Gifts and Opportunities While Social Distancing

March 31, 2020

A girl looking a bit sad sitting alone in a bird's nest.
Reading Time: 6 minutes

During this worldwide pandemic I want to offer you inspiration, hope, and some of the threads of connection that can keep us sane during the (probably) prolonged disruption of life as we have known it.

Some states are sheltering-in-place. Some states advise “keep 6 feet distance, wash your hands,” and so on; elsewhere you can gather, get your hair cut, and pretend there’s no threat.

There are a lot of alternate realities out there! But if you haven’t taken this pandemic seriously, do so. There’s plenty of information about containing spikes and our lack of preparedness. However, my focus is on the gifts and opportunities for us as we change our daily ways to stay safe and healthy.

It is a sacred time.

Improvise

As my musician friends say, improvisation is essential in these times. For example, each morning I’ve been ready to write this, and each morning such big changes happened that I had to shift what I needed to say!

Above all, do not let yourself go into fear or suffer alone. If the pandemic teaches anything, it is that the world and her creatures are interwoven and interconnected in profound ways. This is a reality, and even a blessing.

Our angels, power animals, and spirit helpers are waiting to assist us!

Also, I am here. Other teachers are here. Many are offering free meditations and gatherings. While not ideal, for those of us who love the vital energy fields of in-person ceremony, distance connection is going to be all we’ve got for a while.

The guidance in your state or country may not yet be clear but, believe me, this will reach all of us in profound ways. In my county eight people have tested positive so far, but I have a friend with three brothers-in-law who are positive one county over.

The Message

The first message is to slow down. Take care of yourself. Let go of your fear and focus on the opportunities. Sit with the trees as they leaf, the rain as it falls, the snow as it melts. Study the migrating birds. Be still.

Breathe.

The Gifts

When our lives as we know them are cancelled, it is a gift. It means—now that we are keeping social distance, or at home, sheltering in place—we can reimagine, reconfigure, re-focus our lives.

We can gracefully practice letting go of all the great plans we had. We can observe our habits of filling our days and ask honestly: “does this feed me?”

We can sit in silence to listen for what’s next. We can ask, “what spiritual practices will help me ground, have equanimity, and be of service?”

We can try out new schedules to frame our day and, if they don’t work (we don’t follow them), we should just try a different one.

We can catch up with all those unread books, unfinished art projects, “I’m going to” plans we talk about but don’t do. We can take our kids (and ourselves) on hikes, tuning into bugs, bees, trees, seasonal change.

Finally, we can dedicate ourselves to transforming into deep harmony with nature, the cosmos and each other, as my friend Noelle suggests.

A sculpture featuring a doll in a guitar.

“Caught in the Circle” by Karla Leopold

The Challenge

When everything in our California lives was slowly cancelled to minimize COVID-19 spikes I was initially excited about the opportunities. So much time—no gym classes, no face-to-face meetings, no commitments!

I made three kinds of soup, read about the virus to get clear on what was happening and how serious it is, did a little gardening and reading, posted on Facebook, attended to my business. But really, nothing had changed in the contours of my life. That’s when I started to ask “How can I refocus?” “What do I need to shift?”

We are all creatures of habit. Our unconscious beliefs and intentions rule us, yet may no longer serve us.

The virus has created a turning point, forcing us to re-evaluate what we know and what’s important. This reevaluation will continue as other fallout from climate change, wars, and migrations besets us in the foreseeable future.

Anyway, it wasn’t clear how to reframe or reorient my life. In the time and space that opened up when my talks, ceremonies, classes, and trips were cancelled due to the virus, what did I really want?

A Work in Progress

I turned to my standbys: meditating and asking Spirit. I hope you are doing the same. This takes patience, as we all know. Clarity comes slowly.

First, I was given the “slow down” message. I was reminded to be loving.

Then I received some wonderful energetic downloads to help me realign.

Feeling great, I thought I should volunteer in my community to help shut-ins and those with food insecurity, but all the agencies were scrambling to figure out next steps and nothing was quite in place.

I tried drumming in my medicine wheel and noticed incredible, vibrant birdsong, unusual for midday near the equinox. The message I heard? Birds are already responding to cleaner air and less craziness as we stop driving so much and slow down.

My spirit helpers suggested I drum three times a day: at noon, 3, and 7. I made that commitment, and began.

In just a few days, I’ve seen how my focus is shifting to deeper awareness, more connection, and richer dreams. The drumming gives me an alternative to social media habits (and its more interesting than Facebook and Twitter). It is opening me to questions I’ve been side-stepping for a while. It’s bringing me back to practices I’ve let slide, that feed my soul, and nurture my clarity in challenging times.

As I’ve written before, shifting even one habit requires flexibility. If we try to do something yet find we are avoiding it, we have to ask ourselves questions. Is it too much? Too often? Wrong focus?

Since it is challenging in the best of circumstances to stay aligned with a new intent, we have to balance kindness to ourselves with a certain amount of dedication and commitment.

Dream a Different Future

What’s important: don’t let go of your big questions. Give them time and space. Nurture your dreams.

A girl looking a bit sad sitting alone in a bird's nest.

Untitled by Puneeta Ranjan

We are on the cusp of really huge changes in the world. It’s an opportunity to make the personal shifts we keep talking about. It’s a gift to let ourselves dream the future. We have been living in unsustainable ways, and know we have to create a different trajectory.

Si se puede! Yes we can!

We can dedicate our transformative power to everyone, every being, everything, and the planet “in accordance with the well-being of the universe,” as my friend Claude used to say. Honoring the energy field of transformation that we feed and nurture together, we are exponentially more awake, stronger and wiser.

When you get discouraged, as we all do, focus your attention on this moment, this beautiful world, this love you feel.

Stay Connected in Our Collective Dreaming

If you need support, or can’t see your way forward, or want help with refocusing, talk to me. I’ll hold your hand, give you suggestions, and in a half hour you’ll have your courage back! This is available to everyone at least till the end of April (even if you’ve had a call or worked with me before) as service to our collective dreaming. Schedule a free call here.

Sanity While Sheltering-in-Place

Here’s some advice if you suddenly have to work at home because your office is closed, or be around family 24*7.

Schedule short, permissive breaks for yourself. Walk around the yard, garden, drum, meditate, or exercise for 15 minutes (or 5). I have been self-employed for 30+ years, and guarantee that these kinds of interruptions shake up lethargy, refresh, and feed your soul! Then you can go back to whatever you have to do.

Stay in your body and let your heart stay open to all that is.

May you rest in the balance of light and dark at this time of metamorphosis!


Meg Beeler Meme: "When our lives as we know them are cancelled...we can dedicate ourselves to transforming..."

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