Sharing Some Hope

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Regardless of any faith you may believe, I feel what we need now is to remain hopeful.  I see how rapidly things are changing and I see the projections of where this is taking us and I want us all to keep our faith here and understand that we are all in this together.  So here is my hope for all of you:

During this time of change, help us witness the outmoded patterns that we are collectively releasing and help us to do our part to let go as well.  Help us let go of fears about what people think, about achieving goals solely for money, about success.

Help us release fears related to financial stressors and trust that as this situation continues to adapt and unfold, more changes will be made to help us through this.

Help us release judgement of what is occurring, of people, of myself as we all struggle to work with what has been presented to us.  Please help us accept what is and to learn to adapt.

Help us find new creative ways to express ourselves.  Please help us use this time to find the connection to soul and spirit within us to bring forth the joys we have repressed in favor of what we believed we were supposed to do.

Please guide us to fulfill our purpose during this time and to find alternative ways to help those that I am able to reach with my gifts.

Please provide us with a sense of peace and belief that we will all get through this as we are meant to.  As difficult as this is, as painful as the losses we have experienced and are still facing may be, please help us understand the reason.

Please help us turn this situation into something of collective beauty.

Please protect us through these challenging times and grant us health and strength.  Please help us use this time to learn to instill health as a part of our lifestyles moving forward and to make changes to ensure that we understand that health is a vital part of society—not something we should be afforded as we can afford to pay for it—it is a right for all.

Please let us learn to appreciate what we have been given and to no longer take our privileges for granted.  We have all seen first hand how quickly they can be taken away when necessary—so let’s take this time to see what a gift we have.

Please let us take the lesson about societal interconnectedness to heart.  Our actions truly have an impact on everyone.  Even if you don’t see it personally, your actions have ripples that stretch far and wide so let’s do our best to heed our impact on ourselves, our loved ones, on those we don’t see, and the planet.  Let’s make better decisions.

Please let us see the beauty in each new day and learn to be in love with life again.  Real life—being with our families, spending time with people, building and creating again.  Amen.

New Normal

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Folks, all of this will be ok.  It may not feel like it today, it may not feel like it in a week or a month from now.  but it will be ok.  There is nothing to fear with the changes that are occurring.  And the truth is fear is a result of being unsure how to handle the unknown.  There was a time that people were tuned into the earth and we are being called to do that again.  Everything will be ok.

Humans are remarkably adaptable creatures and the earth is telling us that it is time for a shift.  We are moving from the mind to the earth and to the sky.  What good is living in the mind if there is nothing that can be benefitted from it?  And really the first question should be, who outside of us benefits from living in our minds?  I’m not saying to abandon all logic but I am saying to revisit motive.  We are entering a new normal and we have to learn to deal with it.

I’ve had my freak out.  I’ve had my wrestling with “What’s next?” and “How are we going to get through this financially?”  And now I have to say I just don’t care.  The truth is the paradigm with live under is all going to have to go away regardless, because we are awakening.  Sometimes the world ends up taking us right we are meant to be no matter how uncomfortable it is getting there.  I believe that we are in that process now.

For the first time ever we are GLOBALLY in the exact same situation.  This is something that has affected all of us and will continue to affect us all until the message is received.  The world has resources that were never meant to be monopolized and turned into a commodity, people are not commodities, and business isn’t God.  How fortunate we are that in the midst of a devastatingly unfortunate situation that we are still given the opportunity to reflect and change and grow.  We need to understand that the work that is needed in this case is internal.  This isn’t something we can buy and bring home or something we can go to the office and produce.  This is a time we have to sit and get uncomfortable.

We have been trained to avoid discomfort in our lives.  We have been given the opportunity to shield ourselves from the internal work through distraction.  We were able to buy pretty things while feeling like shit on the inside.  When there is a true global crisis going on (as there is now) we have to shift from how do we avoid this to how can we help in this?  That is going to mean very different things to everyone.  There are some people being called to the frontlines.  There are people who are providing services online.  There are people providing FREE services online.  There are people helping neighbors, assisting elderly, there are teachers providing lessons from home.  So many beautiful things.  For some of us we feel the need to internalize.  Whether you were always introverted or if this is raising serious fears for you, THAT IS OK.  For I am also of the belief that the work we do individually raises the vibration for the collective.

If you are one of those people, learn to sit where you’re at and learn the questions you really need to ask.  You can ask yourself how this discomfort feels in your body.  You can ask yourself where you’re feeling it in your body and research how the emotion and the physical expression are related.  You can ask what the fear is really telling you about what you’re called to do.  For all of the wonderful connections we have through technology, we are a generation that has lost the ability to connect with people.  So ask yourself where are you disconnected?  Are the anxieties you feel related to that disconnection?  Chances are, yes, they are. And chances are you are more disconnected with yourself than anyone else.  So start there.

Simply start by feeling the weight of your body as you move through the world or even as you sit on the couch.  Concentrate on the connection you feel between the materials of the sofa, your clothes, your skin.  What does it actually feel like?  Where are you tight?  Where are you relaxed?  Are your clothes binding or loose?  Keep in mind that you’d make adjustments to any of these issues if you felt uncomfortable.  We are going to apply that principle to your thoughts.  Where in your mind do you feel restricted?  And when you feel that way, what does it do to your body?  Sometimes the answers on how to fix that are more challenging that changing into sweatpants.  But finding that one thought and stopping it or even adjusting it is enough to put you on a different path.  That is often the goal:  get off of the path of repetitive thoughts and learn to follow what is right for you.  So much of working through anxiety is really about shifting back to the physical present.  That’s all that is needed.

So while I don’t have a crystal ball, I still feel in my gut that everything will be ok.  The simple truth is that at this point there is nothing we can do to change what has happened.  We all have to move forward in this together and we can do that by celebrating the need for a  new way of life, or we can fight what is happening to preserve something that didn’t really serve the people or the world regardless.  I hope with everything in me that we choose the former.  I don’t pretend that it isn’t a lot of work or that it is easy—I just know solidly that it is possible and that it is necessary.  So for the time being, just stay as safe as you can and ride this wave with the world.  It’s all changing anyway and we can take that message clearly now: don’t get too comfortable, there is more to do here.  The old ways served in their time and now it’s time for something else.  So do your part.

A Little Thought

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When I’m patient I let the universe do for me what I cannot do for myself—Gabby Bernstein Super Attractor Deck.  I drew this card today and it’s appropriate because I have been incredibly agitated, tense, and frustrated as of late.  I work in healthcare and I struggle with the decisions I’ve had to make in regards to my family and their health, my own health, and maintaining my job, my house, and all the other things I am so accustomed to in my life.  I also struggle with this because I am very used to having to do things for myself.  Most of time I’ve dealt with people who will vacuum the house when I told them I would do it but asked them to do the dishes—and then they got mad when I wasn’t grateful.  I

I understand things are changing rapidly and that this is a situation no one of our generation or those before or after us have seen.  But I struggle with the simple things and the simple facts: we shouldn’t be in close proximity to others.  We should be doing what we can to keep those who are healthy, healthy.  I struggle with their indifference while more and more people are exposed (including myself albeit minimally) and it is chalked up to the normal operation of things.  I especially struggle to be patient when I see that the lack of commitment to these decisions is keeping me and my family at risk as well as many thousands of other people.  I know my voice isn’t alone in this but we are dealing with unprecedented times and people are reacting badly to guidance.  I struggle with the fact that we are well into the 21st century and we are still forcing people to choose between jobs and families.  That isn’t a life I can imagine was intended for any person on this planet.

We are all worthy and we can all contribute to this society.  I don’t need to validate myself on your definitions of what makes a successful or worthy person.  Someone will always lose in that scenario especially when the definition changes constantly.  So we are all kind of floating right now because we can see that the classes we’ve created don’t work but we also don’t know where to go from here because it’s all we’ve known for generations.

But the advice I receive is to be patient.  So I will keep my head up but my thoughts grounded and I will wait on the will of the universe.  I will listen to her and I will trust my knowing that there are things unfolding that I’m not aware of the intent.

Quick Check In

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Just a little reminder to remember the good things:  This life is beautiful.  Not “Beautiful, but” and not “Beautiful in spite of.”  It’s just beautiful.  In all its weird, crazy, perfect, inexplicable glory.  It’s a gift.  We get to create any experience we want with our time.  How spectacular!  How Brilliant!  How exciting!  To feel the rush of life as it unfolds from our fingertips, there is nothing more exhilarating than the raw energy in that potential.  So make something amazing.  Make the thing that has been begging you to bring it to life.

Marie Forleo says that you wouldn’t have an idea if you didn’t have the ability to see it through.  I agree with this wholeheartedly.  Humans are innately creative creatures in many arenas, so the fact that we have this crisis occurring worldwide, this is an opportunity to get creative and think about how things can be done differently.  We have to remember the good.  And I struggle with that every day when I see people continuing to be out and about in spite of a stay at home order.  So what I do in those instances is I remember humanity and that we are learning.

There are so many things we’ve been conditioned to believe that it is going to take some time to understand that there is no reason to stay as we are—we can absolutely change how things are done in this world.  We can look at global economic impact as well as greener living and conservation—and tie new policies to them.  We can discuss better efficiencies and better use of time to allow for a more balanced existence.  So yes, I believe this is an exciting time.

We have to remember that the rules and limitations we have in place now are only there because we haven’t looked at how to do things differently.  We never look at what has existed because there isn’t a need to until something goes wrong.  We can learn to take a proactive approach and we can shape a new life.  As beautiful as our lives are, as privileged as we truly are, we have the opportunity to make a different reality for a lot of people.  And once those flames are ignited, there will be no stopping the unbelievable revolution of change that comes with it.  We have to remember that we are here for a purpose.  Life is beautiful and part of our purpose is to make it even more beautiful.  The world doesn’t care if you made millions of dollars—the world cares that you touched a million lives.  The world cares that you made a healthy planet with equitable treatment for all.  And how beautiful is that we can all contribute to that?  Light the flame.

It’s All Valid

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Just a quick post because these are really emotional times for a lot of us.  We have different fears and concerns and we have valid questions as to how we found ourselves here.  When our emotions are heightened we don’t always think clearly but I want to reinforce that whatever you’re feeling, that is yours.  It is ok to feel it and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

I had a coworker crying in my office today because she felt the strain of what this disease is doing to all of us.  She isn’t able to take time off and she is genuinely concerned that the powers that be are being cavalier with how we are still working.  I felt the utter helplessness of it and know that she isn’t the only one to feel that way: I feel it myself.  We are in a global health crisis and we are still being forced to worry about money over health.  That’s how we got here in the first place—we care more about making a buck than about doing things right.  We care more about how things look than about how they really are.  We will drink poison from a beautiful bottle because it looks right.

It’s exhausting, scary, and sad but the only way to make it through these things is to focus on the positives.  That is a choice–we can let ourselves sink into it or we can rise above it.  This is giving us a lot of time to develop clarity and to heal and to look at doing things differently.  These are all things we need for growth.  And in growth we discover what we are really looking for in our lives.

I encourage everyone to take the time to heal.  Rachel Wolchin in Your Choices, Your Changes said, “Voids or opportunities?  It’s up to you.”  Now, I know this quote wasn’t in reference to the situation we are facing today, but that simple phrase applies.  In this stillness observe and then make the best of it.  Adapt to what needs changing.  Sonya Tochai said “Stress has the tendency to blind you from your blessings.”  Similar to how any heightened emotion obscures our real thoughts, when you’re stressed you can’t see what the real issue is.  So focus on what can be controlled and changed.

To promote healing, I say breathe.  Take it one step at a time and relish in the pause.  If you feel something, try not to react to it immediately.  Rather, let it sit.  We have been blessed with an abundance of time right now so feel your way through it without letting it take hold.  Think about how you want to react.  Take stock of everything you have around you—you can always find something to be grateful for.

I also want to remind you all that this will pass.  It is going to take some time, but it will pass.  So, if you need support, reach out (virtually) to whoever you have to in order to work through it.  Be patient because we haven’t dealt with this in our lifetime so we are all on the same learning curve.  Having empathy and compassion will help because there are people who simply don’t understand the magnitude of what’s happening.  And again, breathe.  We are all in this together.

Honesty About Fear

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I’ve been asking what kind of person I want to be through this crisis.  I’m struggling with a lot of things and grappling with what they mean for who I am as a person.  At my 9-5, I am a manager, a leader of a small group of people.  I know that in times of crisis a leader is supposed to show up and is supposed to be an example of what to do.  And the truth is I want to be a leader.  I do want to help my people through this.  But what I am being told to do and what my intuition is telling me we need to do are in direct opposition.

I have a team of managers that I work with and my director is fairly adamant that we continue working through this crisis.  I’m struggling with this because my departments are effectively closed during this time.  I have work that I can do from home but we are not being released to do so.  I’m struggling because I know in my heart that the example I need to set is one of staying at home and keeping ourselves as safe as we can, minimizing contact with others for the time being.  What we are being told to do is to show up every day and put ourselves on the line as needed.

In truth, I don’t feel the same as my co-workers in this regard.  My expertise is not of service to the clinical teams and I don’t feel it appropriate to attempt to work elsewhere.  I am also in a different life situation than my co-workers:  I have a three year old and I have parents in their 70’s who help me watch him.  In good conscience, I can’t put my family in danger for the sake of a job.  Please don’t misunderstand, I actually enjoy the work and I enjoy being able to lead people, but the reality is that I am putting my family in danger by continuing to expose myself to this disease.  This is a defining moment in so many ways.

I’ve spent a LOT of years doing exactly as I was told, constantly going against what my gut told me was the right thing to do in favor of what other people told me was the right thing.  This is a circumstance where everything in my body is telling me those rules no longer apply.  This is literally a global pandemic and any one of us getting sick is not going to help the situation.  I truly feel that keeping ourselves separated for the time being is what’s going to help us moving forward.  Previously, I’ve gone to work with bronchitis, I’ve worked with broken bones, I’ve worked with scarlet fever all because I felt like I had to prove I was reliable.  This goes beyond being reliable.  This is about everyone’s safety.  I don’t feel like it’s a good example to be sacrificial lambs when there is no need for us to be there.

I know that there isn’t a lot of clarity in this situation because we have never faced something of this magnitude before.  There isn’t a lot we know how to do.  We haven’t been trained to work from our intuition before and this scenario requires a lot of trust in ourselves.  It’s hard to do that because we are still in the stage where national leadership is still confused so their primary focus is on money.  It’s terrifying because we don’t know what to expect next, especially when we have been trained that money is the way out—you have enough money you can support yourself through the next thing and we are being told we can’t work.  So that fear leads us to continue working when we shouldn’t be and we contribute more to the pandemic than to the healing.

So what I want to do is be an example of what we need to do next.  If we can’t actively contribute to the healing (medical care and making sure there is food for people as some examples) then we need step out of the way and do our part by staying home.  I know in my gut this won’t last forever and I know the longer we delay this, the worse the disease is going to get.  We have the ability to suspend all mortgages, rent, utilities to make this easier for people.  Take away the fear of money and provide for all.  The fate of the world’s health depends on our pressing pause right now.  We have to stop pretending that money even matters at this point—there is no amount of money that will stop this from affecting anyone.

Does this make me a bad leader or a strong one?  And is there a right or wrong in this?  Based on my conditioning I feel like I am not a leader at all and that I am letting my management team down.  There are different definitions, I guess, and the only thing we can do is go with what feels right to each of us.  For me, I would prefer to err on the side of caution and allow the health care workers to get ahead and give this world a fighting chance.  This is the time to make a different choice, and perhaps that is the point.  There is no right or wrong, we just have to do something different.  I pray to be strong enough to take the leap into the work I am meant to do.  I pray to be the example I am meant to be.

Bonus Post! Coping With Anxiety During the Unknown

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Times of crisis can bring up a lot of emotions ranging from concern to fear, to stress about money all the way to survival.  Each brings about it’s own underlying anxiety.  But this isn’t the time to sink into that type of fear whether it is depression about what is and how we got here or anxiety about what is coming next and how we will function again.  This is the time to take it step by step until we can see the big picture.

I am really good at creating scenarios to fear—it’s pretty much in my DNA, so I have spent a lot of time learning how to cope through different modes of anxiety from the day to day to the big issues.  I’ve also had a lot of experience working through things I’ve created on my own.  Regardless of what is causing the anxiety for you, here are some tips to get through that have helped me over time:

Anything to help keep you in touch with your senses.  A good exercise is to remember is the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 method.  Talked about from the University of Rochester’s Medical Center, it’s a simple but highly effective technique.  The first thing is to acknowledge FIVE things you can see around you—anything in your surroundings.  Then acknowledge FOUR things you can touch around you.  Then acknowledge THREE things you can hear.  Then acknowledge TWO things you can smell.  Finally, acknowledge ONE thing you can taste.  It’s a great way to connect with your body and get out of your mind, especially when your mind is running wild.

Another technique is to focus specifically on breathing.  I like the 1:2 technique or the square breathing technique.  For 1:2 breathing simply inhale for a given amount of time and then exhale twice as long.  So if you inhale for 2 seconds, exhale for 4.  Make sure you count each time!  For square breathing, also called box breathing, it is simply a 4 part breath of 4 counts each.  So you inhale for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, and hold the breath for 4 seconds.

Another technique I like is to shift the thinking toward things I am able to do.  So much of anxiety is internalized worry about a future we can’t see.  When we stop that train of thought and look for the actionable steps we can take, it gives us a sense of accomplishment as well as a tangible result.  It helps to get the mind off of the things we can’t even see let alone control.

I also like progressive muscle relaxation but I have found that I need this to be a guided session.  It is simply matter of walking your mind through your muscle system and telling it to relax but I find that I get distracted easily if I try to do it on my own.  So, it’s effective but I personally need help with it.

I also like to pick a different activity.  Rather than get stuck in your mind chewing on scenarios, start to look for something to do like painting, coloring, cooking, maybe even reading.  Something to distract the mind from merely thinking, thinking with purpose and giving yourself a tangible activity helps to direct some of that energy.

Getting moving works as well.  It doesn’t matter if it’s dancing, hopping around with your kid, taking a walk around the block, biking down a trail, exercising at home, or cleaning the house—moving the body is physically good for you, but it takes the attention away from the thoughts.  Ultimately that is the goal, getting out of your head.

If you’re unable to take the time every day to move your body, then take the time to invest in good fuel.  Rather than eating tons of fast food, take the time to prepare healthy snacks and meals.  Avoiding processed foods helps minimize chemicals going in that can impact mood and health.

Another technique is meditation.  There are tons of free resources available online so do a quick search and try a few out.  It may take a while to find a meditation that works for you but keep looking until you do.  When you find something that works well for you, then use it.  Even if you find yourself distracted during that time frame, the intention to pause the self-talk will help redirect some of that anxious energy.

One last thing that has helped me is to give myself time.  I’m talking about those moments when things get really stressful and nothing works.  You feel crazed and caged and you’re repeating thoughts over and over again.  When I find myself in that frame of mind, I set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes and I let my mind run wild.  No matter how insane the thoughts may be, I let them come.  I let each one roll and roll and boil and progress to as scary a scenario as I can think of.  Once that timer goes off, I’m done.  I wrap up quickly and tell myself that it’s time to breathe again and face reality.  It’s not time to be afraid anymore, it’s time to pick a new thought.

Overall, I think the strategy you use is going to be very personal.  It’s going to depend on what you’re feeling in that moment because our anxiety changes minute to minute.  But the key is to recognize where you’re at as soon as possible and to use a tool to help you through.  Use as many tools as you need to until you feel like you’re level again.  Remember you’ve got this.  One step at a time, one day at a time, we’ve all got this.

Sunday Gratitude

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Today I am grateful for being pushed out of my comfort zone.  Thinking of how things are going to be changing over the next few weeks has put my mind into overdrive because there are a lot of unknowns.  It’s not quite anxiety but it is a pressing anticipation.  I am grateful for this because the things I used to think about doing now have to be done.  I used to think that speaking about things was enough to instill change or prove I was a certain way.  Now that I’m home, I’m seeing how much more I need to do.  I need to stand behind those words.  My actions need to match those words.  This is an opportunity to get creative and show another side of myself.

Today I am grateful to be held accountable.  All of those things I said I wanted to do like getting the house organized, creating my business, creating the product, having fun with my family, trying new recipes—this is the opportunity to fulfill all of that.  This is the chance to be the person I want to be.

Today I am grateful to continue to prioritize what needs to be done.  It’s uncomfortable to have so much perceived down time (not that there isn’t plenty to do) because we have to admit to ourselves how much we’ve filled our lives with things that aren’t totally necessary.  The distraction and the busy we’ve filled our lives with are nothing but that—distraction and self-made busy.  We are learning a new way to get things done.  We are learning a new way of doing everything and seeing what is really important.

Today I am grateful for opportunities.  During this crisis I am fortunate enough to have various opportunities when it comes to work because of the work I do.  This isn’t something to take for granted and I am learning how to share that privilege with others.  I see the potential in how this could work for people long term and I can only hope that the possibilities spread themselves to others.  I pray we come together as a collective to ease the strain for others who are unable to work status quo.

Today I am grateful for the potential that is coming out of this situation.  This is going to create a new way to look at work, both how much we work and what work needs to be done, this is going to create a healthier Earth as pollution levels have already dropped significantly, this is going t create a new way of interacting with people as we view humanity in a new light.  These are incredibly powerful transitional things and we will all be better for it on the other side.

Today I am grateful to my team in healthcare.  I fully recognize the work they do, the sacrifices they are making, and even the risk they are taking and I give them all the honor I can as they deal with this.  While I also work in healthcare, I am in a different capacity so my work is on a different side.

Today I am grateful to have the chance to play my part.  I am also grateful to see that my role in this may be different than I initially thought.  I have felt so much discontent for so long and that is because I’ve been fighting what I am meant to do.  I have been playing along with someone else’s story and trying to fulfill their expectations instead of my own.  The greatest opportunity out of this situation is to learn who we are and to do what we need to do even if it’s a small part.  I will fulfill my obligations no matter how small.  And if we can all do that, then we will get through this.

Thoughts on Lockdown

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Today the shelter in place order has taken effect in Illinois.  It’s strange more than anything.  The world seems to be falling asleep while we are all trying to awaken within the confines of our homes.  At the same time, the life that has sustained us on this planet seems to be coming alive again as well.  These are confusing times.  Chaotic, unnerving, uncertain.  And I am here at the precipice of a feeling that my life is also chaotic and uncertain, and yes, unnerving.

We have to make these decisions in life and I’ve so often let them weigh on me whether it was what to eat or what to wear or when to buy a house—I carried the weight the same no matter the magnitude of the decision.  I let it crush me.

And in these times in particular, there are decisions that have to be made that we can’t possibly know the answer to.  We can’t see how they will turn out.  There is simply no way to know what will come of these unprecedented circumstances.  This is something we simply haven’t seen in our lifetimes.

And the beautiful thing is, that as scary as the circumstances are, we HAVE to change.  No matter what decision we make, change will be the result.  This is about learning who we are and letting the world see that to the fullest.  This is about the most blatant visible destruction of a system we have put faith in for so long (but knew was unhealthy for the majority) and now we are seeing clearly it doesn’t serve.  And for the first time I am happy to say that those in power seem to grasp that their rules don’t work and that we need to take steps we haven’t before.  This isn’t about power, it’s about preserving the power of life.

This is a learning experience for all of us.  Time to embrace humanity at its core.  Refresh and remember that through disconnection we can find what we need to reconnect to.  This, my friends, no matter how terrible, is a new start.

On a personal level, I thought for so long that I am a strong and brave woman who could and would face anything.  It turns out that I am not necessarily as brave as I thought.  I no longer want to seek out the fight.  I no longer want to be on the front lines of chaos.  I want to be in rooms where logic prevails and there never has to be a question of what the right thing to do is.  Not when lives are on the line.  I want to live in a time where people are all given the same chance.  It isn’t about fending for ourselves anymore, it’s about the collective.

Our lives will look and feel different.  These are uncharted waters and no one can know what to expect next.  We will have to figure things out as people did before us.  The simple fact is we were on an unsustainable trajectory for both the people and the planet.  The pattern and the plan needed to shift.  I feel like we are understanding that money is simply a tool and we can decide to use it how we want to.  With that, I’m hoping there are more of us who realize that money can no longer be the driving factor when it comes to determining a person’s worth.  We can create a more sustainable way of life for all and the Earth is already reaping the benefits from our pause.  We have to stop pretending that we haven’t built a system that we have devolved into an incredibly classist and exclusional way of being.  We can do better than that because it doesn’t work for everyone.

As we are forced to wait this out and take the pause, there are things that we are learning to no longer take for granted.  The simple act of being, the ability to have access to goods and services of our choosing, the ability of people to provide those goods and services, time with our loved ones.  This is a reminder and a stark lesson in what time means and how we choose to spend our days.  We can continue to struggle through a man made construct that doesn’t fit the natural rhythm of things or we can reflect during this time and rebuild.  How exciting that is.  Our existence is a gift.  We have forgotten what it means to be alive and what is valuable.  Hear what the world is trying to tell us.

For me, I am done.  I am done trying to raise my voice in rooms that only speak louder once I open my mouth.  I am done trying to voice what is right in a room that is blind to any sense of wrong doing.  I am done believe that because I am small that my worth is lessened.  I am done forcing and fighting to get a moment to myself.  I am done winning for teams that didn’t even want me on their side in the first place.  I am done putting myself last as an ancillary support for others to reach the places they need to go while I am buried.  I am done fearing that I am not worth the ability to make a decision.  I am done believing that my decisions will implode the world around me.  And I am quite done believing that I need to cut away more pieces of myself for the people who only call when they need me.

What I am going to do is this: I am embracing this one beautiful human life that I have and I am not going to take these moments for granted.  It all moves so quickly and we often race toward the end simply to get there the fastest.  It’s time to relish in the things we see along the way.  Stay safe, stay patient, stay calm, and get connected.  Breathe into the discomfort and wade through the mess to emerge as yourself on the other side.  The world is waking up—let’s wake up with it.

Sunday Gratitude

ceramic mug with floral design and book ontable

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

Today I am grateful to be able to continue to share these posts.  There is still so much we can do in spite of the limitations we are facing right now.  It doesn’t matter.  This is a chance to break out the creative flow and try new things.  And really, so much is still normal, we are truly blessed.

Today I am grateful to have a healthy day.  I had been ill most of this week and for the first time since Tuesday, I feel relatively normal.  I didn’t feel the need to sit on the couch all day and I was able to accomplish some work around the house.

Today I am grateful to have so much time with my son.  We have been together almost non-stop the last four days because I was home ill and then he started to get sick as well.  We have read books, we have colored, we have watched movies and shows together, we have played with the animals, we have snuggled and napped—and it was all beautiful, peaceful, and restful—and joyful.

Today I am grateful that we were able to function relatively status quo.  It means we are fortunate enough to be able to do our part without any major inconvenience.  I am happy to play my role in this.

Today I am grateful to understand what we need to be grateful for.  I always try to find things to help me look on the bright side.  I am not perfect, I still lose my way often and I lose it spectacularly in many cases.  But I try my hardest to always be a source of light and if I can’t do that, then I try to be a source of reason.  The middle way is important, and in this scenario, it is important to focus on the why behind what is happening.  There are things we may not get answers to in this situation because this is new to all of us.  But to be able to do something so insignificant as to cancel a gathering or to help your neighbors by picking up some food for them is truly the most significant thing we can do.  We are reconnecting to our humanity.

Today I am grateful for the chance to have the time to reevaluate some goals.  I’ve been full steam ahead with some projects for a while now and I was struggling with many of them.  I wasn’t sure which direction to go with a couple, I wasn’t sure what I wanted the end result to look like for many of them, and I found myself in a state of pushing myself just to get it done with the biggest ones.  In short, the steam was running out and I was about to give up on a lot of the goals I had set for myself.  With the general slow down of a lot of other things happening right now, I found myself better able to fall in line.  I HAD to slow down.  The projects that I’m working on are supposed to be long term—these are not things I should be forcing myself to get done as quickly as possible.  These are lifestyle changes, these are commitments I am trying to bring to the world, these are the essence of who I am.  There is no finish line for goals like that.  So I’m taking a different approach.  This isn’t about an assignment that’s due.  This is about being faithful to a goal that is important to me because it’s where I want to be.  It’s about being comfortable in the moment and learning the lessons that go with it.  It’s about the foundation—I can’t rush that.

Today I am grateful to reclaim space.  I was able to get a lot of cleaning done yesterday, especially as I was feeling better, and I have my office/library back.  I have spent the last several months trying to work in the living room with my family and I didn’t realize just how distracting it was.  I feel like I have a little slice of my house just for me, now, and it feels so cozy and warm and it’s exactly what I wanted it to be.  Finding my own little center is exactly what I needed to build my foundation.