Blessings to you. How are you today? How is your family? May we all stay strong and healthy. Amen
So much has changed in a week… Now most of us are staying home as much as possible. We’ve all seen the curves showing us why that’s important in order to slow the virus down so the medical system can keep up. We have moved very quickly from, “Make sure you wash your hands.” to “Is this really happening?” to “It’s here and it’s real. What do we do next?”
It’s an interesting time to have a new blog and it’s difficult to know what to write that might be helpful in this strange experience we are all having together… apart. I realize that all I can do is what I have always done… what God called me to do 25 years ago… Share my story and hope that something I say will ease your struggle and help you on your Journey.
As many of you know, I’m a depression person, so my primary focus this past week or so has been to stay centered and balanced, since those things are sometimes not easy for me. They are especially challenging in these trying times. I have to be constantly mindful, because when depression takes over, little else can get in until it passes. I also have to remember not to go into fear about the possibility of depression, because that can put me over the top and cause me to become a bit manic. It’s a defense mechanism that is often helpful, until it’s not.
I’ve done a pretty good job staying balanced… Making sure to feel my feelings and breathe through them, not deny them. Holding gratitude for our many blessings, even in the face of some fear. I have reminded myself that acceptance of “what is” usually helps me cope better. Once we accept “what is” as simply that… “This is what it is.” …we can move past the parts we cannot change and free up energy for what we really can affect. This is where we find opportunities to pick up our power and actually do something helpful.
Accepting “what is” can be really tough though. (You’re listening to a Recovering Control Freak right now, so I know what I’m talking about.) We spend so much time trying to change “what is” into what we want it to be, what we wish it was. It seems obvious, but I’ll say it out loud… No amount of wishing this was different will make it different. I’m reminded of the 12-Step Prayer… “God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can and the Wisdom to know the difference.”
That leaves us with the question, “What can we actually do?” We’re in an interesting place with regard to this question, because one of the most important things most of us can do right now is… seemingly nothing. We have been asked to stay home… To hibernate, so to speak. For some of us (fellow extroverts raise your hands!) this is a big ask! It helps to remember that staying home is something you are doing for the Greater Good. Staying home will help you stay healthy and it helps everybody else stay healthy too. Staying home is not really doing nothing! It’s actively not spreading germs “all over hell and Georgia” as my Grandma used to say.
These things we are experiencing right now can be made gentler if we think of them as acts of caring and compassion. At first I was resistant to staying home. Even the phrase “social distancing” felt oppressive to me. It felt wrong. I had an attitude that said, “I’m tough. I can go out there. I can take it.” Then I realized that, by going out unnecessarily I could make somebody else sick. Or I could get sick and bring that to my family.
If we learn nothing else from this experience, we are learning how interconnected we all are. It’s funny, because Spiritual people talk about interconnectedness all the time and we are often called wacky and woowoo. But this is a secular example of how interconnected we really are and we are ALL feeling it!
If you are staying home, begin to see that as an act of compassion for yourSelf and for everyone out there. If you are on the front lines, one of those people who has to go to work right now, we thank you! We will pray for you. This is another way that those of us who are staying home are not really doing nothing… We are holding space for you to stay well and strong as you do the work that’s necessary out in the world right now. May God Bless you.
Here is some of the wisdom that has helped me in this past week…
This is from Mark Nepo: “Perhaps the washing of hands can become a modern sacrament, a holy ritual by which we hold ourselves and our global family in the deepest regard. Perhaps the slight bow of love and respect can replace the handshake as a holy ritual that will lessen our fear while sharing our love, so that we can bear the uncertainty together.”
I really love this from my Facebook friend, Jaime Meyer: “Take the opportunity to remember that Mother Earth sends us medicine all the time, and there is medicine in this experience, though it may be difficult to comprehend, and unpleasant to ingest. One part of that, for me, is that we are being taught how clearly interconnected all life is, and that core idea is probably the number one change of consciousness that our species needs, and is beginning to grasp and work with.”
As my dear friend, Jess, said to me this week, “Can we hold this in an open palm… Can we view it through curious eyes?” There is that lovely word again… Curiosity… Becoming as little children. How we choose to view this and how we respond to what is happening will affect our own experience of it. Remember… Too much worry can weaken the immune system. Don’t forget to breathe. Reach out when you need to.
How are you today? If you need somebody to talk to, please email or message me. We’re in this together and I’m right here.
May God Bless us every one.
Please try this at home.
*Curiosity (See Yoga Life Lessons post from 3-7-20)
One of my greatest outside supports has actually been my meditation app, 10% Happier: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics
The 10% Happier podcast, which you can find through the app, has a piece about Parenting During the Pandemic
10% Happier is also giving FREE 6 month memberships (or for the duration) to all healthcare workers on the 10% Happier app. Email Care@tenpercenthappier.com or click on Caronavirus Sanity in the app.
You can also go to 10% Happier Live on YouTube (scroll down for episodes) at 3:00 Eastern Time (2:00 CST) every weekday for a live gathering that includes a wealth of information and a short daily meditation with some of the leading meditation teachers in the US.
I welcome your comments or private messages so I know if I’m hitting the mark for you and where you would like this blog to go next.
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Thank you so much for this timely posting. You are able to articulate the craziness going on in my head. Thank you so much for helping me center myself and giving me tools to continue to do so. You are a gift!
Thanks, Deb. It’s interesting because I’m feeling very guided in my words these days… I’ve learned over the years to listen to that still small voice