Everything is always changing whether we’re aware of it or not. I’ve been growing celery from a stalk I bought at the grocery store. It shot up new leaves the next day. There were little stalks growing after only 2 days. I was amazed. We often don’t notice that things change unless it’s a big enough change. It’s called the difference threshold. It’s the amount of change in stimulation that gets noticed. I’m sure you’ve heard of the terrible experiment of putting the frog in water and heating it slowly. The frog eventually boils because it doesn’t notice the small increases in heat before it’s too late.
Humans are amazingly adaptable creatures even though we’re also quite habit and pattern bound. Our brains are built to perceive patterns whether real or created. We habituate to things allowing them to become our new normal. Ever noticed that if you put a sticky note up for yourself it only takes a couple of days before you don’t notice it’s there anymore?
Have you noticed after these few weeks of “Stay Home- Stay Healthy” that you have gotten used to the routines of planning, ordering, and picking up groceries or take-out? Have you noticed that you’ve found new routines at home for work, kid’s activities, exercise, and family life? Have you noticed how you’ve found new ways to connect with friends whether it’s through video chats or conferencing or drive-by distance visits or social distancing yard yoga? Have you noticed the things that are pretty easy to do without now because you have to?
Most of my clients have noticed that they’re more relaxed these days despite what is happening. Their lives are quieter and much less stressful because of fewer demands on their time and energy. The greatest contribution they can make to reducing the spread of the coronavirus is to keep themselves happy, healthy, and at a distance.
This is not true, however, for my extroverted clients who have suffered greatly because they can’t connect enough in real life. This time is giving them an opportunity to develop a deeper relationship with themselves, to get creative about how to connect, and to learn how to enjoy their own company as much as that of others. It gives all of us more opportunity to notice how we really feel.
Our adaptability is a great skill until it becomes mindlessness. When we become mindless, we become numb. We miss the subtleties that make life so interesting and rewarding. I think we also might lose some of our flexibility because we’re at the whim of events and feelings. When we rest in presence, we’re able to be flexible and consciously adjusting to whatever is happening in our lives. Presence gives us the strength to weather the conditions and emotions that life presents.
Presence helps us work with life just as it is. This moment of just feeling, experiencing, doing what is next with as much compassion and grace as we can muster. Many people are in difficult situations right now because of the virus and the economic and social impacts. Many people are sick, and many are bravely caring for them. So much is outside our control. I think we’re being asked to be present, do our best, and let go of the rest. For many people it feels like a messy, painful, and overwhelming experience. Don’t fight against it. That’s a waste of your energy.
Let yourself feel what you feel without resisting anything. Be present to all that you feel. Honor what you feel. Bring love to all of it! Let it flow, but don’t wallow in it. Remember that we are free to choose where we focus our attention. Where our attention goes, our energy flows, and that is what we will reap.
How is your life different and changing right now? What positive lessons are you learning about yourself? What are you realizing you want to change about yourself?
We have so many opportunities on every level from personal to global right now.
How will you exercise your freedom to choose, today? How will you choose to be present, today? How will you be rooted like a great tree to bend in the winds of change, today?
Check out The Comic Snow Globe post for some self-healing resources.