I’m writing this in the middle of a global pandemic of COVID-19. We are going through an intense, collective, existential crisis. Everything that we do right now is magnified, whether positive or negative. Our thoughts, our actions, our words. We have the opportunity for transformation, both individually and collectively.
Covid-19 is showing us this. For the first time in our lifetimes, countries are not at war with each other. They are at war with an invisible virus. I would have never wished this virus on us, and I have no illusions that it is a good thing. However, you can start to see the awakening that is happening for many of us as a result of this terrible time.
We have a window of opportunity to plan and transform. Let’s use it! I truly believe we can overcome this crisis as a collective, and we can create a much better world after it is over. This requires us to step up individually and collectively. So how do we do that? Here are some qualities we can cultivate during this time to stay centered.
Let’s be honest. Our current world does not value silence. There is such an overload of information being directed at us. But more is not necessarily better. So much of this is pure noise, distraction and chaos. Much of it is misinformation, mere opinion and just plain garbage.
In order to get centered, we have to shut all of this out, ideally for at least 1-2 waking hours a day. You can spend that time in meditation, yoga, prayer, walking, or exercising (silently). I recommend everyone practice meditation for at least 10 minutes every day. With meditation, just like exercise, the more you put in, the better the results.
Our higher wisdom lives in the silence, not in the noise! We are constantly receiving information through our intuition, synchronicities or signs that are trying to help guide us in the directions that are best for us. The more we practice silencing our mind, the more we can start to see this wisdom emerge.
To me grace is a way of being – a way of being gentle, forgiving and compassionate. A way of creating space and allowing things to be not perfect, or even really ugly, and yet just allowing it to be without judgment.
Nearly every person on this planet is in extreme suffering right now, in one way or another. If they are ill, they are suffering physically. If a loved one is affected, they are worried or mourning. If they are an essential worker, they are working under duress, tired and stressed. If they have lost their job, they may be feeling lost or hopeless. If you are reading this, you are probably also suffering in your own way. Now is the time for a huge dose of collective grace.
Be kind. Be gentle. Take care of yourself to the best of your ability. Do not judge yourself for sleeping more, crying, or indulging in things that comfort you. Do not judge others for their fear, irrationality, or even cruelty. Do your best to shield yourself from circumstances that trigger you emotionally, and walk away as quickly as possible if you cannot avoid them. Self-care has become a buzzword. But the things that allow us to care for mind, body, emotions and soul are very much needed right now.
A daily check-in is a good practice to institute. Do this in a light meditation and ask yourself these questions.
- How is my body feeling right now? How does my body want to be cared for today?
- What emotions am I feeling right now? What can I do to feel emotionally better today?
- How is my mind right now? What can I do today to make my thoughts more positive?
- How am I feeling spiritually? What can I do today to be more connected to joy, the light, and purpose?
Many of us have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: an abundance of time! I realize this does not apply to everyone, but if you reading this, it probably does. We have the time to reflect. I’ve found journaling to be my most useful tool when it comes to reflection.
Here are some journaling prompts for right now:
- What am I grateful for right now?
- What am I feeling right now?
- What is this time trying to show/teach me?
- What things about my life right now do I want to keep moving forward? (habits, practices, thoughts)
- What in my life before this crisis was serving me well?
- What in my life before this crisis was not serving me?
- What do I need to forgive myself for?
- What do I need to forgive others for?
- What do I appreciate about myself right now?
- What areas do I need to heal or improve in myself?
- What do I want to be different about my life after this is over?
To me, hope is about optimism. And it is also about imagination. In order to stay hopeful for a long period, we need a vision to ground our optimism. We need to be able to imagine that there is a better future on the other side of this crisis. The more tangible we make this vision, the easier it is to remain hopeful.
There is a lot of speculation circulating that is lacking all hope. People (mostly with little qualifications to do so) are predicting doom and gloom on all fronts. Avoid getting caught up in this! Fear of an uncertain outcome is extremely unhealthy. All dire predictions underestimate our personal and collective power. Believe that you and others can and will do the right thing when it becomes necessary. That is hope!
Putting your energy into how to create a better future is far more productive. Let’s do that! Here are some things you can do to remain hopeful during this time.
- Focus on what’s positive in your life and your loved ones’ lives – tap into gratitude!
- Amplify humor and laughter in your life – whatever makes you laugh – do that!
- Connect with people in meaningful ways – phone/video calls, texts, etc.
- Consume positive sources of input – read, listen to music, look at art, nature, etc.
- Create things! Learn a hobby, make art, teach others, build a business, make new friends!
- Focus on the good things that are happening right now. There is good news out there! Look for it. Keep it top of mind.
- Create a vision for your life after this is over. How will it feel? What activities does it include? What people does it include? What would make your future life beautiful, abundant, and joyful?
When a crisis happens, we have a choice. We can either become a victim to it, or we can face it head on and overcome it. In order to progress, we have to admit that we have ultimate power and control over our own lives. We can try to escape that responsibility. Or use it to blame others. We can use it an excuse for our own bad behavior. Or we can throw our hands up in the air and say nothing matters anyway, so why bother? These are all slippery slopes. They become crutches that block us from moving forward.
It is easy to look at a situation as big as a global pandemic and lose perspective of our own power. But I implore you to fight that tendency. We still have so much control over our lives. We have control over many things including:
- Our attitude
- Our behaviors and habits
- Our thoughts (especially through meditation)
- How we treat other people
- How we treat ourselves
- What energy we put into solving the problem vs. dwelling on it
To get to a place where we can take responsibility and our power back, we need a clear mind and perspective. Two practices to focus on here are meditation and gratitude. Meditation clears the mind and allows us to see the bigger picture beyond the minutia of our stresses and daily worries.
Focusing on gratitude allows you to see what you already have that’s working and minimizes how you perceive the current crisis. Ways to cultivate gratitude are journaling, quiet reflection and prayer.
This is a time of great transition, which we can use to our advantage if we are intentional. We are starting to shed the parts of us that no longer serve us. We are questioning who we really are and whether our lifestyle up to this point was really serving us. We are starting to see the magnitude of how what we do affects everyone around us.
Will you be a part of the solution? Will you bring compassion and peace and comfort to yourself and others during this time? Will you use your imagination to create and co-create a vision for a better world? Will you take responsibility for what you can change, regardless of outer circumstances? Will you take your power back wherever you have given it up?
I hope that you will! Sending love and light to all. ?