Did it really have to take a pandemic to allow us to all slow down a bit?
With long lines at grocery stores and warnings not to come together in groups, our expectations for speed and efficiency have dropped to an all-time low. We have retreated to our homes and find ourselves spending unexpected ‘quality’ time with families and neighbors. Our beautiful planet has found a way to get a break so she can rest, recuperate and replenish herself after all the ways we humans have been burdening her.
Many of us are fearing the worst wondering how this pandemic will affect our children, our health, our economy and the larger systems we all rely on. There is SO much to be afraid of if we continue to focus on the past and the project it into the future as we navigate this change. Our focus on past plagues and the loss and fear they generated are terrorizing us today. Our focus on an imagined future where we are in even more fear than we are now is terrorizing us today! Is this the only way we can respond?
What if this slow down offers a new choice? A choice of focus. Where do you choose to focus? In the fear and contraction about what we have no control over? Or in the expansion and gratitude of what we do have?
When we connect to our gratitude in every moment it allows us to fill ourselves, and THEN support others in compassionate and generous ways.
Here is some of the GOOD NEWS about what is happening as a result of the pandemic. We are not commuting to and from work. We are not sitting on the bus or other public transportation to get to school or other events since most of them have been canceled. Retreats and conferences are postponed. Flights are canceled. Cars are in driveways or garages, children are out playing in the yard after their on-line lessons. People are watching movies together in living rooms with home-made popcorn, and we are together at night to look at the moon and the stars.
Our air pollution levels are dropping as we slow down our lives and stop traveling at the typical daily pace. High school youth are supporting younger students whose parents have to work. People are now learning and committed to using proper hygiene for the first time around the world. New mandates are being implemented about sick days so sick people do not have come to work and spread disease like a badge of honor. Workplaces are figuring out how to maintain operations with fewer working hours and there will be increased opportunities for telecommuting once the danger has passed. This contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, better housing prices and more time with family and friends.
While our ego hates the uncertainty and the inability to figure out how and when things will get back to normal, we do not have to buy into its story about how we are headed for a fearful future.
What if this IS the new normal? Now is the time to bring our attention back to each moment where we have real control. Where we can find our highest nature and do what is most loving for us without making others wrong or bad for the choices that feel best to them.
Now is the time to play with the children, take that walk, make that soup, connect with a neighbor, call your siblings, shake it all off, focus on the now, take a deep breath, let others know how you feel, sit with a tree, talk to a bird.
How can you enjoy the current slow-down in life?