Due to the latest Coronavirus outbreak, we decided to stay in our home in the suburbs in New Jersey, so as to practice social distancing indefinitely. This was a sudden shift for us – from the busy and active life in Manhattan, surrounded by friends and sending my daughter to daycare… to being in quiet, nature, in mostly isolation, taking care of my two daughters under three.
We are facing changes and deep uncertainty. I had my panic and grief moments, waking up at night wondering where we are headed. Yesterday I cried for Italy, people who rely on daily wages and simply can’t distance themselves, the vulnerable, and our healthcare workers who will face an onslaught, including some of my own family members.
I don’t like feeling uncomfortable or feeling panicked about running out of food and toilet paper (!) or not being able travel or see my loved ones. The political climate isn’t helping either.
It feels like a disillusionment.
My current reality seems to have fallen apart, at least to my egoic mind, and it feels damn uncomfortable! The word disillusionment sounds like ‘dissolution-ment’ – a dissolving of something. Whatever I had my hopes and dreams pinned on, suddenly collapsed. My sense of safety, love and connection suddenly vanished.
There was a time that this happened to me. I experienced a dark night of the soul (it lasted many months) where I found myself in complete darkness, wondering if life will ever get better or if it was worth living. I felt heartbroken, exhausted and in shock.
Yet, it was the process of going through that discomfort and uncertainty that I grew as a person, and I had an increase in consciousness – and even experienced true happiness for the first time.
My heart opened up, and I developed a new level of trust, faith and intuition. I met new sides of myself, learned how to love myself and experienced an awakening. I could see things more clearly – what was important, and what wasn’t. I began to feel more embodied and could see reality from a more expanded perspective. I spent more time in meditation, in nature and increasing my knowledge of spirituality. I courageously allowed myself to feel all that I was feeling, even crying my heart out or feeling unbounded joy and gratitude.
I was being loved by the universe, in a different and more powerful way than I could have possibly imagined – because I was allowing life to flow through me, rather than feeling resistant, looking for distractions or going about life normally, which was my usual MO. I began to view life in a more mysterious kind of way, and began to notice beautiful, magical synchronicities wherever I went. I fell in love with life. And soon after… I met my soulmate. 🙂
Strangely, this is the potential of disillusionment and disruption.
Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh says, “It is not impermanence that makes us suffer. What makes us suffer is wanting things to be permanent, when they are not… Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible.”
I realize now that when things fall apart, you can learn to be more vulnerable and open, love yourself, and drop into your heart consciousness. You can view the disruption from a place of openness and curiosity, rather than only a sense of fear. And it’s a time that you can lean into wisdom, compassion and growth.
During this unprecedented time of the spread of Coronavirus around the planet, we are all facing disruption and uncertainty. Whether you have a job and children or are living alone and are in an area of quarantine, you can feel the overwhelm and anxiety even more. No-one wants to feel lonely, have their loved ones to get sick or not get access to healthcare and basic supplies when needed.
Most of all, we’re in a place of feeling highly vulnerable, perhaps for the first time in our lives.
So, dear one, in these times, how can you respond to this situation from a place of love?
1. Take right action. The virus is spreading, and is a threat especially for the most vulnerable. In most cases, however, it is relatively mild. The current focus now is on stopping the spread so as to not overwhelm our health systems too quickly or affect our vulnerable population. Perhaps, at some point down the line, we may each get it. Choose actions that are right and wise for you in this time. If you need to isolate yourself or vastly limit social engagements so as to not possibly be an unintentional transmitter, then do so. Listen to your heart and let her guide you, and do what you can to help stop the spread.
Many of you will be taking care of your families in this time, and need to continue to support your staff financially. With schools and offices closed, this is a time of simply doing the best you can to help those around you, mindfully.
Remember, it is in times of distress that our true leadership qualities come out, so think of this time as one of cultivating your inner strength, compassion and resilience. Through regular practice of groundedness, compassion and patience, you have the power to help transmute and transform your own suffering, and that of others.
2. Use this as a time for healing. If you are feeling triggered in some way, be with the trigger, in silence sometimes (or crying, at other times), breathing through it, observing it and loving it. Your emotions are your life force, and need attention and love. You are allowed to feel what you are feeling, and you have to be there as a best friend and parent for yourself. During the day, take 10-15 minute intervals of time to simply breathe, and feel your feelings.
If you need the support of a therapist or coach, avail yourself of one. Remember, whether it’s the current crisis, or old wounds, stories or triggers coming up, it is a time of healing. I find HeatherAsh’s book The Warrior Heart Practice to be very powerful or Nonviolent Communication’s Self-Empathy practice which I share in my course on self love (below). It’s ok to be shocked, grieving, nervous or even excited (!)
Incorporating mindfulness practices throughout your day will help you create the conditions for healing, will calm your nervous system and release stress.
3. Love yourself. Self love is the most important antidote in these times. In fact, I believe life gives us discomfort so that we can learn to love ourselves. Physically hug yourself, caress your arms, look in the mirror and remind yourself how much you love yourself. I practice a kind of meditation where I send love and gratitude to each part of my body – I practice these while waking up or falling asleep. Our body is conscious and each of the cells talk to us and each other. The more loved your body feels, the stronger she becomes. If you notice negative thinking, you can say, “I love, accept and forgive myself for thinking xxx.”
Use this time to nourish your mind, body and spirit and create the conditions for a healthy mental, spiritual, emotional and physical foundation. Your body is your temple. Spend time taking care of your body and immune system and health through rest, exercise, meditation, mindfulness, diet, supplements and spending time in nature. Release the need for excessive thinking (except about the things you need to), and spend more time simply being, especially if there is discomfort arising.
Whatever we resist, persists – so allow yourself to be with your resistance and face it in a contemplative way, rather than running away from it through social media, reading incessantly, or whatever else you do to run away from your discomfort. Again, take 20-30 minute intervals during the day to practice being present to yourself, and doing self care practices. For many people, this will feel completely foreign, as you are used to being highly productive and busy all day long. Self care can seem like a waste of time, and yet it is the most important gift we can offer ourselves and we become an example for our loved ones.
You can also imagine creating a protective bubble of white light around you, setting the intention that “may only things of my vibration or higher enter my field.”
I share tools in my short yet powerful online course Be a Love Magnet: Unleash your Radiance through the power of Self Love.
4. Limit news and negative media. As much turmoil is going on in the world, you must choose to be grounded, mindful and positive in your thinking, focusing on things you can control, and gracefully accepting those things you can’t. I find that most news creates anxiety and fear, especially on topics that we have no control over. Consume news mindfully and in a limited way – the amount that your nervous system allows you to handle (I ask the question – is this draining me? Or energizing me?).
Moreover, our world is a reflection of us, so the more we choose to ground ourselves, and focus on things like kindness, meditation, love and healing, the more the world around us heals.
I find that joining an online meditation / mindfulness circle in these times is a powerful way to use our time wisely online. There are many popping up as I write this.
5. Serve others in small ways. In times when our lives feel upside-down, choosing service helps keep our hearts open. Call up your loved ones, send the energy of loving kindness to strangers on the street, buy coffee for someone. When you’re with your loved ones, be kind and compassionate. Think of those who are vulnerable, and help them in some way. Serving and practicing compassion in these times is heart opening. Whenever I think of those who are vulnerable, I practice sending loving energy, or think “May you be happy, may you be peace, may you be content, may you be healthy and free from suffering.” Wherever I go, I practice sending loving and healing energy to others, even those who trigger me in some way. I find that service allows me to connect with a greater purpose and mission than myself.
6. Practice gratitude and contentment for the good things in your life, your relationships and friendships, and the magic and love that is flowing your way. Practice naming the things that you are grateful for, at night or in the morning. Gratitude helps one connect with the present moment and find contentment in everything in the here and now.
7. Create moments of bliss during your day, and choose activities and practices that help you connect with joy. I find that meditation, writing, connecting with my husband or family, playing with my children, journaling, creativity, watching something funny, connecting with girlfriends, self-pleasure, reading about wisdom, dancing, sleep and being in nature give me great joy.
Try not to get entangled in all the emotional trauma and drama in the world, and instead focus on inner peace and your own healing. Of course, be there for others in a compassionate way, keep informed as much as needed, and take appropriate actions arising from a place of inner alignment.
Have compassion for yourself, and others. Practice compassion (I like practices like Tong Len, loving kindness meditation, self-compassion, or simple prayers like Hoponopono).
Pray for the vulnerable, your own health and the wellbeing of others. Prayer is powerful! Look up prayers on YouTube, or buy a book on prayers, there are many.
When your own cup is full, you will notice that the love starts to pour out, naturally, and your actions will be coming from a place of soul-centered wisdom and love. You’ll feel a sense of joy when you’re acting in alignment. In fact, find time for joy, and make it your go-to emotion.
Whether it’s to take care of your children or ailing parent, heal yourself, or be in some sort of service to others. It doesn’t matter, as long as you’re coming from a place of inner alignment.
You may get sick, but remember that whatever is occurring is a medicine for us all, from our forefathers, mother earth & the universe. This is not to diminish our current circumstances, but rather to come into acceptance with it, and find grace and deeper acceptance in the mystery of life.
Remember, all is well. As a global community, we’re going to heal, grow and thrive together.
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Is it time you partnered with a Love & Relationship expert to take control of your life? Apply for a complimentary discovery session with Sarika Jain to discover how you can:
- Practice Self Love
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