As this pandemic may feel like a punishment, it’s also an opportunity for transformation — and to break free from that which no longer serves us
Soooo, how’s it going?
I wanted to check in with you to see how you are navigating this new ‘norm’.
At this point, many are feeling quite antsy…but that’s actually good. When we are uncomfortable, we squirm and reposition ourselves. Think of this experience as a gift in unrecognizable wrapping.
We’re all being given a bit of a timeout to take a look around at our relationships, our self-care, our work, our spiritual connection — and then at how it all interfaces…or not.
You’ve probably heard the analogies comparing this quarantine to being sent to our rooms as children to think about what we’ve done.
So I ask, are you the rebellious teenager who huffs and puffs, storms out, slams doors, throws themselves on their bed in dramatic fashion and turns on raging music at high volumes to block out the noise — or are you more of the contemplative one who is introspective and quieter about it all? Maybe a bit of both? I certainly fall in both categories at different times.
And such is life.
We don’t have to pigeonhole ourselves. We don’t have to label ourselves or see the world in terms of black and white. I’m actually quite fond of shades of gray. Besides, the reality is that the entire palette of black, gray and white works quite well together. Life doesn’t need to be either/or and can instead be a tapestry of diversity.
We are complex beings. We change our minds. We expand. We retreat. We evolve.
Yes, we’ve been sent to our rooms, but we get to decide what we want to do with it while there.
Some need to rest while others need to be productive — but each of us is being availed of the opportunity to take a good long look into our life mirror.
Mirror, mirror on the wall… What do you see? Is your first inclination to be critical, comforting or complimentary? Do you see all that is wrong or all that is right? Yep, this is what the ‘ol glass half-empty/half-full stuff is made of.
Maybe you know what needs to change or shift in your life. Maybe you recognize it staring you in the face, perhaps not. Follow the discomfort. Sit with it and see what it has to say. In the quiet spaces we create amidst the busyness of our lives, these truths are revealed.
However if you are anything like me, you have to work consciously to slow it all down. Busyness is a default setting for me. And having my small family of three at home fulltime, all day, every day has culminated in nonstop laundry, loading and emptying the dishwasher and vacuuming (repeat). In between that I’m still working, trying to launch an online course, write and do some spring clean-up in my yard. Sure, I squeeze in my meditation and some exercise — but I can easily fall back on my default settings.
It takes work to pay attention — to witness what feelings are emerging, to see the things we don’t want to see or admit. It’s hard. Why? Because we do anything to skirt discomfort and the unknown scares us. That said, in doing all of this dancing around we don’t ever contemplate how much work all of this avoidance takes. That’s actually exhausting us the most.
There’s no one path or way to unpeel these layers of ourselves. However, while we are in our ‘rooms’, let’s follow our feelings.
Let’s not huff and puff and blame other people. Let’s not turn on loud music (or sit in front of Netflix all day) in avoidance. Let’s simply allow more of our true selves to emerge — to stand safely before us, to not criticize it, judge it, condemn it. Give it a voice. Ask it what it is trying to tell you. I’m feeling some of my own rumblings.
Maybe there is an area of your life where it feels like you are banging your head on closed doors, where things aren’t aligning or working out as you had hoped. Just observe it. Acknowledge it. Ask it to point you in a new direction.
Maybe you are tired of the status as quo and ‘business as usual’ — ask yourself what have you been doing to keep yourself stuck there?
If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we are resilient. I’ve witnessed many people make huge shifts to accommodate circumstances beyond their control. Those same people would have told me a few months prior that there was no way they could’ve conducted business or life this way. Never say never. I’ve seen this play out in my own life.
It’s amazing how rigid we can be and how tough we can be on ourselves — how we block ourselves from all that is possible.
Look, each day will present its own challenges and opportunities. Some days are for quiet reflection and gentleness, while others will be more confrontational. Take your own cues. Be conscious of what you consume. For me, I’ve turned off the news. The critical updates find their way to me, but the continuous streaming of fear-based news doesn’t serve me. Some days are better than others, nothing is perfect. Just keep showing up for YOU.
And as scary as it may feel, deep down inside we crave transformation, to hold onto a belief that there is more for us in this life. I’m finding myself drawn to the symbol of butterflies of late. For my birthday, I bought this vintage butterfly necklace for myself. The minute I saw it, I knew I had to have it. Transformation is amidst us, there to be seized — and what better symbol of that than a butterfly.
I think I’m ready to break free from some limited thinking and patterns that have held me back.
The best gift you can give yourself right now is compassion for doing the best you can each day as you wiggle within your own cocoon.
The moment I open my eyes each morning and glance out upon the mountains in the backdrop, I start my day by saying, “Thank you God.” Each day is a new chance to show up better than you did yesterday. And if that doesn’t work out, there’s always tomorrow. Never give up on your ability to stretch your own wings.
Let your inner butterfly free…
We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.~ Richard Rohr
So, how’s this showing up for you dear ones…are you squirming to break free from some cocoon of your own? What’s coming up in your life during this time of COVID-19? Please share in the comments below.