During a time of upheaval, it can be tough to remain positive. Uncertainty is unnerving, but we have a responsibility to, now possibly more than ever, live into our highest selves. One way of doing that is by looking through a different lens.
Since many of us are out of work, working from home or leaving our houses only when absolutely necessary, we have an opportunity to do some reassessing.
1. create a sanctuary
Set up a specific area to be calm and renewing. It doesn’t need to be an entire room; it can be a very small space, where you can meditate, pray, read, or simply breathe and release what’s holding you back. Go there whenever you feel like you’re becoming overwhelmed. Zen (the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese “Ch’an,”) is a word that’s thrown around a lot, but it’s not a particular thing. Zen is something we do and something we are. It requires living fully in the moment—ideal reality walking in tandem with day-to-day reality. We breathe in with awareness and gratitude and breathe out with love.
3. remain aware
Change is constant, of course. After all, we live on a planet that’s spinning at 700 mph and racing around the sun at 67,000 mph, ❶ but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to embrace. We have a responsibility to be aware of what’s going on. But, we’re called to accept, with as much grace as possible, life alterations even when having a healthy perspective is tough.
4. combat fear
Fear makes us aware; it keeps us on our toes, but when we play into it too much, it has a way of seeping deep into our cores. Prognostications may start to feel like “truth”, and as fear-based behavior sets in, society can get out of control.
You are not defined by what happens to you, but rather how you walk through life each day in spite of your challenges. Sometimes we really don’t know what we need until we find it and, often, we find our true selves when we’re tested and pushed outside our typical comfort zones.
Last night, as the sun was ready to close her eyes to my part of our spinning planet, I sat outside and stared at the night sky, recognizing, again, how incredibly infinitesimal I am in this universe. We move forward each day, to the end of this reality, but (and this is important) for most of us what we do is, largely, our choice. How we walk through the tough times that are challenging, scary and painful are responses to who we are.
As humans, what are we going to remember at the end of this particular time in history? Will the “things” of life be what really mattered? Will we recognize how amazing the freedom we often took for granted was? Or will we simply fall back into old routines and forget, too quickly, what we learned during this period of life?
Part of intentional living is choosing and then being. Let’s stand down from fear and forge ahead, living into our highest selves. After all, that’s what we’re called to do.