I was recently talking to a friend about how our lives have narrowed during the pandemic. We don’t travel. We don’t see many people. We don’t go to museums or movies. We don’t go out much at all. We focus on work, family, and self-care. The conversation made me think: Have our lives really shrunk? Or maybe on some level have they expanded?
New York has a really good vibe right now. Bikers, runners, walkers, and families are filling up the parks. People are meeting for drinks and meals but keeping physical distance and wearing masks. My husband and I dined out in a neighborhood restaurant last week for the first time since restaurants reopened. We felt like we were in Europe. The restaurant, like many in our city, had improvised outdoor seating on the sidewalk and in curbside parking spots decorated with flowers and fun lights.
Isn’t it interesting? The things that make us excited during this time are so different from what used to excite us before. Making a good meal at home or going out to eat. Meeting a friend for a walk (masks on!) in the park. Taking a short drive or making a day trip. Having video chats with family and friends. Doing home improvement projects and developing new hobbies. Our priorities are changing together with the changing world around us.
What are you doing MORE, and what are you doing LESS during the pandemic?
Here is my list:
Less (or not at all…): Meeting people. Hugging. Going to the gym. Swimming. Traveling. Taking the train. Going out to the movies. Shopping. Spending. Rushing. Teaching in person. Stressing over silly stuff.
More: Making art and practicing hobbies (me: watercolor painting, making mandalas; hubby: baking.) Teaching virtually. Using technology to support, mentor, and serve others. Walking. Stretching and doing yoga. Exercising at home with YouTube videos. Meditating. Writing. Reading. Clearing and purifying our apartment (because we’re here ALL the time.) Improving our living environment. Learning new things. Visiting the park. Resting.
What’s on your list, beacon?
Just to clarify: the fact that I take more time to rest, walk, meditate, and read is not a reflection of my not being busy! It’s a reflection of my re-evaluating my values and priorities.
Right now, my work is busier than ever. More people want to learn Reiki and meditation. More women are looking for a guide and a mentor. I’m grateful that the Beacons of Change community is growing and that I am able to serve as a beacon during this pandemic. I know that many people have lost their jobs, and I don’t take being busy for granted. At the same time, I have used this challenging time as an opportunity to re-evaluate my values, work habits, lifestyle, and pace of life and to make changes.
Turn this challenge into an opportunity and find a new purpose
Turning challenges into opportunities and finding a new purpose may look different to different people.
If you are one of the people who is suffering right now, I want to acknowledge you. While my family and I are safe and healthy, I know many people who are sick or recovering from COVID-19. Many people in our community have lost loved ones to the virus. I am sending you love, healing, and light.
I also want to acknowledge the essential workers in all sectors who have sacrificed time with their families and put their own health at risk to keep the rest of us safe and healthy and to help us maintain some small sense of normalcy. If you are one of them, I am sending you love and gratitude.
The pandemic has affected each of us in different ways.
If you have lost your job, the challenges you face are different from those of someone who enjoys financial freedom. If you are a mom who is working from home while navigating homeschool, your challenges are different from those of a business owner who has no kids. If you gave up your job so you can take care of your kids, your daily routine is different from that of a someone who must work outside the home.
But there is one thing that unites us and is similar for all of us, regardless of our circumstances: We can choose how we show up in life. We can choose what vibration we offer to others.
We can choose to rise.
We can choose to thrive.
We can choose to find a new purpose and a deeper meaning to life.
We can choose how to respond.
Your new purpose can simply be:
- To be kind.
- To give compassion.
- To love yourself.
- To slow down and rest.
- To elevate your self-care practices.
- To stay positive.
- To rise.
- To take a deep breath and relax.
- To be patient.
- To revisit your values and priorities.
- To become more intentional and mindful.
- To be vulnerable, authentic, and real.
Practice number six of the Beacons of Change 12 Practices for Living at Full Power is Embrace Change with Joy.
Your new purpose can be to find joy. No matter what.
While we don’t always get to choose what happens to us in challenging times like these, we do get to choose how we meet those challenges.
What do you choose, beacon? Share with me in the comments—I’d love to know!