What about Iran?
As you might know this revolution is here to make changes, and hopefully changes that will stay. I am not one to post regularly about politics or religion and like to keep things light, happy and conducive to growth, beauty and awareness as it is proven to help the nervous system regulate and maybe sometimes gives us a boost of oomph just in case you need it that day.
As you have noticed for the past few months, I've been quite inactive and when this movement started so much was going on within me on top of the continued adaptations following life changes in the past year, that I froze. Froze in horror, in fear, in anger and in disgust. I froze and fawned like so many others. How can I have anything to contribute other than bringing awareness to such a big issue. And so I've done so in the best of my capacity by opening conversations, interactions and exchanges with fellow Persians and other colleagues and friends as well as increasing awareness of the country we truly are vs. the state of the country we know and have known for the past 43 years now.
The atrocities keep piling up and our hearts keep getting heavily weighted by a blanket of disbelief of how far this regime is willing to go to keep the power and blur the lines between politics, religion, economic unrest, gender apartheid and inhumane brutalities to the innocent... innocent that they say has done wrong onto the name of God because they shared their poetry, or pointed out the injustice and must now be executed... And if you are like me, you might be thinking sharing these stories on the story feed or a post is all we can do.
What If we can do more than that? While so many are fighting their life, I'm having a hard time enjoying the smallest moments of peace feeling guilty of wanting to continue living somewhat of a normal life, working, paying bills a supper here and a friend meeting there, keep up the movement flow and maybe even get a restful night sleep... Obviously nothing is normal in this day and age where the world seems to be collapsing in every corner...
And yet I still believe we have more power than we think. ... I have managed depression and anxiety and mental health challenges like many out there for years and recognize that I have a very low tolerance to things that really hit my nervous system, either from my own rumination of from lack of sleep or burnouts that i have weathered through. I have attempted to go to protests a couple of times and can't seem to shake off this innate fear that perpetuates a deep anxiety... perhaps it's the fear I felt when we fled the country during the revolution and had to hide in silence as we were going through the deserts of Pakistan with my mother while I was a young child, or the fear of losing a family member along the way, perhaps it's just social anxiety... the instability of the chaos that has taken over my country and broken so many families and homes is unsettling to say the least. Desperate hope of making something with nothing and creating new beginnings was all that mattered. I know there are many stories out there that are untold, and mine is one of many, shared just to give perspective. Perhaps unraveling myself from the extraordinary situations my family was put in made me the therapist I am today. This is possibly the reason why I try to stay focused, grounded and level headed as I approached this very troubling news of death and destruction of my home country. My mother fought like hell to give everything she could to bring her children here. And I am one of many lucky ones that was displaced and has lived in a constant duality of a cultures since. I have made myself a successful therapist in my field by staying true to my values and always giving more than i get. Blame it on the culture.
Hoping to help ease the physical tensions of those who find me by keeping in mind that the body never works in a linear way. Physical tensions are a symptom of an imbalanced body, chemically, emotionally or physically. One never without the other. In my practice I like to allow the body to guide the mind to release the pent up thoughts, issues, unspoken truths and emotions that are stuck in our tissues. I have been generous in many aspects through my work and my contribution, but always behind closed doors. Till now...
I am now in a position to help my fellow brothers in sisters fight back the heavy load and impact that this regime has had on so many. And so I would like to openly and publicly make a pledge to offer my services at a discounted price to my fellow Montreal Iranians 1 Sunday a month. However there are many other therapists that are in a similar situation. If you are one of those and can offer your services 1 day a month or 1 session per week at a discounted price, whatever it may be, please jump on the bandwagon and let's create a collective of healing for Iran. And so, I call on any and all therapists that would be willing to participate to #healingforiranmtl and #healingforiran in your posts and link to @healingforiranmtl so people can find you and get support and help in the modalities you offer. This is an opportunity to be part of something much bigger that will go down in history. One person at a time.
In my experience many people in countries such as Iran have never even experienced a massage, an acupuncture session, an osteo session and or don't believe in psychologists or mental health practitioners because of misinformation, ego and self-righteousness that they have been engrained with from a young age. As if they think it works for others but won't work for me... but how do you know if you've never tried? The body is complex and fascinating and has the capacity of incredible connections that we can still not fully explain. And so, what if all of those that are in fear, anxiety or pain of some sort can help their nervous system and body. Just to be able to connect for a moment, and perhaps even allow calm collectedness and peace to guide them into a equilibrium. Bringing power and awareness to the body and breath can allow better creativity, grounded clarity of mind and heart and allow the pragmatic juices flowing. And if it's not this, it'll be that, or another, but many people shy away and don't even try what they don't know can do them some good.
If we are in this for the long run, then we need to manage and regulate our nervous system and keep balanced and strong from inside out. So we can keep fighting and finding solutions to this impossible situation.
Please help in taking the first step right now by sharing this far and wide. It would be so wonderful if the persian community can put their strengths in support of one another all around the world with this initiative, but let's start in our own backyard. And so every third Sunday of the month I will be offering 5 one hour slots at a voluntary sliding scale contribution to my persian community in montreal that are in binds of finding affordable therapy for a moment of ressourcing. Students, elderly, low income and lgbtq persian fellows are all welcome.
In collaboration with Farnaz and Morpho yoga studio we will have a free guided meditation with a gentle yoga practice accessible to all bodies and levels for the 27th of November at 6 pm. Their will be tea and cookies for after to give us space to open conversations and share how this has impacted us and how we can cope with it without allowing it to become a toxic loop of self desctruction.