By Aleece: I can do anything for a day, a season, a school year. We can pace ourselves in adversity for bearing up under the restrictions, difficulties, when we know the end date.
Yet, COVID19 has not given the world an end date, and we have all been challenged by lockdown, by adversity, and many by loss. We have adjusted as best we can to life continuing on a smaller scale of movement, with social distancing, and being mindful of everything we touch when we are out. It has caused us to think more about what we touch and what we don’t touch, like no more shaking hands and friendly embraces. It rather reminds me of what it was like as a young driver, having to think about every act I made when I was behind the wheel.
We are all asked now for really intentional movement.
In some ways it is good to be mindful, but it can also be exhausting. Even if you are not a worrier, nor watching the news everyday, nor dealing with loss from the pandemic, it is stressful just not knowing if you are carrying a germ that might infect someone who will get really sick because of your carelessness in not washing your hands or wearing a mask, or coughing unexpectedly.
How do we keep pace with the stress of this ongoing pandemic terrain? As it stretches out further than we want it to, globally and months on end, what do we do to keep ourselves strong, resilient, and able to bring forth what is necessary in these times?
Catherine Ingram quoted- “Humans have lived through terrible times and the only thing to do is to keep living and loving and being grateful for the day that you have. Be kind to yourself and everyone around you.”
How are you going to empower yourself so you can do that in these times?
I find a daily routine is a clear way to be kind to yourself, and it’s very grounding as the seasons and the environment changes. I suggest a basic routine of morning self care, healthy meals and sitting down at the table once a day with just music and conversation, a walk outside, and a regular time of going to sleep. Easy to disdain the simple and obvious, but also easy to let them slip. It is amazing how practicing those habits enables you bandwidth for being kind to others though. Do it, for yourself and others.
Another way to dial up and tap your inner resources is meditating. I want to give you a mini guide right here. It’s so easy. You can try it right now and see for yourself how it helps settle you deeper into your resources.
One of the simplest techniques is called mindfulness meditation. There are slight differences in how different teachers will teach this method, but here is my mini version that works just fine.
Sit down and get comfortable. Try and keep your back straight as possible, but don’t be a ramrod! You can sit on a chair that has back support, or a mat on the floor, or outside on the grass in a quiet place. Some people like to sit with legs crossed, and some prefer a chair with their feet on the floor. More advanced meditators may choose the lotus position. Whatever works!
Take one or two deep breaths to relax yourself and prepare to enter meditation.
Close your eyes. That’s important.
Notice the movement of your breath as it enters and exits your nose. If you want, you can focus on the spot where it leaves your nostril. Keep your attention gentle. You don’t have to concentrate hard. If you lose track of your breath, that’s okay. Just return your attention easily to the breath if you notice you’ve forgotten about it.
Let your thoughts flow as they will. If anything, this is the tricky part. You do not have to “stop your thoughts.” In fact, if you try, you might notice that you cannot stop your thoughts. Thoughts just happen. The trick is to not get too entangled in them. Just let the thoughts arise and pass by. Don’t try to control them, but don’t actively “follow” them either. After a while, you’ll notice that the thoughts just seem like so much chatter. You’ll feel detached from your thoughts, especially if you can maintain that gentle attention on your breath. You’ll be an observer of your thoughts.
When you’re done meditating, open your eyes slowly and take another deep breath. Then start with some gentle movements in the hands and feet. Don’t jump up from your chair or rush to do the next thing. Give yourself some moments to reorient.
Let me know if you try these and how it helps. I am here to support you. We really are a part of a global family and connected to each other. It benefits others when we take care of ourselves. It is good for the community when we grow in resiliency.
As John Lewis invited us, “So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.”
Love and Light,