These are tumultuous times of staggering transition. We are being called to open our minds and hearts to change. Our routines and ways of being in the world have been uprooted. We need to find newer ways to recharge, focus and still draw joy from our days. Here are a few suggestions:
Social distancing anew: I am not a fan of physical social distancing, but I respect it in order to keep myself and others safe. I miss going to the Madison Art Cinema to see a new film and meeting a friend to sit in the window at Cilantro enjoying the world pass by as we catch up and sip some green tea. I miss the library and the story times I would be able to enjoy with my toddler grandson, the people I could teach qigong to, and to use my needles to help alleviate pain.
But we are finding different ways of connecting in our newer phases as we inch toward a new normal. I met a friend at The Madison Coffee House yesterday where there is a huge open terrace with tables to appropriately distance, I bring Luke, my grandson, on walks to the marina to see the boats and walk down a farm road to see the goats and chickens. We walk The Nature Trail in West Woods and have Jacobs Beach to cool off on scorching hot days. And I feel grateful to be writing this as I sit outside at a café.
Follow your heart: Try to carve 10 minutes of quiet into your day. Perhaps you will ‘hear’ how to act in ways that are in the best interest of ourselves, our family, our communities and world. Stillness is a way to begin to “see” our roles in different and unexpected ways.
Honor friendship: Never have I realized how important my friends are than now. I admit I have at times taken them for granted. Sunday has become the day I invite different friends and family to come and sit under the old maple tree outside as we eat snacks or meals or just drink coffee or tea and enjoy each other’s company and conversation. Let your friends know how honored you are to have them in your life by sending a text, writing a letter or preparing a special meal for them.
Find humor: One of the things I like best about my relationship with my sister is that we can often find the humor in almost any of our personal travesties. Laughter can break up the darkest of moments and fill them with light. Watch a funny movie, tune into a comedy channel or a humorous podcast. It will help you to not become overwhelmed with what is happening and to be more helpful.
And of course, be creative. What works for one might not work for another. Let me know some of the ways that are helping you to navigate your “new” world. Some of you have already shared with me what keeps you going: helping others, working for social justice, knitting, playing games, walking, spending time with children (when possible), praying and becoming gourmet cooks!
I am convinced we will come out of this stronger and transformed for the better no matter how challenged we might feel at the moment.