What Can You Do When You’re Shaken?
Rick Hanson, PhD, looks at the need we all have to find a place to stand firmly; whether it be physically, psychologically or spiritually. He offers ways to find stability when you feel shaken or out of control.
I’ve been to New Zealand, and really respect and like it. There’s a Maori term – turangawaewae, “a place to stand” – that I’ve come back to many times.
I’m sure I don’t know the full meaning of the word in its cultural context. But at a basic level, it’s clear that we all need a place to stand. A physical place to be sure – hearth and home, land and sea, a bed to curl up in – but also psychological or spiritual places, such as feeling loved, a calm clear center inside, knowledge of the facts, compassion and ethics, and realistic plans.
This is our ground, the place we rest in and move out from . . . even under the best of circumstances. And when you’re shaken by events at any scale – from changes in your health to changes in your country or world – then it’s especially important to find and hold your ground.
Start with the body, and the feeling of