This post comes in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that is turning our civilization upside-down & inside-out. Jobs that were stable have left the building. Opportunities we could not see are showing through the fog. Relationships are getting better and worse from too much distance and too much closeness. Lives that were taken for granted have expired. It’s a turn of events that even at the beginning of this year we could not have imagined – and would not have wanted to believe.

The word that comes to me is “detour”, as it’s an alternate timeline to the one we knew until recently and taking us to an as-of-yet unknown future. And what that future will be like is up to what you and I choose to do NOW.

I’m learning lessons as our days go by with little difference in physical environment. Most of us are at home observing physical distancing – which is not the same as the dangers of “social isolation” – we can still connect, albeit remotely, and should. Finding ourselves in this less interactive situation is a big departure from what most of us are used to, so it’s no wonder that so many are having a hard time dealing with it.

I put together this incomplete set of lessons that I’ve gathered this far, hoping they’ll help clear the fog:

* The silence I have usually avoided is starting to grow on me. My thoughts are easier to identify – and detach from – in this lack of continuous input. Silence is becoming a larger part of me, giving me clarity, a strange sense of tranquility, and, simultaneously, a fire under my ass that impels me to share what I have with the world. Publishing this post is part of it.

* (Therefore) I don’t need as much external stimulus to be OK. Peace is created within.

* As we say in Spanish, “when a door closes, a window opens”. I’m learning to see opportunity where a dead-end alley is the most evident sight. Writing this post is also a result of this.

* I miss face-to-face conversations and physical, human touch. I value it more now. A hug, a kiss, even brushing elbows with a stranger. That physical connection that reminds me that “Hey, you are HERE.” Can’t wait til the time we get back together and feel each other’s presence and warmth  : )

* I am the sole creator of my current condition, and so I am the only one who can change what I don’t like about it. I can’t control what’s happening in the world, but I can CHOOSE how I interpret it, thus creating my experience of it.

* Let go of control. Instead, have preferences. Flow with what is happening. Be flexible enough to adapt, and focused enough to steer yourself where you want to go – without fighting reality. Instead, lean into it, and it will lean back. TRUST that as long as you’re sailing your wave, your port will come into view sooner or later. It’s looking for you as much as you are looking for it.

* Having all this time in the same place (home) can seem like one long, unending event. However, if I develop DISCIPLINE to carry out my activities, the physical environment loses its monotony – because my MIND is occupied with something different with every task I focus on.
Which brings me to my next point:

* My quality of life depends to a very large degree on HOW I DIRECT MY MIND.
It is the filter through which I see what happens inside and outside of me, what creates the interpretations I consider true. DIRECTING MY MIND = DIRECTING MY LIFE, independent from whatever may be happening “out there”.
We’ve been given this detour as an opportunity to reevaluate how we use our thoughts, what kinds of conversations we allow ourselves to have (with ourselves and others), and what language we use to describe what is happening – a process that usually happens unnoticed but can be witnessed with awareness and modified to our liking. If there’s ONE thing we can control in this life, that is OUR MIND. So let’s use this pause to exercise what Gandhi described so eloquently, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” We’ll be glad we used this time consciously once we come out of our isolation.

* And other lessons keep bubbling up…

I hope these inspire you.
Now, what are YOU learning??
Comment below, I want to know! 🙂

*** Read the followup to this post here for more lessons learned.

2 Comments

  1. Bravo, Carli! Yes, I agree, peace comes from within.

    Some say this is nature putting the brakes on what we humans are doing to the earth. Others say we’ve forgotten ourselves and others in the everyday, and so this is a coming to center again. And, yet others have their opinions including conspiracies. I don’t know that it’s one or the other, but maybe all of the theories, or possibly none of them.

    I feel for those who are truly alone. The mentally ill and the elderly. They have challenges that many of us do not comprehend.

    Just like everyday, there are opportunities and it’s a matter of how we respond to the situation and what we choose to do with the time we have. I’m taking the time to work on several projects, brainstorm/network with others, join webinars, and create opportunities. Also, I’m making new friends and bonding with those close to me..

    Thank you for your thoughts, Carli.

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