My nervous system is beginning to acclimate to this new normal and I have to admit I’m starting to like it (most of the time).
This week, while zooming (is that even a word now?), with a friend living in Spain, I realized that “shelter-in-place” has taken on new meaning as I continue to explore the ways in which this pandemic is affecting our family’s life. As hard as it’s been to put the business on hold, and to have to rethink future plans nearly every hour, I’ve come to imagine the phrase “shelter-in-place” to mean: Protecting the soul from the hazards of living a fractured life.
Before this pandemic, my life was busy in ways that left little space for creative pursuits and new adventures that allowed me to express different sides of myself – all important desires at this stage in my life. I was more focused on getting things done than getting the right things done.
This global wake-up call is a reminder that every text message, email, phone call, knock at the door, business meeting, or errand, steals a piece of our lives that we can’t get back. Ever.
There’s also a weightlessness to not having so many choices. Have you noticed? Back when the world was open for business, there always seemed to be a list of places I wanted to visit, activities to do, or events waiting to be scheduled. Now, as we’re required to stay put, the pressure is off and honestly, it’s a relief. Who knew that being forced to make a relationship with “right here, right now” could turn out to be such a gift.
In my first book, Take Time for Your Life, I wrote about how people often changed their lives for the better in dramatic ways after experiencing a wake-up call. This pandemic is just that. These days everything is up for review – expenses, business plans, retirement goals, and future ideas to be sure that the return on my investment of time, energy, and money is worth every penny.
As the world starts to slowly open up again and we’re given a chance to step back into our former lives, I hope we’ll be very, very careful. I admit to feeling a bit sad at the idea of this period of reevaluation ending too soon. Our economy is based on consumption and consumption of any kind, without consciousness, leaves us wanting more. I’m hoping we’ll be hungry for a different kind of meal when this is over, one that’s nourishing to the soul.