We're halfway thru 2020 so it’s the perfect time to take stock of what’s been and how best to embrace the newness of it all.
For me, 2020 started out with its challenges. While I was in Costa Rica, at a glorious yoga retreat, my Dad passed away. This took place as we (pinnaclesource.com) were engulfed in a frustrating business slump. Then Kobe Bryant literally fell out of the sky!
What else could possibly go wrong?
The answer – EVERYTHING and NOTHING at all.
Since Coronavirus reached “pandemic” status and our Government shut down the American economy, my life has taken a gradual and heaven-sent turn for the better. Perhaps this is due to my stage of life, but COVID-19 was exactly what I needed to chill out, slow down, relax and find my inner self.
Suddenly, I had lower to zero expectations of making placements and obtaining new business. Plus, being forced to stay home re-focused my morning routine. Although I've been doing yoga regularly for the past 4 years my perspective on my practice and it's depth blossomed. Instead of needing to squeeze in a class each day, I yearned to be on my mat more and more. And I had no excuses left to prevent me from expanding my spiritual practices.
My new, beginning of day habits unfolded more naturally without the anxiety of scheduled calls and meetings obstructing my internal view of what energizes me. This approach lead to several other healthy lifestyle changes that the COVID 19 era actually facilitated. I drive less now, walk more, cook fresh fish and veggies for myself and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Two Lessons Learned, One Healthier Heart
As soon as I heard about the potential death toll from Coronavirus I said to myself, my loved ones and anyone that would listen, since we're going to keep hearing about dying from Coronavirus, let's figure out to HOW TO LIVE with it.
Regardless of what political party you're aligned with, what TV station/social media platform you get your news from, or how fearful /faithful you are about when, where, how you leave the house; I believe we all have a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn from this transitional period. The key is to pay attention to the messages being sent from much greater and higher powers than CNN, Fox or any other opinionated human being.
Mother Earth, GOD, the Universe, source energy or whatever you want to call “it”, has spoken. And the 2 lessons I've learned from her are distinct and interconnected by one vital thread. Our heart-centeredness.
The first message to receive is to stop living through our plans.
If we have no plans to travel or to attend a big ballgame or concert or friend's wedding, what are we left to do? The answer is in the lesson itself. We may not be accustomed to living in the now, but what healthy alternatives exist?
If you allow this shift to sink in, you'll discover enormous personal freedom. By refocusing our attention away from what's next, to an intention to enjoy the moment everything will feel a lot better. This mode of operating required me to become much more patient, and that's where yoga and meditation have come to the rescue.
Now I find inner peace and joy within, without getting so hung up on what we're being asked to do without. Instead of being fixated on what's coming up, how about spending some time searching within?
As a society, we've gotten addicted to what's next and what's out there and what can I do to distract myself from paying attention to how I feel and how I'm taking care of myself and how my family is doing. In short, my priorities have shifted by NOT having a bunch of events to look forward to, and I'm a happier person as a result.
I'm not suggesting consuming your time with self-fulfilling activities is simple at first.
I struggle transforming my mind-set too. And there's no perfect state of being. But we can all access an “inner-knowing” and greater self-awareness. Being resistant to change leads to more stress and anxiety. Being receptive to, and accepting of, the blessings we already have calms the mind and fortifies our spiritual growth.
Once I delved further into healthy disciplines like listening to self-affirming Hay House recordings/videos and podcasts to supplement my workouts, my attitude about everything improved.
You can find a sense of solitude and well-being however you'd like---through stillness, walking in nature, uplifting music, creating artwork, martial arts, visiting with loved ones, or any activity that inspires you and connects you to heart-felt gratitude. Once you find “it”, you'll be addicted to the joy within. Feed that feeling!... And watch your former distractions dissipate in relative insignificance.
Connecting to the power of now and the resulting self-love, instead of grasping for some elusive feeling outside of ourselves, is the first empowering message we've been sent.
If you choose to look at COVID-19 statistically, what else can we learn?
The hospitalization and morbidity numbers don't lie. Let's commit to getting ourselves in better shape! Excessive BMI, diabetes, and other pre-existing conditions put us in more danger of severe Coronavirus impact. Getting yourself healthy, or at least healthier, is within everyone's reach. The availability of free on-line exercise classes and nutritional education HAS NEVER BEEN easier to access nor more abundant (but if you want specific recommendations email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with subject HEART HELP)
If this is the mother of all viruses, she's more than whispering to us to strengthen our immune system. So, if you really want to feel better about your chances of countering COVID, take responsibility for and get in charge of your heart health. Eating well and exercising strenuously every day will also help you sleep more, and more restfully.
None of this information is rocket-science. Yet all we hear and read about is staying home, wearing a mask and waiting for a vaccine. All fear-based messages! One important question to ask yourself is -Am I playing offense or defense? And does any of the news I'm subjecting myself to make me feel any better?
You know the answers…
I'm awakened by a lifestyle that everyone can enjoy. It's not me doing anything special. THIS IS WHAT'S MOST IMPORTANT - Every benefit we receive from participating in mindful and physical conditioning is universally guaranteed. The more we practice, the more tuned in we become to our self-endowed powers. The experiences are sweet. And the more of it we can all taste, the bigger and juicier the pie gets!
My takeaway from the first half of 2020 is to slow down, be grateful for what we have in the here and now, and to get our butts in better shape. All we know about Coronavirus is that we don’t know much about Coronavirus. No one knows what's going to happen tomorrow. But we can learn from the impacts and effects of Coronavirus…. And for those lessons learned I am truly thankful!