Where I live, we’ve gone into lockdown again, similar to the restrictions we faced at the beginning of the Great Pause.
There’s a part of me that would like to rail against the imposed sanctions, that would like to get indignant and righteous. Let’s call that part Talula. Fortunately, I’ve learned to tame Talula and not let her be in the driver's seat. (She thinks she’s a gifted driver, but she’s not.)
The wiser part of me knows that the better choice is to receive what’s true right now and know that it’s for the highest good of my soul’s evolution.
(“But waaaah”, says Talula, “our Christmas celebrations at the Banff Springs Hotel can no longer happen and I’ve been looking forward to that for MONTHS. WAAAH!”)
I could choose to be angry about the change in plans, or I could choose to go with the flow and trust that something even better is on the way.
(“Better than Christmas in a castle in the middle of the Rocky Mountains??? I doubt it.” * Talula crosses arms resolutely and pouts. We’ll just let her sit in the corner for now.)
In an effort to embrace what is right now, I decided to get Outrageously Grateful and compile a list called the 12 Gifts of COVID. I’ll share it in 2 parts, since otherwise, it would be a full essay and as compelling as my writing is, you may not want to read a full literary work right now. So how about half of one?
(Talula is mildly interested in the list, although she’s trying not to show it.)
So here we go.
There are many metaphors we can draw from what’s been turning up in our world these days.
Masks. Annoying though they are, there is a metaphorical message in all the facewear. I see it as a reminder to watch what comes out of your mouth. Masks are a physical way of helping us remember that ideally, we want to speak our truth with compassion. Our words are powerful and we want to choose them carefully.
Cleaning. If you’ve been anywhere public in the last few months, you’ll likely have noticed there’s a whole lot of cleaning going on. Every high touch area is getting a good scrub down on a very regular basis. And...oh… the hand sanitizing...
I see the metaphor as a call to clean up our act as a collective. A whole lot of stuff is coming to the surface of our consciousness that seems negative on the outside because it’s time for it to get cleaned up. The invitation is to clean up any areas of your life and/or consciousness that have gotten lost in the shuffle and have been gathering dust bunnies.
Plexiglass. Everywhere. At the fitness centre I go to (that’s now closed - boo), they installed plexiglass dividers between all the fitness equipment. There are also dividers in restaurants between tables and between you and anyone you need to interact with. (Should have taken out stocks in plexiglass… who knew?)
The metaphor from the plexiglass, as I see it twofold.
1- The first invitation here is to stay in your own energy. Feel your emotions, but don’t let them spill out onto others. Consume information that is useful to you, but not in the form of a barrage. Be cautious but not paranoid. Stay in your own energy.
2- The second invitation is to focus on who you’re with. The dividers in restaurants are giving us a clear visual reminder that the most important person in the world is the one you’re with. That means put down your device and engage with the humans in front of you. Pay attention and be where you are. That’s what the plexiglass is urging us to do.
The Importance of Connection. If there’s anything we’ve realized this year, it’s that we need each other. We are social creatures. Isolation is deadly. As humans, we’ve constructed a myriad of reasons to get together in person; sports, pastimes, hobbies, potlucks, worshipping, competitions, education, picnics. We thrive when we gather. Our gatherings look different right now, but the underlying message is that we need connection. If you’re not getting enough, bring that to the forefront and get some gatherings in your calendar. Virtual tea will do nicely if you need a suggestion for a place to start.
The Opportunity to Binge-Watch your Thoughts. (Not my clever expression. I heard it from Michael Beckwith.) Quarantining has given us the gift of being in our own space. And the opportunity to get up close and personal with the thought patterns we’ve been entertaining. I know I’ve noticed some antagonist thoughts this year that I’ve uninvited and removed the welcome mat for. This is where that cleaning up gift comes in too. If you notice that you’re not loving what’s coming up for you, either in the way of thoughts, emotions or circumstances, notice what you’re thinking and tell that thought that it’s no longer welcome to hang out with you. Be firm. Be persistent.
The Gift of Reflection. If you haven’t been loving some parts of your life, 2020 has been trying to help you out. This year has given you extra time to hunker down and take a good hard look at what’s working for you and what’s not. Although circumstances sometimes arrive in packages that are ugly and unappealing, there’s always a gift inside. As long as you take time to reflect, you’ll get the gift. If you just shove all the gifts under the bed, you’ll stay stuck and unhappy.
This year, the invitation has been to get real by doing some active reflection. Personally, I’ve been doing a weekly Sunday Review that has given me tremendous insight into who I am, and has helped me develop new habits that serve me, along with getting clear on some habits that were holding me back. Game. Changer.
Want to see your own life with 20-20 vision? (Talula just rolled her eyes. “That is So. Old.”)
Last year I did my first Year End Review. It helped me set up this year, which has been one of the best of my life, even though it was THIS YEAR.
I thought it would be fun to invite you to join me for the 2020 Year End Retrospective. I’ll be hosting it on Zoom (obviously) on December 28th and would love for you to come along for the fun.
There won’t be plexiglass or masks involved, but there will be opportunities for deep connection, reflection, examining your thoughts and getting a head start on some internal spring cleaning.
Click this link to read the witty banter and get all the details (Talula skeptically raises an eyebrow). I would love to see you at the Year End Retrospective and guide you through what promises to be a thought-provoking and heart-opening experience.
Next week, I’ll regale you with Part 2 of the 12 Gifts of COVID. Talula may join us too.
With eons of love and eternities of courage,