There is a great power in honoring the reality of our current emotions, not feeding them or making them worse, but simply recognizing that this is what has arisen in this present moment and that this will also change. When we create this space within ourselves, a space of calmness that is undisturbed by the storm, the storm tends to pass more quickly.Yung Pueblo, Inward
I arrived at the Airbnb beach cottage with my daughters for some R&R on Saturday, March 14th, 2020 and by Monday, March 16th, 2020 the world had unraveled like a ball of yarn tangled in change and unknowing unrolling faster than we could catch it.
As surely as the sun rises from the horizon on the Atlantic Ocean, so do the waves of shocking, sad, and surreal developments in this unprecedented times we find ourselves in.
The mass hysteria for toilet paper and sanitation products give us a sense of control, but as I listen and watch others intimately experience this moment in humanity, I know we are ill-prepared at the emotional level for what is upon us and we underestimate the impact of our energetic being on our physical being.
What has become obvious to me is that many of us are not accepting this:
If something’s happened – it’s already happened.
And until one can take that first step into THAT space of knowing, one can not move past fear, loss, anger, depression, anxiety, even boredom.
This is a mindset: to allow an inner mental shift from grasping to acceptance, from control to surrender, from loss to possibilities.
The first step of the 12 Steps of AA comes to mind and is actually pertinent to many challenges we face: this idea of powerlessness framed within the context of unconditional surrender; allowing grace to heal any suffering. It’s important to remember that you are not completely “powerless.” You do have the power to cultivate a more positive mindset for greater clarity and ease in how you move forward.
Ask yourself these 7 questions as a way to flip the switch from a mindset of disadvantage to one of opportunity:
- Am I aware of what news/social media I am allowing into my presence? It’s okay to want to stay abreast of current events but be particular of your sources and how much you take in.
- Am I responding to my environment rather than reacting? Herd mentality and how you answered Question Number 1 can promote fear-based knee-jerk reacting with negative consequences. The hoarding of toilet paper comes to mind and is the consequence of reaction rather than a thoughtful response resulting in little to no concern for others and their possible needs. Yes you need to make sure you feel secure in a crisis, but pause and respond in a way that is rational rather than reaction-based on another’s irrational behavior or information.
- Am I asking for help from others in my intimate circle in areas that I am feeling overwhelmed in? Collaboration and support may be just the life line you need.
- Can I focus on one thing about my new situation that can help me see there is good in this? Perhaps you’ve always hated your commute and now you get to sleep in an extra 30-60 minutes AND shuffle barefoot to another room to start your work day.
- Can I put boundaries in place to honor myself first so that I can be fully present and not resentful of the close quarters I find myself in? This is for all the parents out there that find themselves having to play a more hands on, active role in their kids’ education.
- Am I keeping a gratitude list every day? A growing body of research supports this. Writing down what you are thankful for reduces stress and depression, helps you sleep better and triggers joyfulness and more positive feelings. It’s a reminder that there is always something good going on.
- Am I staying present in this moment? As Eckhart Tolle reminds us, “be absolutely in the moment you are in now” which is the key to relinquishing desire for what is not here anymore and deflects thoughts of the future which hasn’t even happened.
Question Number 7- Mindfulness – is truly the key to shifting your mindset and navigating these uncharted times in a loving healing way rather than spiraling into a dark energy hole. Let’s hold that thought ’til tomorrow’s post where I’ll delve deeper into this fundamental Buddhist teaching and help you cultivate a mindfulness practice.
In the meantime be physically, emotionally and spiritually well!