We are currently in the midst of a global health crisis- the coronavirus pandemic. Life has come to a standstill and we do not know when it will resume. How do we cope during this period of isolation, fear and uncertainty? Can we find opportunity in anxiety? Assuming we're well, and our basic needs are met, we can use this time for soul work.
The pause in external activity can be an opportunity to declutter our lives and focus on what matters most, to slow down and recommit to our deepest values. When all this is over, we can dive into life again with renewed purpose, intention and gratitude.
The other day I went to a park with my hubby and daughter. It was a wet, cold day and under normal circumstances, I probably wouldn't have gone, but we had been so cooped up we really needed to get out. It ended up being one of the most magical and soothing days we've had in a long time.
The park embraced us in her peace and beauty. Squirrels, ducks and birds came closer. We were moved by their innocence. In their presence, all was well and we were free of the pandemic and onslaught of headlines. At one point, we wandered off the paved pathway and onto a trail that meandered through wooded grounds. Although we could see a boulevard and houses just beyond the trees, it felt like we had stepped into the Land of the Hobbits. We walked unhurried and in awe. We passed a shallow recess covered in a blanket of green ivy overgrowth. The ground was a bed of tangled vines and secrets. We passed a stream and newly-sprouted purple and yellow wildflowers affirming spring's arrival. At one point, I felt drawn to a particular tree and walked over to place my hand on it and just stood there in wonder. I could feel the life force coursing through its bark and in its roots beneath my feet. I felt its deep history and wisdom.
When was the last time I did that?
I was a child again on that dreary, quiet day.
Which is not to say that I haven't been anxious during this pandemic, because I have. I feel uprooted and disoriented and very sad at not seeing my dancers. In this undefined expanse of time, I wonder where everyone is and how they are. My students, friends, distant relatives and people whose names I don't even know, but with whom I've felt a warmth and intimacy on a regular and comforting basis, like the kind waiter who served my daughter and me waffles every Thursday at our favorite local spot. How is he doing, I wonder. Suddenly, I've become deeply aware of the many little threads connecting me to others and the precious humanity we share. What happened? Life is on hold and with it, I am holding my breath.
Will we be the same when this is over?
Turns out, there's a name for this anxiety and confusion. You can read about it here in an article that talks about the mental and emotional toll of the pandemic, how to process it and find meaning in it.
Three weeks of social-distancing got me thinking about this quote today:
"The things that matter most in our lives are not fantastic or grand. They are the moments when we touch one another."
- Jack Kornfield
Wishing you health and peace, now and always.
Performing Arts Studio