Solstice and new moon
Stars, earth, moon: dance together
Celebrate their Song
There is no time like the present.
Actually that’s the only time there is, this present moment. The past exists in your mind as memory. The future only exists in your imagination.
Times like these make that all the more clear to me. The only actions we can take are in the present.
True, we can plan for the future. But our ideas about the future are only a guess. In February, did anyone plan for not being able to get to the gym for a month starting March 17th?
I had to laugh at the U.S. President’s remarks on Wednesday. (Otherwise I would cry. Really.) He’s acting like we can and should “start-up” the economy again just like re-booting a computer. He actually thinks he is in control of the virus and the economy! Wow.
You and I know that is absurd and dangerous. It becomes all the more clear that when the ego (i.e. left-brained “me-oriented” mental chatter) drives the world, disaster is the result.
Surrender to this moment. Do only the next relevant thing.
The next moment will take care of itself. And you will calm yourself by breathing, not trying to imagine EVERY possible scenario at once.
Think of Dorothy, who said “there’s no place like home.” And close your eyes, feel your feet on the floor, or your butt in a chair and say:
“There’s no time like the present.” Then live your life, one moment, and one breath at a time. Humanity is resilient. You are no exception.
Love you all,
I started out today writing about some hints for people who are managing people remotely during the COVID-19 situation. In my role as an operations manager for remote clinical research team, I learned a lot about managing distributed teams. My direct reports were in 5 different countries, so we were seldom all together EXCEPT via teleconferences.
And then: I got news that my friend’s mother is dying. She’s getting on a plane soon in hopes she can say goodbye in person if her Mom is released to hospice care. Family members cannot visit people in hospitals right now. Oh dear. Complicated.
So the earlier idea has been shelved for later. For now, I will readjust my plans for the week, so I can cat-sit for her.
That is okay. Haven’t we shown how capable we are this week of re-adjusting? That we are not in control of so many events in our lives?
Change in our lives has always been constant. And yet we, as humans, cling to our ways of doing things, our comfortable routines. As a neurodiverse person I struggle to maintain routines, though I know that they help me stay sane on the average day.
Meditation has been a daily practice for over 3 years now. Wow, am I ever glad I made that commitment. Journaling is also a daily practice for me, removing the “static” from my head and getting some distance from it by writing it out. Anything we can to do help manage our emotions right now is important.
I practice yoga 10-15 minutes most days to calm my nervous system. Some days I take whole hour class online through Tula Yoga & Wellness! I’m grateful they are making classes available via Zoom for those of us who want to stay connected and practicing. I’m also delighted that my NIA teacher Beth Giles is offering her NIA classes via Zoom so I can vary things up! Moving to music is a balm for the soul.
We need to take care of ourselves. This is not something I will sacrifice during this time. Self-care helps me show up for others. I have been able to support friends and family who are struggling via phone calls, walks, emails, etc. Connection is essential for health. What if we tried “virtual presencing” while we do our social distancing? No, it’s not the same. And yes, we need it.
Stay well, friends.
Can we move slower?
Can we sense Within Us: Strength?
Depth beneath Our Skins.
Do you remember the days when phones were just phones?
Did you ever have to “wait in line” for the one phone line at home?
When you were a teenager, maybe you use the phone upstairs, and the cord would get twisted while you had to make sure your younger sister wasn’t listening in on the downstairs line… ah those were the days.
I guess I’m dating myself here! But today I spent time on the phone with a few friends who called me. It was delightful to talk with them, not to bother with email, but to have actual conversations. We did not need any fancy software to talk, and hearing their voices really helped me feel connected.
We had time to talk, and we spoke about the different experiences we’d had since this virus situation started becoming part of the public health recommendations for self-quarantine.
I also had time to talk with my sister on the phone. She’s an R.N. and she’s making preparations in case she needs to self-quarantine after she treats sick patients in the hospital. Our parents are in their 70’s and she is thinking in advance about how to protect them by keeping her distance, though their county has not reported any cases yet.
There is a lost art to a good phone conversation. I prefer phone calls to video calls. I find that I take notice of the tone of voice more, and get less distracted by seeing my image (or someone else’s image) on a video screen. I am actually enjoying this part of our self-enforced exile. I find that when I focus on my gratitude, there is less room for fear and anxiety.
What helps you stay calm in the midst of uncertainty? Have you tried talking with friends on the phone lately?
“Trust in God, but tie your camel to a post.”
-Old Arabic proverb (trusting the internet on this attribution, please correct me if you know a more specific source).
Have you ever heard this one?
Even for those of us who have faith, it does not give us license to be naïve about our future. Leaping without a net might be okay if your family is wealthy or inclined to bail you out. But I live in the real world, and come from humble beginnings.
I made a leap last August, away from a corporate manager position and into a sabbatical, some forays into self-employment: coaching, science writing, and freelance consulting. I designed and delivered some workshops: Embody the Leader Within You and the Neuroscience of Resilience. I began yoga teacher training, and I am loving that experience. I started with about 6-8 months of living expenses put away, and I earned a little money here and there.
I realized back in February/March that this was not going to be a sustainable living for me, and that our reserve funds were rapidly dwindling. So I took a bridge loan of sorts and then headed back into looking for full-time gigs. Good thing my credit is excellent, and I foresaw the shortfall a few months before it became mission-critical. Also good thing that I spent 10 months before I left the previous job in serious preparation for this time away, putting away extra money and hiring coaches to position myself for a break. I do not take that privilege for granted.
Though I will someday try a self-employment venture again, I was honored last week to accept a position at the University of Minnesota as a Program Manager in the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. I will begin on June 10th (my birthday!) and it feels like an amazing gift. As it turns out, the recruiter had contacted me originally on March 8th regarding this position. So it was about a 3-month period of messages back and forth, phone interviews, in person interviews, interacting with the hiring committee, and eventually the hiring manager (3 in person experiences).
I kept pursuing this one because I see it as a unique blend of an opportunity to build something new in an academic setting but at the same time apply my expertise in clinical research. At the same time, I had a hard time pursuing corporate positions, because I just do not see myself in that sort of role for now, so I did not bother.
Because I was having a positive experience with the interview process, I made a leap of faith and did not do much searching in the full-time realm for other jobs. I front-loaded my YTT studies, knowing that a full-time job may mean less time for focused study of yoga. And I am bringing my coaching practice to a mindful close while I allow lots of energy and time to learn the new job without too much distraction.
I am grateful that I took the leap, learned so much in the interim, and found myself a role that, though it pays less than my previous role in the corporate world, allows for a sustainable and regular income for my husband and me. It is on my “growth edge” and will stretch me in new ways. I am excited and a little nervous, as anyone might be in a new role. But I will embrace it. The faith I have developed in my own resilience serves me. And wherever the road bends next, I know I can meet the challenges ahead.