Sitting at my computer right now, I wonder how you are really experiencing your life right now. I know, in a crisis everything looks like a crisis… but you can’t sustain a reactionary state forever.
I want to know how you’re handling your thoughts, your feelings, your self. How are you meeting with the uncertainty of our times? Do you feel equipped or are you feeling like, “This is too much!”, “I can’t handle the not knowing” or “I’ve not felt fear like this before”… or some version of worry, doubt and fear?
This is real. What you are experiencing is real. To human better during this time, you need to cultivate resilience.
To help, I want to tell you a story…
There was a woman I knew who had moved her family to Europe for a career opportunity for her husband. She was pregnant with her second child and the due date had come and gone. She was overdue by about a week. Her parents came to visit but their departure date was slowly arriving. She finally went into labour and her “well-baked” son was born without a hitch.
Or that’s what she thought.
She said goodbye to her parents a few days later. She noticed she wasn’t feeling well but wrote it off to childbirth and caring for a newborn. Within 3 days though, her state changed drastically… her temperature rose to 105F, so she took herself back to the hospital. Her milk was drying up by the second and she could barely breathe. It happened to be Easter and the hospital was understaffed. They could not figure out what was going on with her. She was admitted to the ICU and her baby was taken to the maternity ward. Hour by hour her organs began to shut down.
I am going to interject here and tell you… this story is about me. One of the most vulnerable moments of my life. Now, what I do from this moment – a dark moment filled with uncertainty, fear and heart-wrenching separation – is what I want to share with you for these times.
In that moment, I got super-focused… all my years of meditating suddenly allowed me to come to the center of myself. I realized I had to accept this moment or else I would only experience it all in fear – even if it was my death, I wanted to be present, not afraid. So, I accepted the moment. I stopped crying, I turned inward, and I surrendered to the pain, to the unknown, to my body. And I prayed! My anchors were my sons and I just focused on imagining my newborn back in my arms.
They did not figure out what was wrong with me for 3 days. Did I mention the language everyone spoke on staff was not one I knew, and there was a franticness as they were short doctors and lab technicians? There is a longer version to this story which has some great revelations to it but for this storytelling, I want to keep it short. Once they figured out it was a blood infection, I was taken to surgery to put a line in my neck to flood me with antibiotics.
What they didn’t know was how I would respond and would my organs recover. It was “wait and see”. Still no certainty so I had to remain open.
Here’s what I learned: That every time I went to fear my body felt more pain, the staff stayed away from me, and I felt separated from life and myself. As soon as I centered myself and accepted my reality, I got a little more calm, then present, then suddenly people came around to care for me. I looked in their eyes deeply with resolve. I had decided. I am going to be present to this all and if I live, I will share with everyone that…
…your life, challenges and all, is just going to be a choice of how you respond and live it. And you have within you, the ability to direct your awareness to what truly matters. When you keep coming back to yourself, you find something solid, like a foundation to stand on and you have room to choose.
Back to the present moment. We are all facing the same crisis. And although the external environment indicates the crisis is a virus, the internal environment of the world indicates the crisis is fear. We have to be aware of both but focus on what we have control over. Like my story, I had to face the unknown damage of the blood infection (external) and the only thing I had control over was how was I going to experience it (internal).
There are skills you can learn to strengthen your inner environment and now, more than ever, is the time to develop and practice these life skills of being human and how to overcome fear, anxiety and suffering; to learn to human better!
If you’re reading this, I know you are a person who values your relationships, your influence and impact and your freedom to have a life of meaning. I invite you to use this sacred time we’re in to strengthen your ability to respond to life. Your mind is the basis of every experience you have and the contribution you make to others. Given that fact, it makes sense to train it. Imagine going through the next few months feeling more present, more calm, more courageous and showing up in ways that positively impact you, your family and your community.
If this resonates with you and you’d like to overcome some of your own barriers to living the life you want, then click here and I’ll make sure we connect. And you know I like to share the love, so if you know someone who could benefit from this article then please share it! Imagine, thought by thought and act by act we are creating a more conscious world.