Where do I begin? Two weeks ago, my blog entry was about using my yoga at the DMV. That seems like a lifetime ago. I can’t even imagine being in an overcrowded DMV, shoulder to shoulder with everyone right now.
I can’t speak to what’s out there on the news or social media either, but I know it’s intense. As a means of self-care I removed all news and social media apps from my phone a few years ago. I know that the grocery markets have been sparser and toilet paper is being rationed.
We are in a global pandemic. It is a time we recognize the fragility of life and the system we take for granted. It is also a time we can adjust our perspective and shift how we approach life. The Yoga Sutra 1.12 introduces two essential elements of yogic philosophy:
- abhyasa – persistent effort or having an attitude of persistent effort to attain and maintain a state of stable tranquility
- vairagya – non-attachment to the result or learning to let go of the many attachments, aversions, fears, and false identities that are clouding the true Self.
So how in the world does this apply right now in this current crisis? Here is how it looks for me, I am taking it one day at time – sometimes one hour at time or one minute at time. There have been other times in my life that I have been reminded that I am not in control and that as much as I plan or have expectations for how life is supposed to be, I don’t control the universe. What I can control is my response to the events around me but that too comes from effort. I have to be consistent in my effort to do the work to be more tranquil.
What does that look like? I get up, I do my breath-work and mediation. I drink my hot water and read my daily email from Richard Rohr and the Center for Action and Contemplation. I read “Courage to Change” by Al Anon Family Group. I write out my gratitude list every day. I write out a list of “just for today’s” – meaning “Just for today I choose joy, gentleness and patience.” I go on a morning walk (with proper social distancing) to be out in nature and experience the elements and take in the beauty of our planet. I am setting up a routine for homeschooling (something I never thought I would do). I am setting up free time for my child so that I can get school and work done. I have to let go of everything about our previous routine. I have to accept that this is the new normal for now. I have to reach out to my friends and get a reality check when I feel so overwhelmed by some press conference or new restriction or release from the CDC. I am checking in with my family and friends to make sure they are doing okay. I set up FaceTime with the grandparents. I set up group zoom calls with my child and other kids from school so that they can have a sense of connection in a time of no playdates or school. I am choosing to cook three meals a day for my family with love. I am choosing to take photos on my walk to remind me that there is growth and that there is beauty in the world. What can you do to find beauty in the world?
This is such an uncertain time and there is a lot of information coming at us. Some of it is true or partially true and some of it is false. How do we persist in our effort and let go of the results? How can you stay connected in this time of isolation? This is no easy task. This is day by day, hour by hour or minute by minute. I hope and pray you and your loved ones are healthy and taking steps to be safe.
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