Coronavirus 2020 / Covid-19: The Opportunity of a Lifetime

What tools, exercises, and practices are you cultivating during this unprecedented global event to carry with you on your journey in life? Photo by Tegan Mierle on Unsplash.

 

Preface — Before I get to what I mean by the title, please let’s all practice social distancing and self-isolation if governmental regulations have not yet been deployed in your area. That is the only way to slow down the spread and limit the impact of this pandemic as much as possible.

For the majority of us, on a global scale, this viral pandemic will be a temporary event. It will be something that we experienced, but that probably won’t have a long term impact on our day to day lives. For some of us, this viral pandemic will be a major life event, and for a few of us this will be ‘our time’. Unfortunately, that is the nature of a pandemic. The most susceptible of us are always the most adversely affected.

We all need to do as much as possible as a community to contribute to ‘flattening the curve’, which means everyone individually doing their part to slow the spread of the pandemic. Stay home if you can, limit contact with others if you can’t, practice kindness, empathy, and compassion (from a distance!) with everyone that you encounter.

Ok, lets jump in.

We live in a dynamic, evolving world and, arguably, change is the only constant that we can rely on. Everything is in a constant state of change, regardless of if we are consciously aware of it or not. Even the majority of cells in our bodies are in constant states of change, some that change every few days (e.g. stomach lining cells) and some that change more slowly (e.g. 7–10 years for bone cells).

So for the majority of us who won’t be negatively impacted in the long-term by the current pandemic, my question is how are you going to use this time of change? What are you going to do differently right now, or tomorrow, or next week, or six months from now to change your life, and the lives of those around you, for the better? Anything? Or will you just go back to business as usual?

This collective slow down, this unanticipated, unexpected, and unprecedented ‘pause’ in the global machine that keeps so many of us feeling like we are entrenched in just ‘surviving’ is the opportunity of a lifetime for anyone ‘seeking’ who is ready to make positive changes in their lives.


Opportunity #1

The Opportunity to be More Present. Really connecting with and engaging our kids that are out of school, beginning a diaphragmatic breathing (slow or vigorous)or meditation practice, creating an at-home exercise challenge (here or here) for yourself, preparing and cooking better meals at home (veg or with meat), looking after and/or spending quality time with family are all ‘exercises in presence’ that can be done at any time, but that can be especially impactful during this time.

If you are engaging with or caring for others, and focusing on them and the interaction, you are cultivating a quiet mind. If you are working hard/exercising physically or focused on a task (like cooking) you are manufacturing presence by the truckload because both examples effectively divert the energy that can otherwise go towards worrying about the past (depression) or worrying about the future (anxiety). ‘Be here now’ not just for yourself, but for everyone else in your world.

“You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” — Marcus Aurelius


Opportunity #2

The Opportunity to Increase Empathy and Acceptance. This is the situation we are in. There are a lot of unknowns, and a lot of questions, and a lot of things out of our control. Accepting that things are how they are, that people might not be acting or reacting as you would, and releasing resistance to things that are beyond our control are all great steps to take to find your own ‘eye of the storm’.

The quality of energy that you cultivate while preparing can mean all the difference in the quality of your experience. Are you preparing from a place of love, or preparing from a place of fear?

This is an internal place where the accepting-you can look at pragmatically at any situation and decide the right steps to take for you from a balanced/centered perspective. This doesn’t mean not taking appropriate precautions. But, this does mean that the quality of energy that you cultivate while preparing can mean all the difference in the quality of your experience. Are you preparing from a place of love, or preparing from a place of fear?

While there are any number of things in the world that we can’t do anything about, one thing that we always have implicit control of is the quality with which we show up to life.

How are you showing up in life, and in this current global climate? Are you looking out for others? Putting yourself in their shoes? Looking out for those less fortunate, or less able? Or are you only looking out for ‘me and mine’?

None of us truly knows what anyone else is experiencing in life, and we are all playing our own version of this ‘1st-person game’ of reality. So cultivating radical empathy, and acceptance, for ourselves, other people, and for the situations in which we find ourselves, is one of the best ways I know to get out of our own heads, be kinder with ourselves and everyone else, and increase our capacity for more energetic abundance and positivity, regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves.


Opportunity #3

The Opportunity to Transform Scarcity and Fear With Love and Compassion. Especially in uncertain times, it can be easy to let negative energy like scarcity and fear creep into our mental landscape. But instead of letting either of them establish a toehold in your energetic space, stop them at the gate with love and compassion. This isn’t about ignoring or pushing feelings like scarcity and fear away, because the more you are in resistance to anything, the more of that thing you will actually be attracting.

The more you are in resistance to anything, the more of that thing you will actually be attracting.

Instead, allow yourself to sit with the fear, or uncertainty, the same way you would with a good friend or child. Then embrace that negative ‘thing’ and dissolve it with love and compassion. In silence with relaxed belly breathing, or even in a quick 5-minute meditation, ask yourself, “What is underlying my fear?” “What is behind the feeling of scarcity?” If you allow yourself to go beyond the situation at hand, you may uncover deeper answers that were hiding just beneath the surface of the negative feelings.

Be caring and compassionate with yourself, and with everyone else, but you have to start with yourself first. Otherwise, it can feel almost impossible to be loving and compassionate towards anything outside yourself.


Opportunity #4

The Opportunity to Reflect and Recharge. More and more we are operating at a breakneck speed of life. More hours, less time. Take this slow down as a signal to do the same. Slow down, rest, recover, and recharge.

Change can only come after awareness, so allow yourself time to cultivate a greater awareness of the different energies in your life, and honestly look at the ways you can cultivate more of the positive, and at the same time diminish the negative.

Take stock of where you are, and feel out what has been working for you, and what hasn’t. Are you aligning yourself with things and people that uplift you, make you feel good, and operate from a place of abundance, or have you been aligning yourself with things and people that are negative, or fearful, or operating from a place of scarcity?

Change can only come after awareness, so allow yourself time to cultivate a greater awareness of the different energies in your life, and honestly look at the ways you can cultivate more of the positive, and at the same time diminish the negative.

The quality of the energy that we cultivate dictates the quality of the life that energy creates.

 

***PLEASE CONTINUE ONLY IF YOU ARE OPEN TO DOING SOME ‘DEEPER’ WORK***


Opportunity #5

The Opportunity to Peel Back the Layers of Your Conditioning and Connect More Strongly to Your Energetic-self. By nature, we are all energetic beings, and the quality of the energy that we cultivate dictates the quality of the life that energy creates. Take stock of where you are. Your journey to this point has consisted of the extremely personal and unique-to-you combination of elements (specific genetic expressions, brain chemistry, thoughts, feelings, emotions, family history, ancestral energy, talents, interests, the life you were born into, the examples, experiences, information, and influences you have moved through in your life) that only you have.

But, have you ever taken a hard look at where the various drivers and modes of operation in your life came from? Are they yours? The energetic-you who is love, and kindness, and compassion, and empathy, and acceptance? Or are they from somewhere else? A place outside of that energetic-center where feeling unloved or unworthy, and things like fear, resentment, annoyance, and anger reside?

Getting ‘more real’ with the underlying drivers in your life, and cultivating awareness of the end of the spectrum that you are operating from (abundance, love, compassion, empathy at one end, or fear, scarcity, resentment, or anger at the other) is the perfect place to start looking more deeply at your energetic ‘operating center’ and deciding if that is the place you will continue your journey from.

What internal changes are you going to make for yourself, your family, your community, and the world today? Tomorrow? or over the next few weeks?

Hopefully, an event of this scale and magnitude is a once in a lifetime occurrence. In the coming weeks a majority of us, if we are not already there, will be hunkering down and riding out this wave as it crashes into us and washes through our lives in order to give the most susceptible among us, as well as our frontline healthcare workers, the best chance possible to mitigate the impact of this pandemic.

How will you reemerge into your life once this wave has passed? What will you take with you? How are you going to use this unprecedented opportunity to make positive shifts in your life, for yourself, your friends and family, and for the world?

Take care of yourselves, and each other; and look for the helpers. There will always be helpers on your journey. 🙏

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