I found today’s reflection in a post from Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation website. It comes from therapist Resmaa Menakem’s book “My Grandmother’s Hands.”  He recalls hearing his grandmother hum: My grandmother was a strong and loving woman. But her body was frequently nervous. She often had a sense that something terrible was about to happen. It was an ancient, inherited sensation that rarely left her—a traumatic retention. She would soothe that sense of impending disaster in a variety of ways. When she was in the kitchen, she would hum—not a steady tone, but entire melodies. Her humming was never soft and intimate, but loud and firm, as if she were humming for an audience. As a small child, if I knew the song she was humming, sometimes I would hum along with her, and my body would experience safety and settledness. This humming practice is intended to soothe the nervous system and bring about calm, presence, and greater awareness in our bodies, as it did for Menakem and his grandmother.
Menakem instructs: Find a quiet, private, comfortable place. Sit down. Put one hand on your knee or in your lap. Place the other on your belly. Now hum. Not from your throat or chest, but from the bottom of your belly. Hum strong and steady. Push the air out of your belly firmly, not gently. Stop to breathe in, but return to the hum with each new breath. Experience the hum in your belly. Then sense it in the rest of your body. Continue humming for two minutes. When you’re done, reach your arms upward. Then, slowly and gently, feel your body with your hands, starting from the top of your head. Move slowly down your neck and along your chest, then below your waist, then past your knees, until your arms are fully extended downward. What do you notice?

Scripture Reading: Psalm 23:1-3
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.”

Reflection Questions:
What helps settle you?
Where are the still waters for you?
What memories do you have about your grandparents?

Prayer: Holy God, when unsettledness disturbs me or fear intrudes, lead me on a path that restores my trust in your comforting presence and help me to remember all the people who made faith become alive for me. Amen.