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How Am I Making The Best of This COVID-19 Lockdown?

I am hearing people complaining about how bored they are feeling, that they have been trying everything to “kill” time; and I’m like “You must be kidding me! I am finding my days so short I needed to give up on using my 4th generation planner – which is the most flexible of all the organizers!  What makes it flexible at all? The fact it is taking into consideration the human dimension, talking effectiveness instead of efficiency – since treating individuals as “whole” instead of “things”. Its flexibility is removing the “guilt” attribute, and it’s only one side of it, but this is a story for another time.

So, to come back to my day, even my lovely flexible planner is becoming powerless! I don’t have any routine anymore – even though mine was anything but generating pressure. After all, developing one’s discipline or the manifestation of our Physical Intelligence – the second form —doesn’t mean, to me, becoming a slave to our routine. Otherwise, it wouldn’t deserve being called Intelligence, right?

I am currently definitely not disciplined. But the question is: am I feeling bad about it? As counterintuitive as it may sound, not really! You might be tempted to ask me here this very legitimate question: “How come?”

It’s the last thing that matters to me right now… I’ve been into living effectively during the last year requiring finding the right balance between all my four dimensions: the intellectual, the physical, the emotional, and the spiritual based on my ‘Principles Center’ described by Covey as “the foundation of the four life-support factors: security, direction, judgement, and power”. I’ve been struggling to try to fulfill all the priorities linked to all the roles of my life mission –and I need to admit I still didn’t win So, now I decided to care less about this balance and focus exclusively on “value”!

This was a very long and serious introduction, phew. No more thought-provoking questions I promise! Time for some heartfelt and funny shares! So, how am I making the best of this COVID-19 lockdown?

I am learning to appreciate exercising online with my gym besties.

I spent a month in Sweden last year. I was invited by an amazing — to say the least — couple of friends. I won’t lie to you, but I was a bit skeptical before going since I’ve been living alone for a while (they know about it; we’re good. I had such a blast being in their place that I truly found it extremely difficult to adapt to my place when coming back home.

I was my silliest version ever – singing, dancing, giggling with and without reason — and it wouldn’t have been possible without their openness and welcoming energy of course!

We were spending hours having dinner. We shared so much and I’m still missing them every single day. More to the point, the only detail which bothered me a bit was not being able to go to the gym! It’s not that I didn’t give a try to exercise from home! I just hated it and gave up so quickly! If someone told me at that time this would be the unique choice I’d have and that I’d even appreciate it so much, I would definitely take them for crazy… What’s the secret? You guessed right! The exquisite virtue we all know as Gratitude.

I started a silliness movement with family and friends and I’m laughing all day long.

With all the fear and anxiety people have been vehiculating, I couldn’t think of better than making use of my silliness to get them to laugh! I’m acting like a 5-year-old kid adding effects to the video calls and doing some idiot facial expressions.

I’m sending hilarious jokes – healthy ones and mostly self-deprecating. And since I’ve been told my laugh was contagious, whenever I’m receiving some, I intentionally send vocal messages giggling. My happiness has no limits when they say having laughed at my laugh much more than at the joke itself! Just to give you an idea, I am inviting you to have a look at the following video I shot during my stay in Stockholm:

I am walking my talk way more than at any time before.

Be the melody people would love to dance on, the sunshine people would love to lay under, the breeze people would love to feel on their face, the sunset in front of which people would love to stand motionless.

There are so many things I ignore; so many I will probably never know; so many I will always have some doubt about! But what I know for sure is my being and the power of our energy & free acts of kindness in uplifting people around us and in building trust in the long run!

This happened a month ago when it was only about social distancing: I was in a financial institution for some paper. It’s really crowded. Wearing my peaceful usual smile, I’m also singing very softly and having some subtle moves. From time to time, receiving a phone call from mom and laughing! I see a guy in his 50s struggling with the service provider. He’s a laborer. I go to his direction, ask him what’s wrong and get the problem. I talk to the responsible and help clarify the confusion. He’s served immediately and feeling so grateful. I feel embarrassed about the warmth and number of times he thanks me. I also feel so proud. My serotonin is at its highest level.

The icing on the cake: When my turn comes, the lady tells me “I need to thank you before starting the service” I am confused and ask “why do I deserve it in the first place?”, to which she answers “in a hectic day like this one and with all the chaos this Coronavirus is creating so far, observing your energy and vibes is helping me cope with the pressure!” I’m leaving it to you to imagine my state of mind and fulfillment when I was done and driving my car…

What else have I been doing in terms of inspiring through energy and free acts of kindness?

Before the 24/7 lockdown, I was able to shoot a “Good morning” song from the nature! Here is the video:

Has being in lockdown stopped me? No way I could let this happen! I’m so aware people are so desperately needing some light, and I am the happiest when I serve! Whenever I get any “thank you” message from friends, family & their friends, or even from complete strangers on LinkedIn or Facebook, it means the world to me, and I feel very satisfied with my productive day! What am I producing? Hope, joy, smiles. This is my output whose recognition is just priceless… Here are some more singing and dancing performances happening indoor:

__________

I even prepared some surprise for my mom! There is a Tunisian song she particularly loves It is celebrating some label some people are using as a form of respect. The label is actually short and easily written and pronounced by anybody. Her nieces and nephews are calling her “Nana”. There were some days I felt she was really down. I contacted all my cousins; some of them living in other countries and asked them to shoot a part of the song. Then, I made use of my ridiculously amateurish editing skills to prepare the final result and send it in a Messenger group with all the involved folks! She had a blast, and it was so beautiful to notice it.

We had one of the most adorable group calls we didn’t have in years!

I am building my relationship with Dad.

This might sound weird, but I need to admit I’ve never been close to my father… He is not the kind of person comfortable with showing emotions. Typically, the “men-enough” guys… I was definitely appreciating his investment for the whole family, how he’s always been providing us with all that we needed, and supporting everybody financially. I’ve always loved him dearly; still, I was finding our interactions so lame and frustrating! Interestingly, this pandemic has been an eye-opening opportunity. I figured out I’ve never truly tried to connect with him the way I do with everybody else, and that was ugly to realize… Yes, I had one of my biggest “Aha moments” and so loved it despite the conscious shame it has triggered! It didn’t take that much to break the emotional blocking.

This is one of the achievements I can absolutely be proud of!

I am learning to appreciate being home.

Before the lockdown, I was spending most of my days in co-working spaces when I don’t have meetings elsewhere. I was going home for lunch and then outside again and rarely back home before 8 pm. I’ve always had the impression home was a prison; only designed for cooking (once a week), eating in front of the TV and sleeping. My life was almost fully happening outside… How was it even possible to make this shift, and be able to say now – after only three weeks – that my days are so short? Again, the magical ingredient called gratitude for having a roof!

All that I needed to do was to think about the homeless people who have been already surviving before the COVID-19, and who are currently risking to get infected at any moment of their day… Needless to talk about refugee camps where the density is extremely high with terrible conditions violating all the human dignity basics…

I am sorry if I lied about talking only about brightness in the introduction. For once, I had to break my promise… My heart is bleeding for the humanity… I just couldn’t help and I’m begging your pardon…

With love, Myriam

Myriam Ben Salem
Myriam Ben Salemhttps://unleashgreatness.blogspot.com/
I am deeply passionate about everything life has to offer. Writing has been my very favorite means to educate my audience, captivate their attention, talk to their emotions, and make them relate and take action. I have been honored by working as a columnist for BIZCATALYST 360°, an Award-Winning life, culture, and biz new media digest, serving as the global hub for enhanced performance and well-being, during 2020. Also, I am a contributing author in Mayhem to Miracles: True Stories of Courage, Triumph, and Peace. I am so in love with writing that I have a peaceful smile drawn on my face whenever I start visualizing the books I will be writing for whoever will be tempted to discover an inclusive philosophy breaking with all the stigmas! I was born in Tunisia, a small country in North Africa. I did pretty much everything earlier than the average: walking, talking, singing, dancing. Promoted throughout my entire education, I was also the leader of every end-of-year party. At some point, after working several years for multinational companies as an engineer, team leader, project coordinator, and product owner while always being a top performer, I figured out I was feeling miserable despite the 'perfect external image'. That marked the starting point of an existential crisis followed by an episode that triggered my re-birth and the beginning of the most rewarding adventure of my whole existence: re-writing my subconscious program and reconnecting with my true self. I was saved at the last moment through an out-of-body experience making me see all the lies, realize this gigantic Universe was not revolving around me. Most importantly, I was able to visualize I was here to leave a legacy like all of you, no matter how big or small! The butterfly took time to emerge though. Today, I identify myself as a Universal Citizen. Like-minded and light-hearted people are what I call home. I am deeply passionate about everything life has to offer, and was granted the edutainer qualifier: a combination between education and entertainment! I educate on the importance of healing unsuspected traumas, seeing our limiting beliefs and biases with honest lenses, finding one's purpose and a principled mission that goes beyond the self, and unleashing the hidden potential so that to leave our legacy for the generations unborn. I have been using a panoply of means that could vary from explicit ones such as mentorship, speaking, and writing, a skill that emerged naturally during my self-actualization process to implicit mediums like storytelling, how I daily show up in the world and model servant leadership! Writing is my very favorite and most preferred tool deployed for my mission. The topics I explore are in the nexus of stoic philosophy, psychology, neuroplasticity, epigenetics, and pretty much any topic involving human behavior. Common denominator? The quality of the subconscious program. You may have a look at some of my works published on my website; Set Yourself Free.

20 COMMENTS

  1. Myriam you are such a bright, vibrant joyful human being! What wonderful, human stories of how you are choosing to see the possibility in the “lockdown” scenario to connect, foster and perhaps strengthen relationships! Thank you for your uplifting presence!

  2. Beautiful Myriam, your joy and effervescence shines through. Keep dancing, my dear, and laughing and showing us the magical tapestries you weave. My mother was Syrian/Lebanese (depending on who you ask) so half of me shares your heritage. Have a lovely day! You dazzle!💖

  3. I am SO with you about those who want to “kill” time. OMG, time is so precious whether in lockdown or not…why waste even a nanosecond. I’ve always been good at “relaxing,” but with a tiny bit of guilt in the background telling me I should be doing something. I love the “no guilt” part of this lockdown!

    • “why waste even a nanosecond”

      Loved that one dear Carol! 🤩

      Now regarding the guilt, this is specifically why I love my planner! It is definitely removing guilt; simply because “relaxing” IS PART OF IT.

      How come? Because this planner is actually mapping our whole life, all our priorities which are linked to our 4 dimensions.

      “Relaxing” is part of the “physical” one. Eating healthy and exercising on a regular basis are completing it.

      More to the point, when we use this planner, this becomes a goal itself to achieve 😊

      There is a very legitimate reason for us to be called human “beings” and not human “doings”!

  4. Myriam you’re so full of energy and life. You made me smile and laugh even during this tough time. People do appreciate kindness and love and our world needs more! We all need more. Glad you are trying with your Dad. Family relationships are the toughest, I think.
    Best wishes, great shares

  5. Hey there fun beauty! Thanks for painting the world in bright vibrant hues of laughter and love. I am five years old with you. I love your expression of joy and silliness. I too love waking up smiling every day, singing, exercising and creating art. The only I thing I miss is talking to strangers and I think we share the same “Who can I make friends with today” DNA. I am happy to hear your relationship with your father has gotten better. My Mom and I have reconnected after a brief breakup that was hurting my heart and for this I’m deeply grateful.

    My intention today is to create something that will help others release happy endorphins just as reading this has done for me.

    Thank you for this gift of a story, thank you for YOU

    Love your much older sister Shelley

  6. thanaank youuu for spreading positivityy ❤️❤️❤️❤️ thank youu for being always special and having different ideas 💡 to fight toxicity ❤️❤️❤️ We’re grateful 🎉

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