admitting limits and transcending them, falling down and rising up.”
- Barbara Brown Taylor, Learning to Walk in the Dark
As the COVID-19 crisis goes on and begins to touch people I know, grief, sadness and fear are becoming part of each day. I may have a lot of coping skills at my disposal, but that doesn’t make me less human, less able to feel the pain and sadness in the world.
There are good days and bad days. On the best days I can stay centered and grounded, I can stay away from the news, I can go out in my garden and work. On a good day, as Dave said to me recently, “This isn’t that different from our normal lives.” And for us, that’s true. We’re two introverts who often have to literally drag ourselves out of our isolated house in the woods. Now, we don’t have to go anywhere. We already have most of our purchases delivered to our door since it’s so far to the stores. Hand sanitizing wipes and precautions aside, this is not an unusual way for us to live. What is unusual is putting aside all the ordinary interactions - a nice Southern conversation with the delivery and mail people or, running over for a chat with the neighbors. No handshakes, no hugs. That’s hard. Dave went out to pick up our farm share order yesterday and came back glowing because he got to talk to the physically distant employees while he packed the bags. I saw our neighbors at the community garden. That was nice, too. Yesterday felt relatively normal.
Other days, things are much harder. That’s when the news gets to me as I hear about a young local high school principal dying. Or I read that the ICU beds at the largest Atlanta hospital are already overflowing. Today I saw that Coronavirus has started in the big prisons in southern Georgia. This is immense and our non-Medicaid-expansion state will be totally overwhelmed, very quickly. I’m a high-risk person with asthma, and I live here. Sometimes I look over at Dave and he is watching me with tears in his eyes. I know what he’s thinking. I know what I’m thinking.
Both ends of this emotional continuum are ok. Both are normal. Both are simply part of being human.
I don't have to live all of my tomorrows right now. Just today.
I don't have to solve my entire life's problems today, just today's.
I don't have to answer my entire life's questions today, just today's.
I don't have to hurdle all of life's obstacles or heal from all of life's injuries today, just today's.
I don't have to secure all of life's meals or clothing today, just today's.
I reject the tsunami of my entire life's worries today. I'll just do my best to handle today's.
Tomorrow's possible problems and challenges have me gravely concerned but I'm going to deliberately cut them loose, watch them float away, and take care of today to the best of my ability.
Today my family and I have shelter, clothing, and enough to eat.
I'll handle tomorrow tomorrow.
- Ren Doughty
Circuit of Support
Sit in a dining room- type chair where you can be upright. Allow the chair to support you. Feel your sit bones touching the chair, your back resting on the chair. Notice your feet on the floor. If your feet are not flat on the floor, put something (a large book, a yoga block) under them so that they can rest.
Place your hands on each of your thighs, palm down.
Close your eyes and sense down through the legs of the chair to the floor. Feel the 4 legs of the chair support you.
Now, allow the support of the ground to come up through the legs of the chair and into your sit bones. Feel that support rise up through your spine, up to the crown of your head as you inhale.
On the exhale, allow that wave of support to continue down the front of your body, into your arms, through your hands, into your thighs, and down through your feet back into the ground.
Once the circuit is established, let it keep going as you breathe in and out. Send any negativity, any lack of support, any tension back into the ground on the exhale. Breathe in the support from the ground, breathe out tension.
Open your eyes and continue to sense the circuit of support.