Recently, I have been spending time after my meditation practice (and at random times during the day when I have a moment to sit outdoors), in contemplation of COVID. I ask myself, what is trying to be "accomplished" in our world through this virus? Of course the answer you get depends on to whom you ask the question, because each of us has a unique set of experiences and beliefs that solidify the personal perspectives we hold as true. As I watch the multiple directions in which the energy of the virus is driving us, I notice it appears to be placing a magnifying glass over some things that, as a culture, we may need to look at. It may very well be, this has been the case for some time. That said, as most of us know, when the Divine wants us to learn a particular lesson, if we miss it (the first, second or 100th time around), the lesson just keeps getting bigger and louder until we can no longer ignore it. The following five things stand out for me as the foundation of a healthy humanity that we must remember and embrace:
#1 -Getting Outside, Reconnecting with Mother Nature: First off, we can likely agree that the greater proportion of us do not get outdoors enough. By enough, I mean enough to have a positive affect on our mood and health. We don't really make it a priority, as we might of the items on our traditional to-do lists. Yet convening with nature, sun and fresh air, has been known for ages to boost immunity, and now, most of us have more time to be outdoors. I feel COVID is magnifying the need for humans to be outdoors; a way of pushing us outside so that we can enjoy nature and rekindle our understanding of its powerful healing qualities. If you've ever been camping, you know that feeling of deep, intoxicating relaxation, where stress drops away and you feel, well, just like, YOU. Science tells us there are substances emitted from trees that are received as feel-good chemicals in humans, and the sun has great powers on our positive mood as well. Feeling good naturally boosts our immunity. Nature also has a way of standing still. Trees, grass, plants or rivers may move due to breezes, but they essentially are resting in stillness. As we receive this calm, steady, peaceful energy, we experience and reflect that as well. Truly a big win for those of us who are willing to be out in nature, regularly.
#2 - Observing the Health of our Relationship Patterns: I also feel that COVID is putting a magnifying glass on our relationships and communication. Our "normal" lives, were on a very fast course. I describe this in my book, IT'S TIME FOR A YOU-TURN, as being on a tourbus going 90 mph, as opposed to 20 mph. On one bus, everything is a blur. On the other, you can see in much more detail, with greater understanding and appreciation. As you are in a lockdown situation, obviously, life slows down. Perhaps it is time for us to look deeper at our relationships, and in this slowing down, we learn to see and appreciate them more and bring a greater sense of understanding to their unique details. As we slow down, we see the patterns and routines in our relationships, for better or "worse." It can be tumultuous if we take it all personally, but it can be incredibly valuable in deepening our foundational relationships if we approach it as information which gives us our first steps to the idea of wanting to create something better. It's a point of communication we can choose to lace with compassion, honesty and sincerity instead of judgment, frustration or procrastination.
#3 - The Power of Good Personal Hygiene: COVID has certainly brought the need for good personal hygiene, through hand washing, to the fore! It seems so obvious and simple that one would wash ones hands often. COVID clearly has reminded us just how much it has to do with our capacity (and responsibility) to stay healthy for our good and the good of others. Our hands are involved in nearly everything we do: they are the scouts of the physical, sensual world and the workhorses and caretakers of daily life, providing information and helping us complete task after task. Perhaps the forgetting of the necessity of hand washing was our response to the speed of life: to trim off certain things that may seem not so important, something little, like the washing of hands. It can almost seem trivial. Sadly, I have witnessed folks in airport bathrooms and even in a restaurant or two, (hate to say it, but choosing not to flush or wash their hands) rushing on their way. For me, I love the idea of keeping hands clean, because in my mind, the hands truly are extensions of the heart. If we put our hearts into all we do, that loving, healing energy moves through our hands and beyond the emotional intention and into the tactile, the physical. I think about it this way: clean heart, clean hands. The "Godliness" in cleanliness, of course applies not only to our hands, but to our minds and hearts as well. Hand washing can be a simple, physical ritual of transition from one task to another, i.e., from working in the garden to preparing lunch, or as a more sacred ritual, it symbolizes that we can always "wash away" what is no longer needed or of service to our highest good.
#4 - Developing and Strengthening our Faith in the Sacred Unseen: COVID is putting a magnifying glass on what we have chosen to believe in. We are used to believing in what we see. If you can see it, you can believe it. Yet, COVID has given us something that we cannot see to believe in. We can choose to believe in it's power to infect us, as if we are helpless victims against it or we can choose to look toward something to believe in that can uplift and strengthen us. I have seen signs in front yards around town that read, "Faith over fear." I love this idea, however in some ways I feel, it is faith over faith. Do we have faith in the virus's potential to hurt us, or do we have faith in the Sacred's ability to guide us? That is a choice we all have to make. Part of the fear is of course because this virus is an unseen entity. We often fear what we cannot see coming. Yet, without a sacred connection or spiritual practice it may leave one feeling even more vulnerable. I feel like the magnifying glass here, is hovering over a greater need for a daily partnering connection with the unseen Divine, and the true strength that faith offers us: to be physically, mentally and emotionally more confident, stronger and healthier. The Sacred connection also helps us feel we are not alone, we are always loved, guided and protected. If there ever was a time to enjoy more of that, it's now.
#5 - How We Define our Personal Worth: Here the magnifying glass may be highlighting what we are using to define our worth and value. Many of us have had our job situations turned upside down, and we may have pangs of not feeling as worthy if we aren't doing something we value: making money or achieving. You may be feeling a little "lost" if you highly identify with what you do, or what you earn and it may feel especially uncomfortable. On the flip side, you may be a bit panicked because you feel you cannot pay your bills without an income. I acknowledge that this is difficult for anyone, and I do not make light of it. And yet, a golden opportunity awaits those who can muster their courage to go within, convene with nature, improve health and relationships, and connect with Spirit. The result? A refreshing of a foundation that will invigorate faith, clarity and groundedness. Coming home to your innate value might even be so powerful, you may have an inspiration that will lead you to a brand new solution and feelings of personal worth you never even entertained. These may serve you and satisfy you on levels your old job, or your old ways of evaluating your self-worth never could. I've heard miracles defined as, "a new way to see." So often, out of the ashes of our difficulties, come true miracles. Convening with the infinite abundance all around you; trees, blades of grass, blossoms, sky, earth, beauty, music, creativity, can powerfully refresh, reset and uplift your belief in your own, innate, infinite worth.
I hope you consider contemplating what COVID is putting a magnifying glass on in your life and then take the steps to embrace whatever comes up. This time which has been given, is truly a gift when we use it to observe. Plant seeds of greater wisdom and possibility, creativity, self-love and mastery of life--with the capital "L." The sooner we respond with openness and curiosity to the lessons in front of us, I truly believe, the sooner this virus will disappear and leave in its wake a more conscious, loving, and innovative community-at-large.