The blessings in a pandemic

While we are social distancing, it’s essential to stay connected, it’s part of maintaining a strong immune system. In doing so, we get to sharpen our discernment on the who, how, when, and where.

We get a chance to sidestep fear and get into the stuff we’ve been wanting to do, or to start learning how to do things differently. We don’t have to take time off to do this; the entire world is there. Our minds get to expand into creative territory, and shirking this off as a luxury we don’t have time for holds less true. As long as we are here, what about if we learn how to use technology as a creative tool rather than a time waster, and get to know our families differently since we aren’t running from one activity to the next?

In all of our busy-ness, we’ve been running ourselves into isolation and disconnect, which is the irony, because this is what we think is being forced on us now. It’s as if the Universe has given us an opportunity to go within, learn to reconnect, and learn to find new ways to do what we are doing, allowing us to see what was important in the first place, and what really is now. We get to discern when it is important to meet in person, and when we need to rest and incubate because we are feeling a little run down instead of ignoring those symptoms as we have in the past. And after all of the chaotic grocery shopping that we’ve witnessed, we get to learn how to think of others: did you know that if an item has a “WIC” next to the price on the grocery shelf label, those are what Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children recipients can purchase? If those items run out, they can’t simply pick a replacement item without those letters. According to Wikipedia, basic eligibility requirement is a family income below 185% of the federal poverty level, and WIC serves 53% of all infants. Will you grab those from the shelves?

We get to figure out how to take care of ourselves while we take care of others. It’s a moment in time, one we never would have wished for, but one we can take advantage of now that we are here. Instead of spiraling into fear, we have an opportunity to find and make the changes that we’ve been searching for.

When it gets overwhelming.

It always seems impossible until it’s done.

Nelson Mandela

Acknowledging the obstacles seem appropriate: to take a moment to look at them, clearly they want attention. They are there to tell us what we are afraid of, what we are here to move through. I find it comforting to know that and to acknowledge them with some love and respect rather than to dwell in the dramatic pause they cause otherwise. The point then, for me, is to move through or around them systematically, unreactively, and impersonally. Like a stream, unhindered, rushing through the rocks that blocks its course.

Practicing mental fluidity

The coronavirus had made life surreal. It has become challenging to plan our days as usual as we tune in to all of the announcements from day to day to see what’s happening and what’s being cancelled.

In my own life, I have a yoga studio and our community to consider. My daughter is in a theatre conservatory, and her senior grade has been putting their soul into their work for several years now to show their creative brilliance in May, and now everyone is being sent home to finish out the year remotely; all performances are canceled (heartbreaking for us). My son’s high school is going remote for a month. My niece’s hockey nationals are cancelled. School concerts and sports seasons are cancelled. Daily schedules are changing, people are working from home, and we are all working to figure out how to do things differently. There is also concern for how this will impact people’s finances and the economic impact of small and local businesses.*

While I understand that this is something we are all going through together globally, I took some time yesterday to fully grieve our personal losses.

We need to take care of ourselves and of each other, and part of this is tuning in to ourselves and to each other (rather than to the panic).

I’m staying hydrated, and I am looking to alkalize my diet more. I’m working closely with those around me to make sure we are making decisions more responsively than reactively, and also, it’s helpful to keep talking (versus commiserating) with each other to stay out of the downward spiral that tends to happen when we keep to oneselves with only the news channels for company.

It feels like a good time to see where the opportunities are to take care of ourselves, get closer while we distance ourselves, and embrace the creative aspect finding new ways to be, to work, and to connect.

*many live performance venues and classes in the arts and wellness are being cancelled in response to the Corona virus. If you are able to do so, please seriously consider treating your payment as a donation to the business. The high level of refunds issued can literally break a business.

Finding Within

With social media and news available 24/7, it’s that much harder to find space.

Space, and time – to be bored, or to figure out what to do next, or to find our thoughts while we are standing in line somewhere, or to feel our discomfort standing in the elevator with others- has been sabotaged by the call from the little black screen; with one swipe of our finger, we forgo our moments to tune in to ourselves to know how we truly feel. Instead, our feelings have become chain reactive.

This can have devastating results in our lives. When things get commotional, the more we lean into that screen, the more we get lost in the devastation.

Step back. You yourself are more connected to a broader, more intelligent view of things. Your Self has the discernment, knows the boundaries, and is filled with compassion and empathy. Your Being has a mind that knows what to do when you stop looking outside for a moment.

Look out to tap into the pain, not the drama. Look out to hold that space for others, and in that way, you throw them a lifeline rather than throw yourself into the pool along with them. Look out to understand the fear, to be the lighthouse and harness what’s hiding in the commotion that can bring us all together.

In order to do that, we must first find Within. That space makes it possible.

Doing it now

Today I completed a chore I have been putting off for six months. It took 15 minutes. I will learn nothing from this.

Instagram quote

The thought and the anticipation around what we put off is sooooooooooo muuuuuuuuuch worse than the real thing 99.9% of the time. When it’s finally done, the relief! And it seems so strange that when we do finally get to it, it is often when we should be getting to bed.

Do we want to be stressed?

Credit in truth telling

I think it’s about giving people enough credit to hear the truth. I have found that people rise up to it much more often than not, and when they respond adversely, then that truth gets revealed, and that path becomes clearer.

It’s also about giving ourselves enough credit to speak the truth. We don’t think we will be okay when the truth feels so vulnerable, but I have found that whatever is lost in the truth telling is overcome by the courage and the Self that is gained.

Being happy

Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to see beyond the imperfections.

Unknown

Even when terrible things happen, and we are angry, sad, disappointed, frustrated, afraid, feeling limited, or find things unacceptable… underlying all of that is a sense of okay-ness that can’t move us away from the knowing that everything is a moment that takes us on an adventure, and that the Universe is indeed conspiring, always, in our favor. We just need to choose how we go with it.