As I reflect one 2020, I will remember many lessons. I will remember that it was the year that didn’t turn out as I had planned. I will remember that it was the year that we were put in time out. I will remember the fear, pain, and outrage that we saw repeatedly when we turned on our televisions or refreshed our feed. And, I will remember it as the year that a group of people, many strangers to one another, came together to meditate every morning with me.
What started as a way for me to serve, to give back, to do SOMETHING – turned into one of the greatest blessings and silver lining of 2020. I remember the day was March 17 when I wrote in my journal that I could see that people were anxious, and that maybe I should offer a morning meditation class. I wasn’t sure if anyone would join, but I felt compelled to put it out there. I posted the information on social media, reached out to my friends, shared the offer with my coaching clients and organizations that I was working with, and waited to see if anyone would attend.
I offered the sessions via Zoom at 7am ET, and slowly people started to show up. Most of the participants had never meditated before, or they did so inconsistently. Initially no one turned their camera on, and not much was shared personally. It didn’t take long for the group to to share how they were feeling, and ask for what they needed.
I led meditations focused on creating peace, focus and clarity. We did meditations to overcome fears and limiting beliefs. We practiced meditations visioning our bright futures, when the world would return back to “normal”. We shared in loving kindness meditations sending compassion to those who were hurting and needed our prayers. We spent time in gratitude, and we sat silently, holding space, and creating a circle of healing energy.
The group has grown, expanded, and changed since we started in March. We went from meeting during the week to meeting live 6 days a week, and doing a recorded meditation on our own on Sundays. We have celebrated birthdays, shared our needs and challenges, and developed genuine care and affection for each other.
We live in different communities, many of us have never met in person, would never have met otherwise, and yet feel connected. When someone would miss practice, the group would notice. When members became ill or experienced loss, the group was concerned and supportive. When someone experienced joy, we celebrated with them.
I am grateful that on March 17, 2020 I listened to my intuition that told me to step out and start a meditation group. I didn’t have a plan or vision for what would happen. I didn’t know if and how many people would show up. I didn’t know how long we’d continue to meet. I didn’t know if I could lead daily meditations. I did it anyway.
This week we had our group virtual holiday party. We had our cameras on, dressed up, had our family members join us, and shared how we each came to join this meditation group. We made plans for retreats and gatherings when we could safely travel and meet each other in person. We expressed how this group has helped us to get through this year of uncertainty and tremendous change.
When discussing our silver linings and greatest lesson that we’ll take forward in 2021 and beyond, we chose GRATITUDE. While the pandemic may have brought us all together, it really was something bigger than that. And for that, I am forever grateful.