It’s Saturday morning, and we began social distancing here in Colorado three weeks ago. I’m sitting in my home studio, a little room where I work and practice. I can hear the noises of my 6-year-old and husband two floors away. They’re loud and happy sounds. Jumping and giggles blended with “Old Town Road” and my son’s attempt at the harmonica.
I’m grateful for today.
Today, my partner—who works in healthcare—has a day at home. He’s not in the hospital, recycling his used mask and navigating the chaos and confusion of COVID-19. My only child is enjoying another playmate aside from his mom. I have some space to write, and honestly, to be silent while I stare out the window. Afterward, my family will go on a walk outside. We’ll move our bodies, breathe in fresh air (through a cloth mask), and appreciate the natural world. And, today, we’re all healthy.
I’m feeling a lot of emotions.
For a lot of us, time has slowed down. Instead of planning out the week, month, and year, we’re just taking things day by day. From sunrise to sunset, we live our new normal and the emotions that accompany it. Grief, anxiety, anger, sadness, fear…and hopefully gratitude, happiness, and delight. Sometimes all in the span of an hour.
Life is challenging, in a way we’ve never experienced before. How do we adapt?
I’m finding refuge in presence.
One way—the way that I know—is to soften into the present moment. When I’m suffering and worrying and stressing…I notice and pause and practice. As fellow teacher John Kuberka wrote the other day: It “feels like we’ve been training for this our whole lives. Meditation. Yoga. Reiki. All these things keep us grounded and centered. And quiet.”
The future is uncertain. There are many unknowns. And, in the present, we can find calm and even joy. We can close our eyes and simply be with the rhythm of our breath. We can tune in to peace and acceptance. The small moments of presence provide comfort and ease, which in turn have a ripple effect throughout our days.
I’m remembering connection.
In presence, we also experience connection. Connection with our essence, our loved ones, with all humans. As my friend Anne Jablonksi recently shared in a loving kindness meditation:
Just like me, you are riding on a rollercoaster of emotions. Just like me, you want to be happy, to be safe, and to be healthy. Just like me, you are probably doing your very best moment to moment, day to day, to find your way through these times.
We’re in this together.