This MP3 link is an audio recording of a live online offering of reflections, guided meditation, and ancestral prayers in response to the unfolding coronavirus landscape. (3/8/20)
These are unsettling times. The unfolding coronavirus landscape understandably triggers fear and anxiety as incidences spread.
The circumstance has led me to reflect on relationships, especially the ones between danger & opportunity, individual & collective wellbeing, past/present/future, and the ways in which our fates are bound together.
Here are some reflections to consider. These are included in the audio recording above.
- Anxiety calls us away from the present to the past or future. It can be challenging to discern the difference between the present and past. COVID-19 humanly triggers memories, cognitive and embodied, conscious and unconscious, of epidemics/pandemics like influenza, TB, polio, experienced by earlier generations as well as ones in the last few decades. These triggers present an opportunity to remember that family members, ancestors, and the communities in which they lived have their own place of belonging in the family soul. And for any who may died in these circumstances, we get to remember that death does not end belonging. (Let the soul lead your western-trained mind on this one.)
- Unhealed trauma and ungrieved loss don’t know that the original circumstance is over. (If these first two comments stir you, consider listening to the meditation on audio recording.)
- Allow stress to be an invitation to deeper care of self and others. We live in a culture prone to push ourselves beyond our limits. Among other effects, these habits wreak havoc on the immune system. Let the virus be an invitation to tune into your embodied self. Be real with and tend to yourself, refine your listening, especially when you’re feeling tired, pushed, stressed, overloaded.
- This circumstance challenges cultural habits of “debilitating self-reliance” (for more on this concept, read the book Ancestral Blueprints) and invites remembrance of our interdependence. There’s tremendous wellness in practices that remind us how much we need one another.
- Facts are grounding.
- There’s a lot of unknown, and unknown easily triggers anxiety. Our human species likes to know, or at least think we know (fill in the blank). There’s often an unconscious relationship between knowing and control. Humans like to be in control. It’s helpful to discern what is in/out of our control. Naming the ‘what is’ of the larger context, supports us in locating where our control is and learning how to respect its’ limits.
- Practice neutral, observer mind without jumping into the future about what is going to happen next.
- How then shall we plan? Make a plan and hold it lightly.
- Remember that feelings are not facts.
- Rather than trying to talk yourself out of feelings of fear, anxiety, helplessness, anger, powerless, let these kinds of emotions, let them lead you to a place of opening your heart to ones from earlier generations who experienced the circumstances that belong to them. Even the most difficult of experiences can be an ambassador to love and restoration of belonging. (Audio recording supports this practice.)
- The spread of this virus is the kind of experience that invites us to remember that we are one human family. That’s an enormous blessing.
- Consider this experience to be an invitation to expand your capacity for acknowledging and befriending ‘what is’.
- Consider practicing gratitude for the facts that we do know, even though these may be difficult ones to face. Gratitude is good medicine for our whole selves, and has a strengthening effect on the immune system. Find someone, something, to be grateful for every day, better yet multiple times of day.
- Meditation, prayer, positive thinking, are powerful actions. They are not passive. Being is first, doing is second, and their relationship with each other in balance is a powerful alchemy.
- Speaking of the relationship between danger and opportunity, how about we let the coronavirus be a tipping point that unites us in transforming the American profit-driven healthcare system into a model of sustainable healthcare for all?