Today is March 18, 2020
Many of us are in Shelter In Place.
Another way to say that is, an enormous amount of personal freedoms are being limited, removed, and curtailed in service of keeping the pandemic as minimally destructive as possible.
Would I prefer to be able to travel freely, hugging people willy nilly? Yes, yes I would. I would prefer that the professional tennis season were continuing without interruption. I would prefer that my favorite kind of frozen chicken sausage, which I've enjoyed for years without interruption, was easily accessible on the shelf of the sweet little local grocery store in walking distance from my house.
Would I MORE prefer that I make the choice to not spread coronavirus? Even if I'm totally fine and I was worried about nothing, once we look back on all this? Yes, yes I would prefer that. Would I MORE prefer to do my part by simplifying civic life to support the overall wellness of the community at a stressful time? Yeh. That's worth it.
I learned a saying in 12 Step that serves me well through this...
"I don't have to like it, to accept it."
I'm glad those are different/separate experiences.
I wish you clarity, grounding, patience, and a lot of self-awareness through this time. The volume is turned up on just about everything. You're not alone if you're feeling scared, pissed, wanting to buy up everything and put it on lockdown, and you're not alone if you're enjoying the inside time and life being forced to slow down.
I don't have to like it to accept it.
I changed fonts on purpose here. We are now switching gears.
However we feel about it is bound to get amplified to all the holy heavens through this situation.
Did you already believe there is Enough Money for you? If so, that sounds absolutely delightful!
(Unless you believe there is only Enough Money for you contingent upon your extracting it harmfully from others. That one is bound to get weirder under pressure. I don't envy that.)
Did you already believe that "they" are out to get you? Authority figures, the government, family, etc. Uh oh. That's extra unpleasant now. ESPECIALLY if you don't like being told what to do, and what not to do. ESPECIALLY if your wits were already stretched to their end and you were fed up pre-shelter in place. That's hard.
Did you already believe that there is more than enough work to be done in the world and that you have fabulous talents that people would love to pay you to share? And did you already have so many industrious and clever ideas? Then this is an absolutely incredible time to enjoy that! You are the local/state/national/tribal leader for the job!
(Unless you want to profit directly off of peoples' fear and panic. I don't recommend that karmically unless that's what you really need to experience for whatever reason.)
Did you already fear your money will run out, and that you need to hold onto it at any desperate cost to your sanity and serenity? Uh oh. Or, the flip side of uh oh...that strategy may become impossibly painful in a situation like this. Maybe it will release that circuit within you and you pop right out of that pattern!
I'm not saying peoples' incomes won't be impacted. They already are. I know mine is...I'm in the People category, too. I'm not saying the limited freedoms should come without struggle or frustration. Of course they do. We are already seeing some fairly ugly and scary elements of humanity, and it's early for us in the US in this cycle. We all are in the process of making tough choices...with our money, attention, schedule, and energy.
And all of this applies to everyone who maybe will never even get the coronavirus!
Tools I'm finding helpful these days...
1) Meditation. Listen to someone who recorded a guided meditation while in a peaceful place. Be reminded of that resonance. Insight Timer is my favorite meditation app if you need a recommendation.
2) Peacefully shifting things in my budget. (As many of you know I use http://YNAB.com.) My income is going to have a dip, I can already see that. I just don't know how temporary it is. But in the meanwhile, even though I don't know the exact changes, I have decisions to make about adjusting my expense planning accordingly. I'm not crossing the line into obsession about this...I visit briefly, and then get back out into other constructive territories.
3) Picking up that old habit of just calling someone, on the telephone, when I'm thinking about them or feeling concerned. Yes, I'd rather go visit in person but that's not the wisest choice these days. But I'm so glad there are other options.
4) Ram Dass' teaching that our souls come to Earth and the bodies become our space suits while we are here.
The fear, terror, panic, etc are part of the story for some but not the whole story of what's going. Many of us are blessed with choices and riches and options. Many of us are understandably stressed, hurting, and extra vulnerable. All true. Our different space suits come with different costs and benefits. Which leads to...
5) "How can I help?"
Just that question.
Come back to it when you can.
The answer to that question, for me, has never been "let me obsess and worry more". It has never been," let me stew in how pissed I am about what I don't have and might not have in the future."
When I plug my energy into something constructive, that is an insurance policy that depression and self-pity will not take me over again.
6) Reach for art.
It's showing up online and you can also create as you feel moved to. Today I listened to and watched a live fiddle performance for St. Patrick's Day! So much generosity, color, shared tradition, and life-affirming energy awaits us if we're willing to receive it.