When THIS is over....
I hope you’ve been finding your way as we work through these days of social-distancing. We are all thinking more about what we need in our lives to create a meaningful life. (It turns out that Apple Watch I've been wanting isn't on my list of what I want in my life right now after all.)
Yesterday I had a sore throat and a low-grade fever. I started to feel quite anxious. I went for a walk and found a quiet place in the woods where I just leaned my back against one of my favourite spruce trees and took some deep breaths. I prayed and released the fear and then I walked home. When I got home my heart rate was high and I realized my racing heart was a stress response. Maybe you’ve had similar things happening in the past month. (By the end of the day, I was feeling okay again and my throat isn't any worse today.)
I find it helpful to know myself and to pay attention to how I am feeling physically, emotionally and spiritually. Self-awareness helps us know what is normal and when and how to best take care of ourselves. In the past few years, I’ve been reading about Empaths and Highly Sensitive People (HSP). The more I read the more I understand what happens to me. I have a lot of the traits that define empath personality.
It's helped me accept a few things about myself. Namely that I am not good at connecting with people when I am stressed out. I’m one of those people who withdraw when I’m struggling. In fact, when I am really stressed out I don’t even journal. Even now I find some days I write very little. I can easily get overwhelmed with a lot of social contact and right now my reserves are pretty low. I’m finding it takes a lot of energy to do nothing.
I’m telling you this partly because if you email or call me right now it may take me a while to get back to you! I can handle about one deep conversation a day about how the Covid-19 is impacting our lives and then I need to stop so I don’t get too focused on it and start to spiral into fear and anxious thoughts.
I know some of you can relate to what I’m saying and others are finding it easier to adapt. Most of you are probably up and down. You feel like you’ve got it all sorted out some days and other days you are really overwhelmed. I understand. So far today, I’m having a great morning. I’ve walked, showered, dressed in real clothes and journaled. I have soup stock simmering on the stove. I’m feeling grateful I can still do up my jeans. I’m writing and I have a curbside pick up later today. It’s 10 am and I know I might be in a different place by 3 pm.
One of the things I am good at is connecting people with resources that help them in their lives. A friend told me about this New York Times article she read on how to live online. It’s worth reading and here is a quote that stood out for me from the article:
“One thing we know for certain is that actively participating in online culture is far better than passively consuming it.”
If you are scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, watching a church service or Netflix, you are not going to find the social connection you need right now. Take a minute to comment and engage in a conversation. Find social platforms where you can actually have a conversation with people rather than just watching and consuming from a distance. What we need is human connection right now.
These unprecedented days are giving us a great opportunity to do some self-reflection. When I offered my Soul-Centered Living program last year, the first module was on values. The feedback I received from participants was that it was deep work that they wanted more time on. I think the best way I can help you right now is by bringing us together to talk about ‘what is most important’ at this time in our lives. I need to warn you I have never done something quite like this before. It will be an experiment and we can figure it out together! At least we can laugh together if it doesn’t work out!
I’ve noticed how many conversations I’ve had recently where we eventually get to wistfully saying “When this is over I .” And I have an idea! I think it would be helpful to talk about what we miss most right now. Let’s reflect on what we are secretly happy we don’t have to participate in. Let’s do a deep dive into what we are learning about what is most important to us and share it together. Let's explore what we are learning about our values and what really matters and how we can craft our lives to reflect those things when we emerge from our cocoons. I may even have a PDF to go with this call.
Here’s the deal. I am limiting the call to ten people. It is free. I want us to connect. You won't just be listening to me talking. If more than ten people register I will do a second call. I’m scheduling it for Thursday, April 16th at 2 pm. Are you in? You can register here.