I must admit that quarantine works for me. I’m highly introverted. I love quietness. I love alone time. I especially love having complete control over my schedule. And, right now, my schedule is about as good as it can get. Unless, of course, I had access to a waterfront cottage on a warm beach in some exotic place. I’ve been super happy being at home these last many weeks.
The challenges for me have to do with not being able to see all my special people up close. I miss hugging my people. The only touch I’ve had in 7 weeks is the 3 minutes it takes the chiropractor to adjust me each week. I’m used to hugging my beloved neighbors hello and goodbye when we get together for dinner which is 1 or 2 times a week usually. I hug all my friends. I don’t have any pets to snuggle right now either.
However, I do get some dog love from my other neighbor’s adorable little wire-haired Jack Russell named Snoop-Dog. I also get to pet the sweetest golden retriever named Pearl who lives on my frequent walking route. That’s it. I’m not whining, I’m just reporting the facts here.
What’s interesting about this whole situation for me is that I’m in a great state of mind. I’m super happy. I’m accepting that this is how it is right now. I know it will change but, I’m not in the waiting mindset. Yes, I want everything to change. I want the suffering and illness to stop. I want our societies and economies to get righted. I want us, and the world, to fix all the factors that created the conditions for this kind of thing to happen. I want us to learn the huge lessons available to us through this experience. And, so on.
But, I’m also perfectly okay right now. It is true that I am privileged. I can do my work safely from home, my schedule has been full most of the weeks, so I am getting paid regularly. Some would say “of course, you’re happy, you’ve got it easy.” I very gratefully do have it easy right now. But, I really think it’s because I’m not struggling against anything. And, frankly, this is new for me! My usual way is to work hard to make everything “right”. Check out Alan Watts’ “Don’t Try” video.
There are many people who have similar circumstance to mine but are not doing okay during this pandemic. Their buttons are pushed. Most of us don’t like the idea of being told what they can and cannot do. Americans, perhaps more than others around the world, are used to doing whatever we want whenever we want. We’re used to Amazon delivering in 1-2 days. Suddenly, we were forced to wait. We were not able to get some alone time by running out to the store. We haven’t been able to do retail therapy. Life as we’ve known it came to a screeching halt.
Many people are struggling against the idea that the virus exists at all or that they can’t go do what they want, or that they have to work from home, or that they have to go to work, or that they can’t work, or that they’re stuck at home with their family. Many people struggle against their feelings of uncertainty. They struggle against how things are and how they feel. They resist and try to exert their control over the details of their lives. They get stuck in depression, anxiety, frustration, blame, and anger. All our buttons get pushed. Our state of mind and our ability to cope gets challenged.
The struggle is REAL and mostly it’s called being human. However…
Life is no more uncertain right now than at any other time. The difference is that the current circumstances make it obvious that life is uncertain. Except that you can be certain that life just continues no matter what.
There’s a big difference between controlling and choosing. There’s infinite light between tolerating or struggling against and acceptance. I don’t usually like to use the word acceptance because it carries the connotation of agreeing with, liking, being passive, or weakly submitting. It really means that you acknowledge the truth and choose not to struggle against how things are. It leaves you free to work toward what you DO want.
Your true power comes from choosing what you do want and moving steadily in that direction. That’s where revolution, change, and transformation really happen. That’s where you step into your power and freedom.
What does it look like? Well, for me, this week has been very light in terms of work and today I have no clients. If I just looked at this week, it could be easy for me to get into worrying about my income and how I’m going to pay my mortgage and student loans. I could get fearful that this is a sign that things are going downhill for me and I should worry. I could worry about how I’m going to pay my billing person who depends on me for part of her livelihood. I could worry about whether I’m ever going to be able to retire. How am I going to do all those other things I’ve been working on and planning?
The reality is, I’m fine. I’m super happy to work with my clients as much or as little as they want or need during this time.
Instead, I was excited about a full free day today. I’m choosing every minute of my day. That’s true every day but it typically involves accommodating other people. Today, I chose to get excited about how I would spend this day. Here’s a picture of my office today.
I’m focusing on what I can do and want to do rather than what I can’t do or what I perceive as going/being wrong.
I got up early. I spent time writing and doing energy work. I did a great workout. I had a fantastic call with my businesswomen’s group. The four of us get on a Zoom call for about 15 minutes every weekday to share our wins and our One Thing for that day. It’s been an amazing focuser, support call, and source of inspiration for all of us. It’s been fun to see how our businesses have grown during the months we’ve been doing this daily call.
Sorry, that was an aside but an important part of what I choose to do each day. After that, I swung by my favorite coffee place to pick up a latte and then headed to the Chiropractic Lifestyle Center where I have my office so I could get adjusted. I so appreciate the adjustment, but I also love seeing my colleagues, from a safe distance of course. I get to chat with them for a while and seeing their happy faces. Then, I got my car washed. Now, I’m sitting out at one of my favorite spots on the planet and doing work I really love doing, namely writing for you. I’m also watching about 10 bald eagles flying around and doing aerobatics. I know that things will be okay. If I need to adjust anything, I will.
I’m just right here today. I’m taking each moment as it comes. I’m saying “yes” to what is and then choosing from there. I am not struggling against anything except not being able to type quite as fast as my mind wants to create this.
We’re under quarantine right now. It’s going to go on a while longer and there’s a good chance we’ll have to return to it in the near future. Even if you’re in the worst of circumstances, it’s possible to find a spot of being okay. Acknowledge the truth of your experience without a story or judgment. Honor how you feel. Then, choose to do what you can in this moment. This one thing. Then, do the next. Do not allow your mind to dwell on what might or might not happen.
Focus on what you can choose right now, in this moment.
Focus on anything that feels better. Maybe that’s a few minutes looking at the blue sky before you get back to job searching or financial planning or resource researching. Focus on all the things you do have.
What do I want to do right now?
What can I do right now?
What can I do that would benefit me the most right now?
How do I want to spend my precious time and energy right now?
Take responsibility for your own well-being by choosing. Your well-being is the greatest gift you can give the world.