We are in unprecedented times. Not only do we now, as a country, experience some amount of anxiety over our personal safety in public places, including schools, we now face a rampant deadly virus.
We have choices to make, right now, in how we thoughtfully respond. Our children learn from what we do more than what we say. How do we model “Choosing Love” in our thoughts, words and actions for our kids, our family, friends and communities when anxiety and fear are seemingly at all time highs?
First bring everything to the present moment. Our brains are wired for survival, not peace and happiness, so it’s easy to spiral down a fearful path. Research tells us most of what we fear never happens. We can override our ingrained negative bias and focus on what’s right in front of us, and most likely this is your family, safe, and together in your home!
Reframe! With my constant travel and speaking schedule, the cancellation of events, although disappointing, has given me a chance to breathe. I’ve used the time to catch up and be more supportive of my team. My son is home from college and I am so GRATEFUL. In fact, I’m planning to spend the day with him, “Having a Lot of fun!”
Next, rather than fearing the virus, let’s practice COURAGE by asking ourselves what lessons we can learn from this. It is humbling, for sure. Our vulnerability to illness reminds us that we are connected through our humanity. We rely on each other for even our basic needs (where is the toilet paper?). Everyone has someone who is susceptible. Perhaps this experience is telling us that we need to be more mindful of caring for ourselves, and each other. Perhaps we consider FORGIVING those who have hurt us and cutting the cord that attaches us to that pain by letting it go. Forgiveness is the key to healthy relationships and relationships are the secret to happiness (per Harvard University research).
Where do we find hope? Hope can spring eternal from the inside of each one of us; in our ability to choose to be present with our families; by re-framing this moment to one of personal growth and focus on what’s important, i.e. our needs rather than our never-ending wants; and using this time as an opportunity to strengthen ourselves by modeling for others how to practice COMPASSION-IN-ACTION by caring for ourselves and our neighbors. This is thoughtfully responding by CHOOSING LOVE.
We are learning that ultimately we are all connected. CHOOSING LOVE is the strongest action plan to take our personal power back and be our best self, and live our best lives. Coronavirus is a wake up call to be GRATEFUL for every moment we have, tomorrow is not guaranteed. And it never was!
Choose Love Everyday.