Updated: Apr 7, 2021
Well friends, it's been 1-year of living
through a pandemic. How are you?
I ask how you are each week because I genuinely care how you're holding up and as a reminder to check-in with yourself in order to honor the place you are sitting in this very moment. It's OK not to be OK, it's OK to feel good and it's OK to STILL feel unsure. Heck, it's always OK to feel whatever is there. Taking a moment to feel is so important. When you read that question you might even answer out loud in truth how you are. In person, we are quick to say "fine" for many reasons, but here, it's safe and cathartic to just speak the truth out loud. So, I'll ask again for you to answer out loud. How are you?
I took a look back at my message to you from this time last year.
Remember how much grief we had about all the things that were being cancelled? Spring break trips, class parties, prom, graduation, weddings?
Remember how we had to help our kids navigate their losses along with ours? That one was HARD for me.
Remember how we worked to change all our "what if" questions to "what IS" using our senses to stay present and less fearful?
Remember how you turned to nature for soothing? You created your walking routine, coming up with new routes, and discovering interesting hikes to stay sane and entertained?
Remember recognizing that you were bored? Something that never seemed to be allowed just weeks before?
Now, look at where you are? You are changed. You've lost and found. We've shed tears out of sadness, loss, loneliness, frustration or fear. Some of you have lost family or friends from COVID-19 or from other causes without traditional ways to say goodbye, but you found a way to honor them. You've missed seeing your grown kids, grandkids and extended family in person, but you found ways to show your love anyway. You lost opportunities, but you decided to create your own. This, my friends is the definition of resiliency.
And now, with vaccines getting to us, it feels like we may be stepping out of the darkness and into the light.
This is exciting, but I've been experiencing thoughts about what I don't want to lose from this time at home. Are you hoping to hold onto something you've gained over this year that you're afraid might dissolve with re-entry into "normal" life? Maybe you're thinking:
How do I hold onto the slower pace, the time for reflection and rest?
What if the calendar suddenly fills up with obligations, meetings and social events and I over-stretch myself again?
How do I not go back to FILL IN THE BLANK?
I think it's perfectly normal to feel protective about what we've figured out. I've come up with a little experiment for myself to help ensure I hold onto what brings more stability to my life. Want to try it, too?
Write down EXACTLY what you want to keep or hold onto in as few words as possible. (This will help clarify what you're after).
Write this intention(s) on small pieces of paper and hide them everywhere! In the car, under cushions, in bags, purses and wallets as reminders to discover over-and-over again. It might work...let's try it :)
Input monthly reminders on your phone and record a voice memo.
This level of opportunity to make the "change" you really need, or to hold onto the change you MADE, or to KEEP the routine you HAVE SET may never again present itself so openly and easily as the time we're sitting in RIGHT. NOW. Look at the SPACE you have to do this and take advantage of it!
I'm afraid if we don't set a firm intention now, the world will open back up and our old tendencies will be waiting with open arms to carry us back into our familiar ways.
I'm here to remind you when your time comes to walk out into the world again, go cautiously, gently and smarter because you understand what's at stake-your precious health and wellbeing, your contentment and bliss. YOU get to discover life again in a new way, with knowledge about yourself that YOU took time to find. YOU understand how TIME and SPACE are necessary for change and YOU will nourish yourself instead of depleting yourself... from now on!
Keep up the efforts to protect everyone! We're close, my friends. You're doing great!
Love to you all,