This is a bit hard to write, because I don’t want to appear to minimize anyone else’s experience. But it feels important to share my perspective. Please know that I’m offering this with the utmost love and compassion for you, unconditionally.
Here it is: I’m not afraid. I’m not stressed. Even in this time of crisis, I’m able to be grounded, hold space for others, and have fun. I’m not freaking out.
Why? It’s not because I’m dumb, or misinformed, or burying my head in the sand. I’m not wealthy or otherwise advantaged in a way that means I’m above it all. I know that awful things are happening. They happen every day. They’ve happened to me and my family in the past.
There are consequences from this pandemic for all of us. I have elders and others in my close community who are vulnerable to disease. My family’s income is already being affected. We might not be able to get the essentials we rely upon. Events – both business and personal – that I’ve looked forward to are being canceled.
This isn’t a fluffy bunny (fluffy kitty?) kind of thing.
What is it, then? I’ve been doing daily spiritual practice for 23 years as of this coming June. I do it when everything is going well, and I do it during times of crisis. I’ve added in more of these practices, and greater self-care, over that time.
And it has helped me become exponentially happier and more centered – even when the sh*t hits the fan. This allows me to be of better service to those who need my help.
I’m not saying all of this to brag. Believe me, no one who is still alive here on Earth has “mastered” meditation or reached enlightenment.
We all, me included, have our very human moments of freaking out. But you don’t have to live there 24-7. I want to demonstrate that it’s possible to surrender, to let go of some of the stress and fear.
I used to think that faith and surrender were a cop-out. But they’re not. The only thing we are fully in control of is our own RESPONSE. That is the heart of our power-from-within.
Stress and fear of the unknown are about hanging on to an illusion of control. Our ego brain, when it feels threatened with change or loss, wants to cling to the familiar. If that’s not possible, we go into “fight or flight” mode. This primal urge was set up to get us out of immediate danger. Sustaining it over long periods of time is not good for your health (body, mind, or spirit).
Practicing exquisite self-care in the form of spiritual practice – of connection to something bigger than your ego-mind – is a powerful antidote.
Meditation, yoga, creativity, dance, getting out in nature, mindfulness; all of these things and more can connect you to your intuitive sense that you’re going to be just fine. Yes, even if you suffer or die (we are all mortal – you do know that, right?).
Much like planting a tree, the best time to start a spiritual practice was 10 years ago, but the next best time is right now.
There are plenty of excuses for not doing it. But perhaps this crisis is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for. Start with 15 minutes at the beginning of your day. New to meditation? There are hundreds of free guided meditations out there. Try one.
Averse to meditation? Then just pick something that feels good to you and that will distract your monkey mind from its worries for a time. Take a walk outside. Listen to uplifting music as you sip coffee or tea. Read a sacred text or a self-help book that calls to you. Draw or color. Build something in your garage. Cook a healthy meal, with intention. Take a bath with candles and crystals.
Shut off the freaking news and social media, even if only for an hour or two.
We’re being asked to stay home right now, as much as possible. That’s a perfect opportunity for some exquisite self-care. Go within. You are connected to the wisdom of the Universe. Your part in accessing it is to stop spinning with worry and turn your face toward that wisdom, even if only for a few precious minutes.
If this idea appeals to you and you want some help with getting started, reach out to me and we’ll talk (virtually, online, and germ-free). I’m here, and I’m not in panic mode. I’d love to assist you with finding your center.