- Perspective – When it seems as if everything has been taken away, as it has seemed during the pandemic, it made me realize what is really important to me. It made me see that everything I really need is already within the four walls of my home, and all the other stuff is just that – “stuff”. During this time I have often felt like I am missing out on things (teaching and going to yoga, kids sports, time with friends, going out to dinner), but I know that I have my health and my “people” I’m good. And maybe I don’t see a lot of my people face-to-face right now, but seeing them virtually or just talking on the phone (a lost art!!) is still pretty nice.
- Patience – It was a difficult adjustment for me and my family when we were told to stay home. We are all busy people and we had been for so long that it was difficult for us to suddenly be together ALL the time. Patience has always been something that I’ve worked on, and with this I was working overtime! And not just at home, but at the grocery store either having to wait in long lines, or having to wait until next week to get something because it wasn’t in stock, and thinking more long-term as I wait for life to return to some semblance of normal. Lots of things have had me working on my patience level during the pause.
- Attitude – I know that my attitude affects others around me, but that became very clear in the first week or two of staying at home. I’ve been working on checking-in with my attitude on a daily (sometimes hourly!) basis. I’m trying hard to maintain a positive attitude and know that I often need to tap into my yoga tools to achieve this. Meditation and pranayama are my go to’s when I need an attitude adjustment!
- Unattached – Specifically to my emotions, and more specifically to fear. There have been a lot of times in the recent weeks that I have felt real fear. My mom lives in an assisted living, so I haven’t been able to see her since mid-March. Her cognitive status has gotten worse without being able to see her family, and she’s had several people in her facility that have tested positive for Covid-19. I lived in fear that she would get it. Eventually she did, and I feared that this would be what would take her from us forever (she is now doing much better). My dad also ended up in the hospital during this whole thing with severe shortness of breath, which I feared was Covid. It wasn’t, but he spent a few days in the hospital and I feared that he would catch it while he was there. Fear, fear and more fear! But I have been working really hard to not let it define my life. I may hang onto the fear for a few days, but I allow it to move on and I do not attach to it. Anger, frustration, and sadness have all had a place in my heart as well during this time, but I can’t dwell on them. I am trying to stay present and I treat these emotions like they are a wave, they come and go but they never stay ashore.
- Savor – I always felt that my life was so busy before the pause, and I was beginning to think about how my family really doesn’t have a lot of time before the kids go off to college. My boys are just finishing their junior and freshman years of high school. So this time together has been a real gift. We have been able to reconnect, eat dinners together, play games, go for bike rides, all things that we didn’t always have time for before. We have been able to enjoy each other’s company and I for one am truly savoring this gift of time with my kids.
- Simplify – With less to do, my life has certainly simplified. There is no rush to get from one thing to the next. There are no deadlines to make, no trying to squeeze something in, no prioritizing all that needs to be done. I am gardening, cooking, baking bread, learning new things, reading books, meditating. And I am loving it.
- Emerge – I read an article recently in “Reiki” magazine about life cycles. All life cycles have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Some cycles are amazing and we don’t want to leave them, while others can be really difficult and we can’t wait to get out of them. But in all cycles of life there are gifts and opportunities, and this one is no different. The article emphasized that we should learn to flow with the cycle, not fight it, knowing that there will be an ending followed by a new beginning. The article said that there are 4 cycles that happen over and over again in our lives, and they correspond to the 4 directions, North, East, South and West. Right now we are in a North cycle. During this cycle we spend a lot of time alone, with lots of quiet time. This allows us to be able to go in and go deep. It is a time of transformation in preparation for rebirth (the East cycle). But it can also be a time of death and dying, both literally and metaphorically, filled with loss, grief, and letting go of that which does not serve us. It can be misunderstood by some, and viewed negatively, we may feel depressed or that we aren’t functioning well in our lives. But at the end of this cycle we will EMERGE as our true selves. We will have died to everything that is not who we truly are. So I have to believe that we are nearing the end of this cycle and preparing to enter a new one. A cycle of rebirth, new life, creativity, and inspiration. I can’t wait:)