Over the past several months I have had to devote my attention to personal issues. Like everyone, I am trying not only to survive but to thrive during the pandemic. When we thrive, our well-being and vitality are at their peak. We have the positive energy that allows us to embrace change and contribute to the welfare of others. What a challenge this can be!
The Power of Perspective
To thrive during the pandemic we need a healthy perspective. This means replacing doom and gloom with optimism and joy. As I read the latest dire predictions, I keep reminding myself that there is a universal intelligence that keeps the planet moving along as it ought. This is not a fragile force that can be destroyed by human misadventure. We have not yet found a way to disrupted the rhythm of the seasons or the journey around the sun. We can do harm, global warming shows us that, but ultimately the force that created butterflies, snowflakes and rainbows endures.
Humor is one of the best ways of finding and maintaining a healthy perspective. I have several friends who regularly post cartoons and humorous vignettes. Just yesterday I watched the late comedian Buddy Hackett on a vintage Johnny Carson show. Buddy’s antics and silly jokes had me laughing out loud. I was reminded of the folly of taking everything, including myself, so seriously. Those who take the time to share these hilarious moments are at the top of my gratitude list these days.
Along with laughter, I rely on meditation http://susanneeden.com/guidedmeditation and journal writing http://susanneeden.com/gratitude-journal to restore my perspective. Gifting my soul with gratitude for all of my blessings brings me hope even in the midst of the pandemic.
Thriving In The Face Of Uncertainty
The health issues at the heart of the pandemic are devastating, but this we could face. It is the uncertainty that has accompanied the pandemic that is weighing us down. Everything we thought we knew seems to be up for grabs. Things are changing so rapidly that we feel as though we were in a blender.
Take for example, the telephone. It used to be that, when you called for assistance or information, someone answered. Now you receive the message, “We are experiencing higher than normal volume……,” You want to yell, “Why don’t you hire some of the many people who have lost their jobs and stop putting me on hold for hours.” If there were anyone actually listening when you are asked whether you want to speak with a live person, you would reply, “No! I’d prefer a dead one!” But no one, dead or alive, is there.
Add in on-line shopping and banking. These things wouldn’t be so challenging if it weren’t for the password. One tiny mistake and you’re cooked! I want to return to the time when telephones were used for communication. I want to return to the time when a password was something used by spies or kids playing at spies. My passwords, all written down in obscure places, are so numerous that I haven’t a hope in hell of finding the right one when asked.
So, in these moments when I’ve lost all perspective, how I welcome a cartoon or an old comedian who makes me laugh not blush. My laughter echoes through the house. Humor relaxes my mind. When combined with meditation and journal writing I am connected with my deepest self. This restores my belief that something is being played out in the universe that will result in a greater good. This is how to thrive during this pandemic.
I can never return to the “good old days”, nor would I want to do so. What I need, is to rekindle hope and trust in the future. This doesn’t come by burying your head in the sand or by becoming a mindless Pollyanna. It blossoms when we find the best in ourselves and act with generosity and kindness.
We could find no higher purpose today than sharing our belief in a better tomorrow with those around us, especially our children. We do not need to perform grand gestures that put us in the spotlight. Doing everyday acts of unselfishness will help us thrive during this pandemic and beyond.
It may seem as if everything is falling apart. We don’t know who to trust or who to believe, but the universe is unfolding as it ought. We don’t know what is ahead nor where or when the changes are going to end. The only certainty is that our lives and the lives of our children will never be the same. Whether we make a positive contribution to a better world or add to the doom and gloom is up to us.
When overwhelmed with the insane news that is bombarding us on all sides, restore your balance by practicing some of the following exercises.
- Make time for humor. Reading the comics can be as important as reading the editorials.
- Look for the humor in the everyday frustrations of the pandemic.
- Take advantage of the many sources of humor found on line and share these with others.
- Set aside twenty minutes a day to relax and reflect on all that is good in the world, especially yourself.
- Try a loving kindness meditation. This is a practice in which you direct your intention for abundance toward others. Add this practice when you have finished several minutes of deep breathing exercise. You will be surprised at how it can lift your mood.
- Recite words or phrases that evoke warm, healing feelings. Start by directing positive energy toward yourself.
- I am happy.
- I am well.
- I am safe
- I am at peace.
- Repeat the mantra, substituting someone else’s name for “I”. Studies have shown that this is a remarkably effective way to bring healing not only to the recipient but to yourself as well.www.tarabrach.com <heart-meditation-loving kindness.
Something to Think About
Jacob, age 92, and Rebecca, age 89, are all excited about their decision to get married. They go for a walk and on the way they pass a drugstore. Jacob suggests going in.
Jacob: "Are you the owner?" Pharmacist: "Yes." Jacob: "We're about to get married. Do you have heart medicine?" Pharmacist: "Of course we do." Jacob: "How about medicine for circulation?" Pharmacist: "All kinds." Jacob: "How about suppositories?" Pharmacist: "You bet." Jacob: "Medicine for memory problems and Alzheimer's?" Pharmacist: "Yes, a large selection." Jacob: How about vitamins, sleeping pills, and Geritol?" Pharmacist: "Absolutely." Jacob: "You sell wheelchairs, walkers and canes?" Pharmacist: "All speeds and sizes." Jacob: "Adult diapers?" Pharmacist: "Sure." Jacob: "We'd like to use your store for our Bridal Registration." (Thanks Sarah!)
To thrive during the pandemic means we need to keep a positive perspective on life.