Woods Working: Tip #4

With all the changes since March 29 requiring more tight regulations from the state of California around “shelter in place,” “safe distancing,” and use of face masks, I found myself switching completely from live-streaming virtual Sunday services on You Tube to services offered completely on Zoom. Deep gratitude to John Cooney, Judy Finholm, Bill Franck, Steve Hill, Grant Huberty, and Solveig Zarubin for making these past services happen, and to Solveig, Liz Davis, and Kathy Warne for stepping up as Worship Associates, and, of course the musicians: Larry Chinn, Jen Gill, and Bev Morgan, This next service on April 5 may have a few bumps as our new technological folks: Marina Rose and Chris and Greg Stovall, stepped up to host and direct the service. Every participant will be bringing their gifts to us from their own home and making all of this smooth and inspirational may have its hiccups. Please assume best intentions as we bring something entirely new to worship from UU Fellowship of Redwood City.

I hope this serves as an explanation why I am four days behind with our daily tips for surviving the pandemic with physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Then, today, I received a notice from UU the Vote, that Nicole Pressley is the new National Organizer for UU the Vote. Her first letter to all of us includes a lovely way to calm one’s soul that I want to share with you as a great fill-in for my delayed gift to you. So, I now share Nicole’s own words to you from the UUA:

We are in a disorienting moment. Our plans, our routines, and our connections to one another have all been disrupted. Lately, I have felt like I’m all over the place. My body is tense, my mind is racing, and the path forward is a blur. In these moments, I am called back to simple spiritual practice. I rely on spiritual practice to ground me when all else seems to be in flux—allowing me to realign my mind, body and spirit. 

I invite you to join me in one of my favorite breathing exercises. It brings me back to the solace of the present and always blesses me with wisdom and creativity to forge a path forward.

Start with a few deep breaths.
Breathe in. Imagine that the air is filled with peace and calm. 
Breath out. Release the tension and stress in your body. 


Begin to feel your body relaxing. 
Feel the calm settle into your body.
Note the quieting of your mind. 

When you’re ready, listen. 

What is does your spirit need? What does your heart say? What wisdom is your body sharing with you?

I hope that this practice can be a source comfort and inspiration to you as well. Feel free to explore our structured, 75-minute, online spiritual nourishment groups.

Nicole Pressley, National Organizer

Nicole Pressley
UU the Vote National Organizer

Bless you, Nicole Pressley! May you have a long and successful career with the UUA,

Gretchen Woods, AIM