My last blog explained how I was voluntarily self-quarantining due to my time in New York last week. I explained how I was sleeping better, felt more connected to others, diving into work without distractions… and cleaning my cupboards. Yippee! This time tucked away for a closet introvert was in a way an indulgence… a treat… a deliciously covert escape from the busy world.
It’s a week later and I have to say…. I’ve hit a few roadblocks.
First, I haven’t got the coronavirus but I did contract a minor flu bug which is typical for me after flying.
Second, I am feeling a little cagey. My mother keeps telling me to do online workouts and of course (as always) she’s right but I just want to go for a long walk and hot yoga!
Third, my nervous system got a bit overloaded with all the texts and news coverage.
Finally, my loved ones are feeling down and that makes me sad.
Last night as I sat in bed drinking tea and trying to figure out what to watch on Netflix, I looked at the Belleek mug my parents gave me for Christmas. I realized I had no clue what the inscription on it meant. (Case in point.. when you are on lockdown, you tend to notice the little things you’ve overlooked the past several months like this… and how messy your freezer is AND the floor under your fridge. Yes, I went there yesterday.)
I googled “Cead Mile Failte” and discovered it means “One Hundred Thousand Welcomes.”
As usual, I look for the signs in things like this and it brought me back to a former mentor’s book called “Welcome To Your Crisis.”
I was reminded of the power of welcoming in the roadblocks. Life cannot always be sunshine and roses… we wish it were but it just can’t. Without the challenges, the crisis, and the unprecedented changes, we would not be able to use the tools, practice the exercise, stretch our “personal growth” muscles, and experience a new level of being.
What I’ve heard from others is this sense of loneliness. A dear friend cried to me on the phone yesterday missing her grandchildren. Her kids, though nearby, are choosing to be safe rather than sorry so are refusing to bypass the social isolation rules. While in her head she realizes this is the responsible thing to do, her heart is so wanting to hold the babies.
I suppose that is what many of us are dealing with. The absence of what soothes us.
When people or activities or things that normally calm us are suddenly removed from our lives, we are left alone with ourselves. And that can be frightening. All the wounds we thought were long gone open up a bit. Feelings of being left out, afraid of not having enough to eat, feeling alone, abandoned, or dismissed. In a crisis, these all come back to the surface.
But that’s a good thing.
It’s a good thing because life is giving us another chance to heal them, to find ways to navigate through the pain.
So if you’re feeling mad then feel it.
Lonely… feel it.
Frustrated… feel it.
Cagey… feel it.
Anxious… feel it.
Feel the feelings, don’t fight them. Allow your body and mind to experience the sensations and thoughts… and then go do something that makes you feel good.
Just as we must welcome in the heartache and pain… so must we welcome in the joy and fun.
I started creating a list of things to do during this time of isolation that we all are experiencing. I hope these simple pleasures can be mini lifts out of the dole drums for you. Remember, this too shall pass and when you look back on this time, I hope you view it as a gift you used instead of time you threw away just trying to get through it.
Here we go….
- Turn up the music and dance! A friend of mine is taking her samba classes online from her instructor. You can look into this… or just turn up the 80’s station on Pandora and rock out to WHAM!
- Get creative in the kitchen. If you’re like me you love cookbooks. All the pictures and hopes of dinner parties… but still after a few years look pretty and are collecting dust on the shelves! Now is a great time to try out a few of the recipes even if you are solo isolating.
- Clean! I know some of you probably don’t consider this a simple pleasure… but the feelings you feel AFTER you clean defiantly are! I grabbed my Mr. Clean Magic Erasers and was shocked at how dirty the doors were… and the doorknobs… and the baseboards.
- Stretch it out. So manny yoga classes online… this is one I am committing to for tonight.
- Set up regular times each day to connect with people that lift your spirits. Reach out to those who need a lift as well.
- Plan a party. I had a Cabi Clothes party scheduled at my home Thursday night which obviously was canceled. Instead, the consultant is doing a live, virtual party showing the clothes and a group of us are tuning in together. (Want to join us? Email or message me and I’ll send you the information.)
- Get creative. Start to paint, order knitting supplies off Amazon, or begin your own blog!
- Get inspired. Sift through magazines or online for images of your dream kitchen or new bathroom. I’ve been wanting to change things up a bit in my living room so I created a mood board that is now hanging on my fireplace so I can “live with” the images and see if that is really want I want to create.
Eventually, this time will be a distant memory and we’ll be back to cookouts, parties, coffee get-togethers, and sporting events. I am reminding myself that this “opportunity” to go within and get intentional without distractions may never come again in my lifetime.
So let’s start making lemonade from these days of lemons.
Interested in a little bit more inspiration for the week? I’ve been recording daily audios on SoundCloud. You can click here to listen.