I must confess something. And please, before I do, let me acknowledge two things. The first, that I am aware of my incredible privilege during this time. I have a roof over my head, food and clean water and we even have the luxury of a support system in my mom and stepdad. While we do our best to continue to work and parent all while in the same space, we have the ability to ask for help from them when we need it. Privileged. The second thing that I must acknowledge is that the reason for these circumstances is not anything that I would ever truly wish for. Each day I am saddened and heartbroken over those who are dying and especially for my beloved city of New York.
But here is my confession: At least once a day I have the thought run across my mind that “this is how life is supposed to be lived”. I am not talking about the social distancing, I miss our friends and community immensely. I am not talking about the utter caution and care we have to take to simply visit a grocery store and the anxiety it can produce. But in the pure simplicity of each day, I marvel at how wonderful it feels to let go of so much and simply live life as it is showing up. I thought that I was doing that before, but this newly configured time and space has shifted something deep within me that is waking me up to all these new ways to receive and live life.
My husband and I are doing work that matters to us, finding creative ways to earn money and communicating clearly to each other what our needs are. And those little moments of time when I can’t help but overhear him, in action in his work, I gain a deeper respect and understanding for what he is doing and how he does it. As a family we are navigating through the rough patches together, it’s not all easy. Audrey has just recently gotten quite stirred up energetically and is testing some new boundaries with us. Perhaps it is the full moon or her age or the fact that she hasn’t been able to play with anyone her own age in a while. But we are coming together as a family each day and talking to her about how we are a team and supporting her in feeling safe to explore these new levels of emotion, while continuing to be clear on our boundaries as her parents. In an even more basic plane, we are doing the school projects that get sent our way, engaging in fun and educational activities but not really “schooling” her in anything. Yet her thirst for learning is amplified and as in tact as ever. And perhaps most miraculously, she is watching less tv than ever before, with the occasional show and movie night thrown in, but mostly each day passes without reliance on it as a time filler.
One of my favorite things about this time is the connection that is being created and made stronger between one another, even beyond our family of 3. How lucky we are that we are living under that same roof as my mom, stepdad and grandpa. That Audrey is getting the experience of 4 generations living together in an age when families are often towns, cities and continents apart from one another. And with those from whom we are apart, we are checking in with each other regularly, creating story times and happy hours and “Playdates” to simply bask in each other’s company, albeit digitally. Professionally, this is the case as well. My coaching clients, my meditation group and my yogis are showing up with the simple intention to nurture themselves, because quite frankly that is all there is to do each day. So simple, yet so profound.
But what has me the most in awe is that none of it feels forced. It all feels so natural and simple because the reality is that none of us know where this is all going and how it’s all going to end up. And with that collective understanding, at least personally, I feel this incredible comfort and joy in not needing to know because life itself is still unfolding, even if it looks much different than it did just a few weeks ago. It feels good and right to not have such a strong agenda in hand. It feels good and right that each day the work is in caring for myself, for my child, for our family and what comes beyond that is all about creation and connection in the moment, and that is it. The standards and “shoulds” seem to have dropped and the space that is now occupying what they used to feels radical and expansive and wonderful.
I know this is not the case for all and I hold space for whatever the experience may be that you are having. But in case you are feeling the same as me right now, I want you to know you aren’t alone and that I will continue to stand with you as time goes on and we emerge from this experience. And if you are feeling guilty about feeling good right now, while the entire world is flipped upside down, I want to offer you permission to let the guilt go. It could be that this is just what you needed, to slow down and just be for a while. It may change and there may come a day when you feel differently. And if you’re like me, it may feel like this very experience is the exact one you have always been working for. All of the meditation, the self-inquiry, the healing, getting comfortable within the walls of your own skin and mind...perhaps this is the very offering and fruit of that work.
None of us know what comes next and we don’t need to. But I want to encourage you to do all that you can to find any small bit of solace in the now. Life is happening and these moments feel more precious than ever these days. May you be able to take comfort in the simplicity and nothingness, even if just for a moment. And if you feel at peace right now, you are not alone. I see you and feel you.
is a Mama, Wife, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Coach, Writer and Activist. You can read more about her here.