A: We DON’T KNOW what we do in “times like these!” With the advent of the novel Coronavirus and a period of elective self-isolation or even self-quarantine, we are in a new time, a wholly foreign experience complete with new everyday words like "Covid-19," "pandemic" and "social distancing."
We are immersed in an unfamiliar and ever-changing family and neighbor dynamic, operating in a new economic, social, professional, and world context. This landscape? Alien. Surreal. If you’re feeling stressed, distressed, uncertain, sad, anxious, and scared, that would be normal. Normal. Normal. Normal. We are living in the UNKNOWN. Where invisible forces are closing doors around us and have us reaching for Purell, instructions and answers. And each of these is available in limited supply. So, what do we do in a time like this? First, we take a deep breath. DO IT. Take a deeeeeeep breath, right from your belly. And another. Until we are feeling grounded in NOW, heartbeat steady, mind and body in sync. When we’re grounded, we’re present for what is needed, within and without. Our Presence is needed right now. It would be easy to spend our upcoming weeks feeling pulled by seen and unseen forces, and out of control. Oh no you doh-on’t. (I know, I can’t pull off that kind of attitude, but…trying). ;-)
You are POWERFUL.
You have choices. Always.
During this awkward life-interrupted-time, what do you choose?
How do you want to show up for this time, for yourself and for others in your life?
My take, as both a life coach and someone who has made it to the other side of many jarring life changes and challenges?
It’s “times like these” when we get a special chance to be a light in the dark -- for ourselves and for others.
When we are invited to connect like never before (6 feet apart or virtually of course!). Personally, authentically, from the heart. That’s what it’s all about for us humans -- CONNECTING!
If this time were a gift (work with me here), what might it be offering you?
If YOU were a gift (and you are), what do you have to offer right now?
Taking a gift perspective is not intended to belittle anything we are each going through in this, but it is so EASY to focus on doors shutting, on losses, on predictability going out the window, on the “WHAT IFs,” on no-you-can’ts….
Our OPPORTUNITY can be to ask ourselves what else is possible here and create some YESes.
What can we say YES to right now?
What YESes might we intentionally create together with our families and friends? What might we want to embrace? How can we be of service to ourselves, our families, our community right now? What can we appreciate in this moment?
Who do we want to BE during this time?
Kind? Bold? Collaborative? Creative? Strong? Calm? Self-Compassionate? Fierce? Fun? Loving? Present? Generous? Deliberate? Adaptable? Connecting? Entrepreneurial? Nurturing? Courageous? You get to CHOOSE who and how you want to be, no matter what comes. Like with that magical jar of Ragu spaghetti sauce, IT’S IN THERE. Whatever qualities you want to pull forward can be pulled from your inner jar. Dare I suggest that this is always our opportunity, and that the hustle of life often blurs what’s right before our eyes? This is YOUR time, Friends. Are you with me?
Take deeeep belly breaths several times a day. Put reminders in your phone for at least 3x a day. You can put a hand on your heart and/or belly. As you breathe, bring awareness to “activated” parts of your body. Tight shoulders? Cramped gut? Electricity shooting through arms? Notice and name each (i.e., “tight shoulders”). Breathe through this exercise, just noticing with a gentle inner eye….
Be intentional during this time. Start with the breath and get grounded each morning. You can consider: How do I want to show up today and overall? Who do I want to connect with and how? Who might I serve and how? (Answer could just be “ME.”). What professional opportunity can I grow? What do I want those I care about to know?
Dance. Boogie it up. Shake that thang. Belt it out. If there were ever a time to crank up some favorite tunes, this is IT. Whether it’s perfecting a dance move by yourself or with others, watching Princess Bride for the 48th time, screaming out “Defying Gravity” from Wicked at the top of your lungs, or playing Twister with your kids, there is always time for FUN. Let it in. Right now. Tomorrow. And the next day.
I am walking this road with you and no “time like this” is gonna bring us down.