To celebrate personal freedom on this Independence Day, I spoke with educator Christine Petrich (who also happened to be one of my oldest and dearest friends) about her work teaching wellness and stress management to supermax prison inmates. It's an incredibly moving conversation around the justice system, personal power, decoupling the emotional from the physiological, and how these techniques can be related to magickal concepts and used in our daily lives. I hope it inspires you as much as it did me!
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Try this elemental approach to stress management:
Open an emotionally safe space for yourself allow yourself to sink into your feelings
Come up for breath and begin to observe and take note of how you react to stressful situations
In your mind's eye, imagine what it would be like to react differently, what it would look, sound, and feel like
The next time you encounter a stressful situation, put one of your hypothetical alternate reactions into practice
The greatest rebellion against oppression is living well. Maintaining emotional and spiritual health is a radical act.
Things to remember when you feel stressed:
You always have control over something, even if it only your personal reaction
Stress response is a physiological reaction, not a personal shortcoming
Resources to learn more about our prison system and prison reform