When faced with danger, animals have three basic responses. The first two are well known by most, but the freeze response is one that is often overlooked. Animals when faced with imminent death or extreme danger sometimes freeze and lose their ability to move. Think of opossums! This reaction sometimes confuses the predator, allowing for escape. If the escape does not work, the freeze response allows for a less traumatic death.
This past week I realized that I am struggling with low grade depression and feeling frozen. I find myself struggling to complete tasks I set for myself and often find myself spending too much time staring at my phone scrolling in search of the next shoe to fall off. Seeing this clearly has helped me work with my mental state and thaw out a little.
I realized that one of the things that helps me unfreeze is to get outdoors more, go bicycle riding, and spend time in water. This past weekend Maribel and I got on our bikes and rode from our house in Kendall to Miami Beach. We rode through mostly empty Miami streets and enjoyed the heat and beauty of our city.
Seventeen-miles later, we made it to Miami Beach where we met our Carla and David, our daughter-in-love and son, and took a little dip in the bay by Maurice Gibbs Memorial Park. The water was delightful. The feeling of freedom that comes from bicycling is so healing and restorative for me.
After a snack and some precious communion, we headed back and rode through a city that we often overlook because we are in our cars trying to get somewhere as quickly as possible.
If you find yourself stuck behind a drawbridge of sorts, frozen in your tracks, know that you are not alone. There’s a whole community of folk in the same situation. Instead of thinking we should not be feeling this way or ignoring that we are feeling this way, we can acknowledge and befriend ourselves and our situation just as we are.
We can look around and know that we are not on our own. We can turn to one another and together help each other out. Please know that this is what Maribel and I are continuing to do as we share our own struggles and also things that have helped us. This is why yoga practice is so important to us. Know that you can join us for any of the yoga and meditation sessions we offer during the week. Even if you don’t stay for the whole session, be there for the start and say hello. This is one way to get ourselves thawed out from the deep freeze we might be in. This is one way to show love.