Updated: May 21
Hey. I understand that people are feeling very anxious and frightened about The Virus That's Taken Over Our Lives. I get it. Our lives have been turned upside down and it's very unsettling. However, getting really worked up is not going to help anyone mentally, emotionally or physically. We know the effects of constant fear and stress. It wears on our good nature (we are fighting over toilet paper and hand sanitizer, people!). It erodes our inner strength and immunity, known as Ojas in Ayurveda.
I know this is going to sound dumb, especially for those who are having serious hardships like loss of health or income or other resources, but ...
I would like to ask you to pause for a moment, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and look within.
I think it's important for us right now to try to find the calm that is inherent within ourselves. Find our center. Try to understand how this situation came about in a real and grounded way. It's time to be honest with ourselves.
This virus is putting us all on our butts for good reason. The human race is Officially Out Of Control. Now, I don't meant to say the corona virus is a judgement. More like, collective karma. Karma because maybe we've lost sight of what's really important in life. We needed this virus to show us our short comings. It's given us the gift of time to reassess our lives and think about what really matters to our wellness - should we choose to accept it as a gift or even a lesson. Or we could look outside ourselves and be overrun with the rampant fear that seems to be even more infectious than the actual virus.
Remember, the seasonal flu will still be a threat and will remain one year after year (click image to the left for current flu numbers from the CDC). I'm not saying don't take the Corona Virus seriously. It's obviously serious. We may even continue to see it seasonally. That said, why don't we take similar measures on a seasonal basis to stop ALL flu? I think it's because "there's a vaccine for that." But it's a band aid solution and not a very good one at that. So, does this mean that once we have a Corona vaccine we can go back to our usual (crazy) lives? I'm not so sure about that. This is why I think we have a larger problem on our hands. Corona (and H1N1 and MERS an SARS) is just a symptom. It's not the root.
What if we took the lessons of corona to heart and made the necessary changes to our lifestyle so that we could all live more healthy, fulfilled lives. I don't mean to remain sheltered (that is a matter of perspective, however. Are we sheltered? Or has modern society changed us so much that we don't recognize what used to be normal?)... rather, taking real, lasting steps to protect our health and that of others, too.
What if we use this time to reassess and simplify our lives? To take better care of ourselves and our loved ones? To prioritize health and relearn the meaning of true wellness? To attend to and heal the long-held inequalities in health care, the work place, etc.
Meaning that we actually stay home when we're sick or keep kids home when they are (even it when it means we have stay home, too). To really give a damn about personal hygiene. To take better care of our elders and other high risk populations. To give workers the healthier environments they deserve. To seek meaningful connection with less people. To live more by doing less. To make personal sacrifices so that we can all be healthy including people we will never, ever meet. To understand that we are all connected.
Personally, I feel fairly calm and grounded in our home routine and the kids seem to be doing okay outside of missing their teachers and their classmates (I really miss their teachers!). We're doing things we don't usually have time for. We're enjoying cooking and eating more meals together. We're learning new things and going for bike rides in the park. We've held onto our regular routine and because of that there's a soothing rhythm to our days and nights (after an initial few days of adjusting). But that's another blog post...
I still think something essential has to change in the way we live our lives. What will it be? Maybe people will take health and wellness matters more seriously from now on? Will we try to live simpler lives? Or will we forget until the next super bug hits?
This time of self-isolation (or is it self-withdrawal or -conservation) reminds me of one of my favorite poems by Donna Faulds, Go In And In. I'd like to close with her inviting words...
Go in and in… Be the space between the cells, the vast, resounding silence in which spirit dwells… Be sugar dissolving on the tongue of life.
Dive in and in… as deep as you can dive. Be infinite, ecstatic truth. Be love conceived and born in union… Be exactly what you seek, the Beloved, singing Yes, tasting Yes, embracing Yes until there is only essence, the All of Everything expressing through you as you…
Go in and in… and turn away from nothing that you find…
Danna Faulds From: Go In and In 2002
Am I on to something here? Will there be a New Normal after Corona? I'm wondering what the take away's will be? What might yours be?
Take care of yourself. Keep the inner connection strong. Take care of your loved ones. Hold them as close as you (reasonably) can. Keep strong bonds with others close to your heart even if from afar. We will get through this.