Like most of you reading this, I’ve been sheltering in place for the past 14 days. What started out as a sincere effort to do our part in flattening the curve quickly escalated into me becoming a teacher, short-order cook, dog walker, playmate, and mediocre housekeeper. All in addition to navigating the changes with our temporarily shuttered business that we launched 8 months ago to the day that we closed.
To say that this is an unsettling time is an understatement. This shit is crazy. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how easily I was able to adapt. Turns out my lifestyle tendency is to shelter in place.
As a single parent to a 4-year-old, (his Dad lives in Atlanta and comes every few weeks) this sheltering in place came 3 days after I returned from a trip to Atlanta with Harris in tow. Had that trip been a week later I’d be writing this post from my parent’s house, nestled in the woods, with an abundance of spare hands and the necessary space to process this all. Or, had it come a week earlier I would be here in this same place, but alone because Harris would have still been in Atlanta. But, as we all know, timing is everything and everything happens when it’s supposed to. Or at least that’s what I believe.
Which means we are supposed to be here. We are supposed to be ridding ourselves of distractions, spending time with family and friends that have become family. Releasing ourselves from the daily routines and patterns we all unconsciously fall into and looking at our existence through a different lens.
As a spiritual person, I believe in signs. Big or small, and this is a sign that God/Allah/Universe/whomever you believe in doesn’t like ugly. The past 4 years in this country have seen us elect a misogynist xenophobe as President, sweeping changes to environmental policies set up to protect the earth, an uprising of hate crimes and violence, an astonishing number of natural disasters and a staunch resistance to doing the right thing. I could go on and on about the signs we’ve seen, but this is one for the record books. The Universe has forced us into a universal pause. And there is nothing we can do about it.
All we can do is surrender to the flow, take care of ourselves and each other, and use this time to rest, restore and evaluate our lives. We are being called to elevate the best parts of ourselves and let the others perish. To emerge from this more connected to ourselves and to others.
Collectively we are at a turning point. Globally. If this doesn’t show us the importance of working together, nothing will. Some of you might be spending this time pushing against what is. Using your energy to try and manage and control things that are out of your control leading to frustration, anxiety, and stress. If this sounds familiar, let me leave you with some advice that my father always told me. 90% of stress is self-inflicted. Don’t let things you have no control over stress you out. Surrender to what is and find the beauty in it. Trees that bend with the wind develop strong roots, those that are rigid and unyielding will snap.
That doesn’t mean that the anxiety won’t come - it will. Maybe you’re trapped at home with a partner with whom you haven’t been getting along. Maybe you’re all alone and being alone is your biggest fear. Or maybe you’ve been in the house with a 4 year and finding a moment to finish a thought is like finding gold…Whatever it is, surrender to it. Face it. Explore it, and if necessary, discard it. Surrender to the stillness and see what comes up. We’re all in this together and this too shall pass.