Whether on a global or personal scale, as life as we know it is disrupted — we are being called to reassess how we navigate it all
We interrupt this regularly scheduled program…
I’m not going to lie. I look forward to April all year long for many reasons — my birthday (and I’m a celebrator), my ‘baby’s’ birthday (although he will be 20 this year), spring and the sense of rebirth that emerges as Mother Nature awakens and flowers gently pop from slumber through the soil. It’s a welcomed time after the reprieve of winter; the hunkering down, the cold dark nights, the incubating. Everything wants to move; my spirit, my body, the birds, the natural world about me. Spring infuses us with new energy, new get-up-and-go mojo in our personal lives and businesses.
It’s not supposed to be a season of ‘self-quarantining’ and ‘social-distancing’. Hello unexpected pandemic.
I had plans; parties, travel, a big business launch. And now look, boom. The decks have been cleared. COVID-19, you party pooper!
I took it seriously — I provisioned, got the college student back, stayed home, followed protocols, devised ways to stay positive and to write about silver linings. For someone who already works from home, it didn’t feel like a monumental shift. My work load didn’t change, but the world around me certainly did. And it feels big…and uncertain…and vulnerable…most of all, different. I’m now referring to it as business as ‘unusual’.
The other night, I painstakingly cancelled a trip to London with my Mom and sister (something we’ve been planning and looking forward to for a while). Bill and I temporarily pulled the plug on the launch of our upcoming online Best Self program that we’ve been working on for a long time. And the reality that my son is now abruptly home for the next 6 months and finishing his sophomore year online, hit me. In the midst of all of this, I also lost someone very special to me — with no way to gather, to mourn, to be together. No service. No nothing.
We are being called to show up in new ways and to figure this out.
Our norms have been disrupted and along with it many of our creature comforts, routines and traditions. It’s hitting us each differently, but hitting nonetheless. That said, I’ve seen many even touting in social media how this isn’t bothering them — as if that’s a badge of courage. I disagree.
I don’t know how you can not feel something, if not for yourself, for others. People are being affected greatly, many as if the rug is being pulled out from underneath them. Here’s what I believe:
We can be both raw and grounded.
We can be empathetic and solid.
We can feel what is unfolding around us yet stay rooted in our own power to remain resilient and to ultimately rise. Feeling is not a weakness.
We feel what we feel. Different things will be triggered in each of us. Let’s not shame them or label them ‘good’ or ‘bad’. They are what they are. They also are uniquely aligned with our life journeys and paths. I don’t have solutions for making this go away, but I do want you to go inward and focus on what is coming up for you.
People tend to shove self-care to the side with excuses…the ‘ol, I don’t have time routine. Well, we have nothing but time right now. So, what are you going to do with it — meditate, tap, pray, do an online yoga routine?
What can you do to nurture yourself through these times? If you can get outside, walk in nature. Get your feet on Mother Earth, breathe, move your body. When we clear our heads, we also create space for inspiration to reveal itself and land.
Can you read something that feeds you? Refrain from excessive amounts of fear-mongering news and social media. Pay attention to how you feel while you are partaking in media consumption. Pick up a book that fills you in a different way.
The same goes for people. Choose to converse with those who are open to being a part of the solution, not the problem. Protect your energy. The other day, I ended a call with someone who was providing me with all the doomsday outcomes. Sorry, but that’s not productive and definitely doesn’t help my nervous system (or theirs).
Look, I get it. It’s easy to jump on that bandwagon. Life feels tenuous. It doesn’t mean that we deny our current realities, we just choose to protect our energy and environment.
Choose to trust in yourself and those around you to navigate these new waters. Trust in your resiliency to flow with the ever-changing landscape. Trust in your ability to extract value from the squeeze we are all feeling.
I mentioned many of these things in my previous blog, but they bear repeating. When we are filled with uncertain times, sometimes all we can do is show up and take baby steps towards the feel good outcomes we desire. As I always say, When we shift, the world shifts with us.
In a post I shared in social media, I wrote, “COVID-19 may be contagious, but so is hope.” There are many beautiful stories of people doing beautiful things around the world.
Remember, our humanity is our hope.
Imagine this: The Chinese sent masks to Italy and Japan donated supplies to China. In Wuhan, polluted skies have cleared. In Italy people are singing to each other through open windows across balconies so no one is alone — and dolphins have been spotted swimming in the canals of Venice.
We are being called to rebalance, recalibrate, reassess — the planet and ourselves. Yes, this virus is spreading and with it, consuming many in fear, vulnerability and selfish behavior — but it is also cracking open hearts and communities, joining souls in beautiful ways.
We are left to ask ourselves, which way we are choosing to show up? Being of service, in whatever way we can, is such good medicine. If you have local stores near you, buy something from someone every day. It could be a book, a coffee, a gift certificate, a bouquet of flowers. Small business owners are trying to stay afloat and keep their employees fed. Check in on neighbors — share your supplies, shop for each other, connect. We can’t isolate in our own bunkers amidst a mountain of toilet paper and hand sanitizer…well, we could, but our souls know better.
Bring awareness to what you want to spread. We can still be the voice of reason and diligence and do it with great heart.
Create something. Write, paint, craft.
Clean something. Your desk, a drawer, the closet.
Play. Dance. Pull out the board games with your family.
Suddenly, I’m missing so many things I took for granted — the ability to wander into my little town whenever I needed a break from my desk, the ability to convene with friends to share a meal or a drink, the privilege to take yoga and Pilates classes, to linger and hug friends when we bumped into one another on the street. The list goes on. But at the end of the day, they are all the simplest of pleasures. Those are the things I’m missing more than the cancelled trip to Europe.
And let me say, I’m not trying to wrap the current realities into a bow of platitudes and denial. I know this is very real across the globe and it’s effecting us all differently. But I do know, how we choose to experience it is critical. You do have the power within you to navigate it with less suffering. I promise.
Yes, there is a wave of fear amongst us, but I’m choosing not to ride it.
And I wanted to check in and touch base with your to remind you that you needn’t either. Your Best Self is summoning you to show up — to find your own ways to be a part of the rebalancing of the planet. Don’t resist. Persist.
Sure I want a bunch of ‘do-overs’ when this is all done. I want a birthday party. I want to reschedule my travel plans. I want to hug and squeeze my friends. But for now, I’m sinking into surrender and trust. Will you ride that wave with me? Stay healthy. Stay centered and strong. And know that you are beloved, my precious Best Self Community. Don’t let the disruptions keep your beautiful spirit down!
Tell me how you are experiencing these times. What’s coming up and what are you doing differently to ride your wave? Share with us in the comments below so we can all come out of our quarantine and experience a virtual hug.