We are moving forward again. Well, we never really stopped, it just slowed way down. There was a date we were all looking forward to as the opening up of America. We all hunkered down waiting for the day to come that we could re-emerge and life would be back to normal.
Well, that isn’t quite the way it is playing out. We have different states doing different things. Some (a lot) are opening everything up and charging forward. There are two multistate coalitions that have decided to work together to determine the date of re-opening based on data and science.
Meanwhile, some frustrated Americans are protesting prolonged stay at home orders, with guns. Other Americans are dealing with crippling anxiety and depression overwhelmed by all that is happening.
One thing is clear, no one knows the right thing to do. There is no rule book or guidance forthcoming on the correct sequence of procedures that will minimize lives lost and maximize stimulus to the economy.
No one has a model that predicts what happens if we keep the economy closed, except we all agree that is bad.
And if we open the economy up, we don’t know if there will be another, possibly worse, spike in coronavirus cases and more death.
So how do we move forward? By looking within and following your own guidance. In each moment. If we try to include too many future issues into our decisions we are likely to dissolve into a puddle of anxiety.
We continue our planning for fall as if it will be normal. We decide if we are going to work today after listening to the government orders and then checking with our body. Is it tightening up when I think about returning to work? Do I feel calm?
Never before have the principles of mindfulness been more needed. So let’s go over them.
- Your point of power is in the present. Make decisions from this place and time. Not the past. Not the future. Right now. Each decision, every time.
- Your body is always speaking to you if you learn to listen. Our bodies have innate wisdom regarding what is right for us. And us alone. Not your neighbor, coworker, or sister, You. Get quiet and feel your way forward, one decision at a time.
- When you are getting overwhelmed, slow your breathing. Long, slow deep breaths allow the panic that is rising to subside and rational thought to return to the mind. Check out some meditation apps that have breathing regulators, they are supremely helpful. Calm and Insight Timer are two favorites.
- Adopt a Beginner’s Mind. Remember that just because you have never done something before doesn’t mean you can’t figure it out. We are all figuring this out. Mistakes will be made. That is 100% O.K. Just keep going, you will be able to find your way through the confusion.
- Practice non-judgment. This goes for yourself as well as others. Let other people figure out what is right for them, trust that they have similar guidance. There is no one way to do anything. Different strokes for different folks, always and forever. Focus on yourself and give yourself grace. Be generous with forgiveness.
If you take anything away from this article let it be this, no one is certain of the right thing to do in this situation. No. One. Mistakes will be made, probably a lot of them. Be compassionate. Show grace. Do the best you can.
When you need rest, take it. If you can help out a person with less than you, do it. Some of us will not survive this experience financially.
The person you are frustrated with and want to tell off, may have just lost someone they love. Be kind. Assume best intentions.
We are tribal by nature. We need each other to survive. Let love move you forward. Trust yourself and your next forward movement. Be. Here. Now.