I recently got a letter from my sister who was complaining about not being able to go anywhere or do anything with friends and family that she was accustomed to doing.  I began writing about “Living with Limitation” and then listened to a talk by a minister entitled “Moments of Inspiration.” I also recognize that I am in the depths of the grieving process following the death of John Lewis, a giant in the civil rights movement. As I reflected, I became more aware that as we accept this time of social distancing as a time to think, feel, and plan to make our lives more interesting and effective even if, for the moment, we are still “hunkered down.”  

After several years of increasing prosperity, we, as a country, are now facing the necessity to limit our movement and activities in the world to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.  It took a while for us to accept the reality of the challenge as well as the significance of the required changes for our physical, mental, and emotional survival.  Our movement, our ability to plan, and our normal daily life activities are limited.

TAKE HEART!  Life is on your side.  Look how far you have come from where you started.  What did you tell yourself that helped you become the successful person you have lived as for most all of the years of your adult life?  You found love and support in your relationships with family and friends.  You chose a career that you have a real passion for and discovered that you also had special talent for learning and doing a special kind of work.  You embraced the idea of a higher power being available for spiritual and emotional support as you learned from temporary setbacks and found a path forward.

Perhaps there is now a NEW LEARNING necessary.  The world is changing, and our paths and actions are different.  It is as though everyone is back to the same starting point.  Perhaps you can find places to lead instead of follow or teach instead of being the student.  We are all at the start of a race that none of us has run before.  Some pretend that they know the course, but there is really no history that anyone in the group has successfully run this course before.  You may discover that your acceptance of the unknown quality of this course has given you an advantage.  Instead of trying to plot it out in advance, you may find you’ll increase your present awareness in the HERE AND NOW instead Know and tap into your skills and level of endurance.  Remind yourself of the innate sensitivities and talents that you have that you may not have used enough to truly appreciate their value.  Take time to relax and visualize the ultimate end result. Give yourself permission to expect that result.

Now, let’s review the basics of creating change and fulfilling on your vision:

  1. Write down your thoughts and imagine your problem or desire having a tangible solution or outcome that you can explain.
  1. Identify your feelings as MAD, GLAD, SAD, OR SCARED.
  1. If you were going to take an action or do something different to fulfill on that outcome, what would the first step be?
  1. Take that action and share with a trusted friend whether it has helped you to feel more healthy, productive, and successful.
  1. Go through these steps again until you have reached your desired outcome.

Get started.  Everyone now is at the same starting gate.  No one has ventured far past the starting gate because of their fear of the unknown.  It is ok to be willing to step out ahead and demonstrate that you are not afraid to take risks.  Remember that fear stands for “False Expressions Appearing to be Real.”  Trust that you can move forward and trust yourself to find the excitement and joy in new discovery.  Invent new ways to stay connected with loved ones via Zoom or social distancing lawn chats. Deliver your services remotely and find new ways to package and sell them. Attend a concert at a drive-in movie theater. You can design your own new path.  Take a deep breath.  Re-energize yourself and go forth.

How are you getting back up after being hunkered down? Where are you trying new ways of staying connected and moving forward during this time of uncertainty? Please share with us so we can try those ideas, too!