DH benchKripalu

My quarantine conversations

dorit Uncategorized

I’ve been talking for years about our common need to slow down a bit. To find moments of stillness where we can tap into whats really important (for each of us).  To take time for self-care. To be more aware of how we’re feeling, how we’re showing up in the world. To be more proactive about nourishing our bodies, our minds, and our spirits, with healthy “fuel”.

Is it just me, or does it feel like we’ve all been given some kind of “time out”?  Even if we’re fortunate enough to be working from home, we are all being forced to revisit what “normal” means to us. Most humans don’t like change. We get used to routines and we’re generally comfortable flowing through our lives, flowing through the familiar. And now, a detour of sorts. When you take a detour, you’re hoping you’re going to arrive at the same destination, but you’re not really certain which way you’re going until you really get there.  It’s unfamiliar territory. Having faith helps. Just believing that you’ll get there is helpful. Positive thinking at its most basic.

There’s also the pressure that seems to exist all around us… the kind that says “Well now you have all the time in the world, now is your time to make your mark, turn that dream project into reality, write that novel, compose that song, clean out your entire house, reorganize your entire life etc.”  You’ve heard it.  I’m thinking, how about we focus on making it through each day? Taking care of ourselves, mentally, physically, and then taking care of others.  There are a lot of people in need around us. If we take to heart keeping ourselves, our families, our neighbours, our elders, healthy and well, we could be quite busy every day. If you find yourself unemployed at the moment, you may actually have time for one of these major projects, and that would be amazing. You may also find yourself frozen in fear and uncertainty over the loss of income. Keep moving forward, one day at a time. Faith. This is just a detour.  Self-care. Surround yourself with positive energy. Create a calming mantra. Help others still less fortunate.

That gene.

I was born with an anxious ‘gene’.  It helps to put it out there. Naming it does not give IT power. It gives ME power. I realize that it’s just a part of me… and over time, I have learned to befriend it in a way. This anxiety still rears its head, at times, more often than others. I recognize it and I speak to it.

The conversation.

Anxiety speaking: “You’re in danger,  your family may be at risk, the world is not a safe place.”

This is a theme that I grew up with. There seemed to always be danger lurking around the next corner. You could never assume you were safe, anywhere. Be careful. Watch your back.  Amidst a very loving childhood and adoring parents, this is what I heard, often. It was a direct reflection of their unstable, disrupted childhoods, living through horrific times, and going on to live productive lives, never certain when the next disaster would hit.

Fast forward to my current day conversations:

Anxiety speaking: “You’re in danger,  your family may be at risk, the world is not a safe place.”

Me: “I recognize who’s speaking. I understand where you’re coming from. I don’t choose to believe that in this moment.”

Anxiety: “Well you’re an idiot then. Sh*t happens and you’re at risk just like everyone else. The world is a dangerous place.”

Me: “I understand that. However in this moment, I am ok.  Right now, my family is ok. I can’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, but I know that worrying about it, the fear,  makes me weaker.  I can make myself sick. I refuse.”

And so on. And so on. And so on.

I know that some people still roll their eyes when they hear about “present moment awareness“.  And that’s OK. Everyone has to choose to live their lives the way they want. But that’s the key!!  We have a choice. In the most dire of circumstances, some people have chosen to believe.  Some people have chosen to look forward with hope.  Whether they realized it or not, those people made a CHOICE. A choice that would help them move forward, onto the next day.   And that is what I tell my anxiety when it speaks to me.  Right now, in this moment, I choose to go forward. I choose to not be afraid.

This is ALL a practice.

Some days, I’m more successful than others, and the conversation is short-lived. I see it coming. I call it out. I talk back. End of conversation.  Other days, anxiety speaks louder than I. I try not to yell back at it. I find whispering helps. I whisper positive thoughts to myself. I repeat those thoughts over and over, until they drown out the banter of  “anxiety”.

I write this to share with others what I share in person all the time. If you’re feeling anxious, you’re not alone. I’ve heard some people call this a “new normal”.   I don’t like that expression because I don’t see  anything “normal” about our state of being.  There’s nothing normal about seeing my kids from a 6 foot distance and not being able to hug them. There is nothing normal about people not being able to visit their aged parents, or their grandchildren. That is not anything to be normalized.

That being said…

I still take time to appreciate the moments of wellness. I appreciate my connections to peoples hearts. I ask myself which part of the old normal do I really want to go back to?  Is there ANY way that this time can teach me anything? Maybe I’m meant to get better at “patience”. Maybe as close as I’ve always been to my mother, maybe there is still room for more kindness? It’s all a practice.  Can I see this time as a RESET button? Not a moment to write that novel, compose that song, reorganize my entire life, but could it be that there is ANYTHING positive to be learned during this “time out”?

As I always say in my yoga classes, there isn’t a right answer. Just food for thought, for each and every one of us.

doritMy quarantine conversations