, desperately searching for safety & shelter in Europe, I’m thinking anxiously “What can I do?”. Thinking of my recent trip to South Sudan where I worked with refugees of genocide, slavery, wars & PTSD… Thinking of the people with AIDS I worked with in the 1980’s… Thinking of my own inner-refugee always seeking refuge from danger & trouble. I’m sure there is something I can do… but what?. I know that right now, it’s time to take care of my Self & get present. Shift my attention from ‘anxiously thinking’ to ‘opening my heart & breathing’. After doing so, the question “What can I do?” feels different… I practice n a m a s t e – “My soul-Self recognizes your soul-Self & in this Self we are one”
I was born in a refugee D.P. (displaced persons) camp in Germany after the war and lived there for a year and a half before my parents immigrated to the newly established state of Israel in 1948. I lived in Israel for 23 years but didn’t felt safe there. I moved to Paris in 1970, and didn’t feel like I belonged there either. When I moved to NYC in 1974, I felt the safest I’ve ever felt anywhere in the world, but after a year of living here I had a nervous break down, and for the first time in my life I had to face the demons of my existential anxt as a gay refugee & displaced person. That was also the beginning of a life journey & a spiritual path I’m celebrating a 40 years anniversary this month, of inner work & personal growth through yoga & meditation, psychotherapy & recovery, healing & transformation, breath, movement & dance.
I celebrate 40 years of living in the same place in NYC – which has turned into a safe sanctuary & sacred space. Here I worked on Self-healing with hundreds of people & groups, many who passed on and whose energy I feel in the building every day. Here I practice daily facing & embracing my displacement trauma & refugeedom. Moving @ the pace of the breath, Following the rhythm of my heart & Celebrating the present. When I get triggered out of this pace & rhythm, which I call ‘The frequency of love’, I try to waste no time suffering in vein, and practice finding my way back to the pace of the breath & to the rhythm of my heart – I practice n a m a s t e.
For the last 40 years of my life, I’ve been working on being happy with my Self, and create a 24X7 practice which evolved into The BREAZE. Learning to take care of my Self & feel safe & secure in my own skin, before helping others feel safe & secure in their skin, goes against my grain. I, like many other refugees, understood the golden rule -“Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” as “You’re not worthy of being alive (& breathe) so abandon yourself (hold your breath) & do for others (breathe for them) to keep them alive so you can survive”. This faulty belief pushed me a couple of times off to the deep end. I had to learn that healing & taking care of my Self meant being willing to affirm life 20.00 times a day, open my heart & have compassion for each breath I take. Breathe with ease & Move @ the pace of the breath with grace. Follow the pulsation of my heart & dance & celebrate life & love it all the way. I had to learn to reclaim the joy I was born with & follow my MOJOE – joy, oxygen & ease, and share Self-healing energy with others.
This week, when I was watching the news and saw Syrian refugees trying to get into Hungary after days of walking without food, and being denied entry – it brought up the feeling of being a helpless & displaced refugee – unworthy of living. When the question “What can I do?” came up, I felt a wave of anxiety & depression & was gasping for air… What kind of help can you offer when you’re in a reactive, desperate co-dependant state, fueled by self-centered anxiety & stress? Opening my heart 2 the breath, and moving at its pace, I felt relief & could celebrate the present and make it sacred. In that state I was able to breathe compassion to the Syrian refugees and feel @ one with them. At this time, that’s how I can best help – without acting out of survivors guilt or egoic-grandiosity that ‘it all depends on Me’.
Become a practitioner of sacred celebration as a way of healing old wounds. You can deal with all kinds of unbearable circumstances if you keep your focus of attention on the present, open your heart and breathe with ease. Ignite your spirit, dance & celebrate. You can love your challenging experience all the way, and make it sacred! Through the ages, people have transformed unbearable situations such as hollocaust, slavery, brutalities & atrocities. It takes courage, skills & resilience – against the odds.
I have witnessed this phenomenon recently in South Sudan, working with Dr. Richard Brown with refugees of genocide, slavery, wars & PTSD. Here is how a friend who saw a video of our work there described it: “I saw a really cool party in what Westerners might call “the middle of nowhere.” Great music was playing. People were dancing. Most anyone would have wanted to be invited. From the outside, you wouldn’t know that the attendees were in the midst of immense personal, physical, social, economic and political challenges. Somehow the facilitator had helped them reclaim the joy they were born with. You could see it on their faces. You could feel it in your heart”
We experience existential angst daily in our 21st century global world. Whether you’re in NYC, Berlin or in Juba South Sudan, in Syria or in Palestine, in Israel or in Iran. Notice how you take care of your Self?. When you’re speaking to a person in authority, trying not to sound afraid or insecure… When friends or family are struggling with issues which you don’t know how to help with… When you’re being treated in an ugly way by a husband or a wife, a friend or a stranger.… When you hear of a tragedy, or have a loss that’s hard to bear…. Do you get on your case and torture yourself? Do you struggle with anxiety & stress by isolating & feeling embarrassed?…. Do you react & loose it?…. Do you doubt your right to exist?…. Is your todo list way more important than just Being? Do you outsmart yourself, go into your head & try to understand your pain & google your anxiety or insecurity away?….Do you act it out or act it in? That’s when we mostly need to take care our Sef & generate compassion for the struggle of being human. That’s when we need to open our heart & breathe with ease. 20.000 times a day (that’s as many breaths we take) you can practice n a m a s t e, and then take action – or not.
It’s not easy to make that shift anxiously thinking, to opening the heart & breathing compassion, because fear, insecurity, stress & anxiety are so ingrained in our psyche, that it’s becoming a global epidemic. But making a shift is essential & possible, and it can make all the difference in your wellbeing and in the quality of your life, emotionally, mentally & physically. Even longevity is contingent on how well we take care of our Self, and deal with our insecurity, stress & anxiety. You can grow older and feel lighter, wiser, stronger and more beautiful inside. You can be sexier, more authentic & much more comfortable in your skin. You can be responsible for your health & well being. Perhaps the next step after Obamacare – is Global Self-Care. You don’t have to do it alone. The breath and your heart are waiting for you to take the first step and ask for help. You can heal in partnership. I can be your healing partner, whether you’re a Syrian refugees or an anxious New Yorker. (I hope that some NGO or a global human rights organization may be interested to sponsor The BREAZE globally -:)
This month I’m celebrating my 40th anniversary of:
* Moving to NYC & living in this safe & blessed space… * My spiritual path & The BREAZE…
* The first Global BREAZE support group in Juba South Sudan, which started on 9/4/2015
* Marrying my soul in March 2015 & committing to be happy with mySelf.
* Officiating Quinn & Meghan’s wedding upstate NYC on 8/29/15
* Forming Healing Partnerships
* Officiating the first ‘Wed Your Heart’ ceremony on September 12/2015.
My soul recognizes your soul,
n a m a s t e,
Samuel Jakob Kirschner Voice of The BREAZE