Dearest Yogis & Yoginis -
There are many ways that we can frame our current situation. For most of us, it is a time of unprecedented change to our daily patterns. Our thoughts are drawn to the future, where so many unknowns can create stress and anxiety. When we turn our attention to the present, it can be difficult to see ourselves as "in" a situation when we are being asked to stay separated physically. Thoughts of the past can turn wistful or even angry.
In these times, I find myself evaluating my current thoughts as they are directed towards my future, present, and past, and then I think about the "antidotes" to any thoughts that might be creating suffering. I work to re-frame my thoughts towards compassion.
- When I feel stress, I take a moment to breathe slowly or close my eyes and focus my thoughts on one simple, positive idea. This calms my nervous system and offers me an opening to stop or reverse any "spinning" thoughts. Everytime I do this, I understand a little bit better how to keep my mind in this calmer place.
- If you would like to try breathing or meditating, check out our daily posts to the MHU Wellness Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MHUWellness/
- When I find myself feeling disconnected, I look for ways that I can practice compassion towards myself and others, even from a distance. Generosity, a virtual "reaching out", is a proven antidote to disconnection.
- If you would like to try virtual generosity, look up the address for a care center that is even more locked down than you. I'm thinking of places like the Mars Hill Retirement Community. Make a card, draw a picture, write a poem, and send it! Notice how this small action affects you and know that the effect will be multiplied in recipients. (https://www.marshillretire.com/contact/)
- You can also pay a small fee to play a game called "Kind Words" where people post problems, one is sent to you, and you send back kind words of encouragement. It is a simple and quite meaningful way to connect. (https://store.steampowered.com/app/1070710/Kind_Words_lo_fi_chill_beats_to_write_to/)
- When I think back to how things were different such a short time ago, it could consume my focus. Instead, I try to turn my attention towards a project and work on it with curiosity and interest. Apparently, this worked for Isaac Newton who furthered his understanding of Calculus & Optics while quarantined. Maybe you have a something that hasn't seemed to fit into your schedule? Is this the opportunity?
- Get inspired by others' curiosity: https://www.kvie.org/programs/curiosityproject/
- Work on that novel: https://www.inc.com/ilan-mochari/how-to-write-book-30-days.html
- Learn a language: https://medium.com/@mattlillywhite/how-to-learn-a-new-language-in-30-days-13666d66eed5
- Build a yoga practice: https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/if-you-build-it
- Get comfortable with some silence: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/happiness-in-world/201307/the-art-silence
Notice that all of these suggestions ultimately encourage your mind and heart to the present moment. It is here that we find compassion and connection that will sustain us.
Please reach out if there is anything that we can do to help through these times. If there is interest in virtual shared yoga or meditation, I know that we can make that happen.
Namaste & Love,