PYR Ambassador Syd Collier

Maurice McNeil Photography


By Syd Collier, PYR Ambassador 

I hope this message finds you healthy & safe, may you feel the love that is woven inside waiting for you. 

In an effort to find some clarity & understanding around current events I began to read old journal entries. I stumbled upon one that I wrote last year while sitting underneath a large outstretched tree in autumn, as it released its leaves to the 80 degree breeze, uncharacteristic to the season. 

“9.10.2019 This [past summer] has been one of the most fiery summers that I have ever experienced. It has felt like a tire spinning at 90 miles an hour against scorched asphalt. I often feel that we are all moving so fast, that we are quite literally speeding up time. It is whirling past us, and we are so busy working to propel momentum forward that we are missing the experience of what we are creating along the way” 

Always striving for maximum productivity, each of us racing to continuously produce so as to not be left behind. This way of living has created problems at a rate faster than we can recognize them, much less solve them. From this perspective I am able to see why we are in the situation we are in.

The current Pandemic has introduced Quarantines, Social Distancing and Stay in Place, to our way of life, which are all practices that are forcing us to slow down. In my own living experience I can feel the resistance to such practices that have felt like a restriction of movement. I am aware of my flight or fight response going off, this urge to move and act without having anything to immediately move or respond to. I recognize this resistance as a symptom of functioning in a society that values productivity and profits over wellbeing and sanity.

However, this does not discourage me, I am beginning to see this time as an opportunity to reprogram my way of being in the world to one that is more mindful, by moving in a slower, more intentional way. I feel motivated to take the time to deeply listen to myself, my intuition and my ancestors. I believe that the presence cultivated through mindful living will be critical to our survival. By developing the ability to direct our awareness, so that we may remember what if feels like to be fully embodied. 

There seems to be this conditioned belief that the type of listening that requires one to slow down and feel is a “luxury” that there is rarely time for, especially when navigating the fast pace that we have demanded our world to move at. Acknowledging this conditioned belief brings to mind a quote by Audre Lorde where she argues against such conditioning.

“But giving into the fear of feeling and working to capacity is a luxury only the unintentional can afford, and the unintentional are those who do not wish to guide their own destinies”  

We are being given an opportunity to reevaluate our way of living. An invitation to move beyond fear & anxiety so that we may begin to use our deepest feelings to inform the visions we have for our future, and so we may become more intentional in our movements to actualize them.

In the words of Octavia Butler….

“Most of all, our tomorrow is the child of our today. Through thought and deed, we exert a great deal of influence over this child, even though we can’t control it absolutely. Best to think about it, though. Best to try to shape it into something good. Best to do that for any child.” 

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