Lately, I’ve been in conversations and in circulos with people who have expressed that it’s just too much, when speaking about life and their present circumstances. In a recent circulo, someone shared that they felt like they were in a dike, holding their finger to a hole to prevent it from leaking. And just when they stopped one leak, two others opened. It’s just too much. We’ve also heard the saying, “when it rains, it pours,” pointing to times when everything seems to be going in one direction. We’ve all been there, and it can be overwhelming.
I too have been there and when times like this occur, it can impact us physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I remember one particularly tough time in my life when I was struggling. As I was in deep reflection, I saw my grandmothers and tías sitting in a circle, with their arms folded, looking down. With disappointed looks, they were saying, “We’re right here and we can help. But if you want to do it on your own, go ahead, go ahead.” Thinking of that image, I began laughing, and it broke the spell of hopelessness. And... they were right.
We live in world of fear, where society and its systems use fear as tool of manipulation. We are also told by society that we, individually, are responsible for fixing it. But let us not forget that our ancestors and cultures have left us many values, traditions and spiritual practices that can support us along the way. For that reason, it is important for us to have ways of being and practices to ground us, especially when things become “just too much.” Below are four of my main practices.