Forefront of Our Minds
It’s almost 10:30 pm on a Tuesday night. I’ve waited until this late in the evening to start my weekly blog post. I spent a few hours sorting through my email inbox. I wanted to get a feel for what is on the forefront of the minds of my colleagues – the ones who are very active in our email list communication. I also reflected on the various private correspondence I have had as well as the social media communication from colleagues/friends. Most of the time I decide what I want to discuss each week based on what is most salient to me at the time.
Responding Instead of Reacting
When I consider what I most want to encourage all people to do right now is to respond instead of react. It’s important to be responsive. Responding involves consideration and thoughtfulness. For me it involves slowing down. Right now many people are rushing because that is the pace of reacting. Big shifts are happening during this COVID-19 pandemic and it is natural to initially react. Those reactions include making sure you have supplies and other things like figuring out how to address the needs of others in your care. I am hopeful though that now you are entering a phase where you can respond. I hope you can slow down and be thoughtful. I hope you can make smart decisions that are informed. When you slow down you can gather information. Not just information from out in the world but also information much closer to home.
- How are you really doing? Beyond being concerned about preoccupying your kids or feeling restless.
- What have you learned about yourself as everyone in the world in one way, shape or form is being asked to respond to this global pandemic?
- What are you noticing about the people around you at home and in your work life?
- What are you noticing about your community and your place in it?
- How is this experience being shaped by your beliefs and how is it shaping your beliefs?
- What do you now have the capacity to notice about your relationships? About your home?
- What are your interests and hobbies or lack thereof?
- What have you learned about your willingness to learn things that you previously avoided or expressed no interest in learning?
- What, if anything, is fear teaching you? If you are not afraid, why is that?
- If you are choosing faith over fear do you have enough healthy fear to in fact keep yourself and your loved ones safe?
- What have you learned about your morals and ethics? If you haven’t learned anything why haven’t you learned anything?
- Do you believe this is all hype and that people are overreacting? If so, why and what does that reveal about who you are and how you navigate the world?
- Are you taking some time for reflection?
- Do you engage in daily routines like showering, dressing and showing up for yourself and others?
- What have you allowed to fall by the wayside?
- Are you tackling projects at home? Is a part of you relieved to have an opportunity to focus?
Closer while Distant
I hope some of these questions give you an opportunity to respond; to think, reflect and connect with yourself and your intent. I believe that as much as this pandemic is a frightening event; it is also providing the planet with a break from some of our emissions from cars and airplanes. It is forcing us to rethink work and travel and what is necessary and unnecessary. It is forcing many to rethink expenses and resources. In some ways it is bringing us closer to one another. I am talking on the phone now more than I have in many years. I am connecting with people in ways that are very intentional. I am spending time with people at a distance in ways that make us feel close.
My response to this pandemic has been to very much shield myself from the world physically. Two of my friends who I connect with mostly on social media have lost loved ones to the COVID-19 virus. One lost his mother today and the other lost his aunt last week. I don’t know either of these women personally, but I feel the loss of them both. I am grateful for another day. Like many of you I have to reduce my risk as much as possible.
Work and Life
I am not in a rush to offer services because the pandemic has created a particular type of demand. Instead I am responding. I am pacing myself. I am listening to my capacity; my interests and my skills and talents. I hope that you are able to do the same. I hope you can respond and move beyond reaction. I hope that there is peace in your home and that if there is not that you can carve some peace out for yourself. Perhaps when we return to a new normal, you can make adjustments in your life and your work based on what you’ve learned about yourself during this time.
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