On the cusp of this equinox, as I sit on my couch, something I am not particularly good at doing, and am staying sane with quiet walks outside breathing in fresh air – I am pulled to reflect on balance in a real and confronting way.
The equinox time is, by definition, a time about balance: of light and dark, day and night, love and hate. I find myself faced with contemplations on the warring sides of my internal nature, and I keep coming back to a message and see it reflected into the world around me: that where I put my focus, my energy goes.
As I oscillate between fears of economic collapse and system meltdown, and moments of deep internal peace and creative flow that I access in the forced stillness, I notice the common thread of the ability of thought to ignite the differing aspects of my own self; my own dark and light. I see signs that the Earth is healing as a result of our limited consumption and interaction, and I am grateful for that. In the next moment, I miss being out in the world and seeing people. I miss hugs and human touch in those little ways that we take for granted on a daily basis, and cherish more deeply those that I am confined with and am able to touch and interact with physically.
All these thoughts spin around in my head, and I return to the notion of balance. Therefore, I am approaching this particular equinox as an opportunity to deeply meditate, and sit in nature and watch a sunset, with a heightened reverence for what balance means, in myself and in our world. I will be sitting with deep gratitude for Mother Nature and all that she provides, and gratitude for those who are out there in service of others, like my sister who is a doctor. I am a tiny drop in a very connected world, and if I cannot reach out and manhandle to try to fix things in the way that I typically do in daily life, I can do the inner work of recalibrating my own thought patterns towards love and away from fear.
I can meditate on a world in which compassion leads the way; not cash. I can do my best to give thanks for the courage the nurses and doctors are calling upon to overcome their fears and go to work to help others. I can take a walk in nature and admire and give thanks for her astounding beauty and refuge. I feel that my responsibility is to dream into a world that acknowledges, celebrates and supports heart-felt vibrations more than those of acquiring goods and accolades. So that is where I am doing my best to focus my intention and attention during this equinox.
This is in fact a daily practice for me, in morning mediation, and in moment-to-moment practice, as I catch my thoughts moving towards fear and consciously work to shift them towards love and gratitude. I bring this point up, in regards to my immune system, as I believe that fear feeds on itself and grows, like a virus, and I must be hyper aware of my thoughts as a result, especially during a pandemic when fear grips us all. Putting my attention towards fear will leak out into the world; even if we are more distant, it comes through in our online world. We are so connected, and I notice in Facetime with family how much I can sense their emotions through a screen, and check in with myself that I stay in higher vibration thoughts and feelings. So meditation is key, in my humble opinion, during this time to optimize the immune system.
Being in nature and breathing in fresh air – breathing deeply in general – are vital to maintaining a healthy immune system. While there are regulations against close contact and it is advised to stay indoors, I find that stepping outside solo or with my partner, and admiring the birds and the bees and the ocean – which I am blessed to live near – is calming, healing, and helps my system to stay healthy.
I am also upping my intake of supplements, including Vitamins C and D, zinc, and ginger, among other things, including Wellness Formula. I am using this quiet time to take more baths, and soak in Epsom salt, as it is a great stress reducer.
I think stress in general compromises the immune system, so while I am now not faced with the daily stress of getting around Los Angeles to various meetings and auditions, I am more affected by the deeper stress that looms over us all as a species and a country, on a physical and economic front. So again, I turn to meditation, breathing, baths, and find myself wanting and needing to sit quietly; not just having to sit quietly. I find myself enjoying breathing into my heart and out of my controlling head. Because I have no idea where this is all going, and so worrying only makes me anxious, and my system more at risk. And in those pauses, when I allow myself to drop in to my heart, I feel our inter-connectedness, and that calms me. And from there, I am able to access a more expansive creativity.
I am using this heightened inner world to write more. I have been developing several TV series concepts and movie ideas, and am taking advantage of this forced stillness to hunker down and push through blocks I have had. I see this as an opportunity to nurture my creativity in new ways, and discover new facets of myself. Some moments it seems pointless to write some imaginary story in the face of the realities of the larger world, and when I go down that path I just get anxious. Then I remind myself of beautiful art – a song like The Lark Ascending or a ballet like Swan Lake – that has lifted my spirits in dark times, and I remember the power of art and its ability to deeply affect others. And that inspires me to push through, and to create meaningful work that may or may not see the light of day, but I can certainly move forward with it in a way I don’t typically in my very active lifestyle.
When I hit a block that I can’t move through in that moment, I can forgive myself and realize there is a much larger world out there. And I can practice just being, without my constant need to do or create. That’s super challenging work. Allowing the Yin in.
This is a deeply humbling time that puts everything in perspective. And I think we are being called upon to notice where our heads and hearts turn, how we can best take responsibility for our thoughts, feelings, and actions, and direct them towards coming out of this time a more connected, compassionate collective.
Scottie Thompson is an award-winning actress, as well as a writer, producer and activist. She grew up performing on stage as a ballet dancer, and followed her passion for storytelling into a career in film, TV and theater, after completing her undergraduate degree in Performance Studies at Harvard University.
She has recurred in several series, including 12 MONKEYS, MACGYVER, THE BLACKLIST, and NCIS. Her film credits include THE LOOKALIKE, SKYLINE, STAR TREK and BROKEN GHOST. You can find her in the recent film CROWN VIC, playing opposite Thomas Jane and Luke Kleintank, now on Amazon and iTunes.
Outside of acting, she is involved in environmental activism, as well as promoting health, education and women’s rights. She is a lover of nature, writing, reading and exploring other places and cultures. You can find her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook at @iamscottiet
photography : Elisabet Davidsdottir
stylist & editor : Masha Orlov
make-up & hair : Andrea Helgadottir
shot in Upstate NY, Catskills