Community//

You Are Not Alone

“Ways to avoid feeling isolated during confinement”

Picture by Photographer Victor Cucart
Picture by Photographer Victor Cucart

Three weeks ago I was one of the skeptical ones, thinking that this corona virus wasn’t that serious. 

I tried go on with my life, and on March 3rd, I jumped in the plane all excited, thinking March would be the best month ever!!

I had commitments for a whole month, traveling the world to celebrate with many conferences, gatherings, gala dinners, you name it. I was on a speaking tour. I was fully booked and scheduled to take about eight flights! 

Then, on March 10th, I found myself flying back home to New York from Madrid with many concerns, and I have been in self quarantine since that day.

Now after almost three weeks at home, I see things totally differently. I got the point, and I see a little bit more of the whole picture.

One of the big realizations I had is that I am still traveling, and I have been traveling even further, and I have discovered my inner continents. This confinement situation is allowing us to go within and discover who we really are and who we want to become after this crisis.

Some of us live in a family, while others are alone in their homes. No matter with whom or how we live, however, we might feel alone at times.

We are used to connecting with others and being surrounded by action on a constant basis. One of the reasons we run so much, travel so much, and like to be surrounded by so many people is because we are running from ourselves. In the process, we forget to really look and hear ourselves or the people who are close to us.

To tell the truth, there have been moments during which this confinement hasn’t been easy, and it has shown me parts of myself that I didn’t want to look at. 

I have been a meditator for five years consistently, and I believed I was balanced. Well, far from it!! How many retreats have I attended in the last five years? I have been to Los Cabos, Bali, Stockbridge, and Zurich, to name a few, and afterwards, I returned, refreshed and ready to take on the world!

This is the largest retreat I have ever made and the longest period of time in my whole life that I have been home. My family and friends laugh about how much I love to be outside and in the streets, and it’s true: that is so me!

This is my real retreat over here, and after three weeks, I truly understand what it is to really think, what it is to really see, and what it is to really feel.

My family is spread out across the world in Spain, Panama, Germany, Indonesia, and Africa. A feeling of loneliness came over me, as I didn’t know when I would be able to see them again or for how long we would be separated. 

Now, after my inner journey, I realize I am closer to my family and friends than ever and I have reconnected with so many people I don’t normally talk to. My phone has actually started ringing, and it wasn’t T-Mobile to remind me that payment is due! Friends and family are calling me now to speak!!!! I have been having so much fun with FaceTime, Zoom meetings and Instagram Lives, connecting with people and the world. Yes, You are Not Alone, and neither am I.

Even if most of us are stuck inside our respective homes, we are still surrounded by a community of people who love and want the best for us! Now is the perfect time to remember that and to strengthen your connections with people.

Here are just a few suggestions on how to deepen your connections with the people in your world during these unconventional times:

–  Pick up the phone and call your friends, loved ones, customers and/or clients to see how they’re doing.

– Email or PM people to check in on them and let them know you’re thinking of them.

– Go beyond “liking” people’s posts on social media and start commenting on them, instead. Conversation deepens the connection.

– Set up weekly coffee or “tea parties” with your friends on Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime, so you can see each other’s faces. I have had several with my friend Sandra in London, Sissi in Paris, Denisse in Mexico, Yolanda in Spain….

-Join (or even start) a community group to help people during this time. My friend Pierre, founder of Indigo, has created a group with Crowdcast and even started a Book Club that we both host weekly through Zoom ( you are welcome to join us).

– Participate in a Facebook or LinkedIn group for people in your industry, so you can collaborate on solutions to the unique challenges you’re facing right now.

– Look for opportunities to volunteer in your local community.

– Look for opportunities to share your knowledge or experience to help others. I am connecting live through Instagram and Facebook just to spend time with people and to be there for them!

The more you reach out to others to connect with them and offer help where and when you are able, the more deeply connected you will feel to everyone in your community, and the more connected you will feel with yourself and your family. And that sense of connection will feed your soul, strengthen your faith in humanity, and create a ton of great karma that will make it easier for you to go through this unusual period of time.

I guarantee you that as difficult as these times are, we can make the best of it, and if we make the decision to become the better version of ourselves, when we look back we will be satisfied with who we have become.

We are not alone, so we don’t have to feel that way. Choose faith over fear. As my good friend and sister Xian says, “Have faith in God, in you, and in humanity; we got this!” 

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    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

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