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I like these words of wisdom by Eileen Feliciano, PhyD:

“I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the idea of grace.  We can often learn via empathy and practice to exercise grace in relationships with others, but it is a hard concept to truly extend grace to ourselves.

We have all had moments of strength and fortitude in this crisis, but I am sure many moments of anxiety, stress, and short fuses.  We have all been imperfect more than not, as we stretch to be some variation of workers, teachers, partners, parents, cleaners, protesters, helpers, and responders of one sort or another.

Let us all be cognizant that we are doing our very best to be all things to all people right now, and there is no roadmap for this.  I think we are doing pretty phenomenal, to tell you the truth.  If you don’t believe me, make a list of all the things you have done this week, both big and small, in spite of the many obstacles you have faced.  If this feels good, extend this recognition further out, and you will see that you have accomplished many things from the confines of your own home.

I am aware that there is often this nagging voice that leverages against grace and self-love.  I say to this voice that we are doing what we can, with what we have, where we are.  If we could do better, we would do better.  And as we look more deeply and practice grace, we will do better.  Being hard on ourselves only amplifies guilt, pain, and shame, which makes it so much less likely you will engage in productive and reflective work and have forward momentum.

There will be moments where we are sharp, jagged, tense or overwhelmed with our partners and our children.  We will repair it and do better tomorrow.

There will be times when we let chores pile and deadlines pass.  (Or weeks without a blog post, in my case!) We will make an accountable plan and start tomorrow (or tonight!).

There will be times when we indulge in sweets, or drinks, or crappy food.  Allow it, and know we’ll get back on track and make better choices tomorrow.

There will be times we we are invited to consider social privilege and enter conversations that make us uncomfortable and sad.  We may say the wrong thing, or not know what to say at all.  We will listen more, and we will evolve our perspectives with time.

Allow grace, and the freedom of self-forgiveness will clear a whole lot of head space to in turn make a plethora of good things possible.”

 

“Right now, as the pandemic lockdown procedures ease up, everyone seems to be rushing to recreate the past. Restaurants, shopping malls and cinema houses are back in some form. The sticky normal – like an image of the future from the 60s – reasserts its territorial dominance. But there is yet a place of trembling where we might do more than make do – a place where we might make sanctuary.” – Bayo Akomolafe

An excerpt from an essay by Dr. James Maskalyk, On the Road:

“…COVID-19 highlights some of these conditions well. In that way, it is more than a virus, or pandemic; it is a global bone scan, showing weak spots. In our care of the elderly, the precariously housed, our treatment of animals and the abandonment of a thriving ecology as necessary for health. If we are to truly heal from it, it will not be by vaccine. It will be by being honest about where we hurt, so we can turn the bright light of attention towards where we most need to go…

Why would we want to be whole in the first place? Easy. So we can throw a party that includes every single person, no matter who they are, no matter what they look like. We heal because it leads to the most fun…”

This is an essay that he wrote while waiting to hear the results of a bone scan to find out how the cancer in his body is progressing. May he be healed. The entire essay is worth reading. There is something poignant about a medical doctor receiving medical treatment as a patient.

p.s., I love Dr. Maskalyk’s writing. Here is a link to more of his essays here.

I very much enjoyed this 40 min presentation by Rudi Verspoor, Doctor of Medical Heilkunst (plus 20 min of questions), which you can view here.

He discusses COVID-19 from a spiritual perspective and how it is affecting the evolution of humankind. We are moving to a spiritual phase in humankind’s evolution. We are working our way up through the spiritual hierarchy. Our emotional body is opening up.

We are also moving from a place of societal control to a place of community association. The latter has organic development, cooperation, resonant association, love-based, ethics, natural law, common law and spiritual law.

From the book, “Messages of the Body”, the meaning behind coronaviruses include:

  • urban hermit, self-repression, deprivation, “my way or the highway”, no right to exist
  • This is what we are healing as a society.

COVID-19 is a multi-miasmic / multi-generational illness, and it’s affecting everything in our world (as we all know). The more understanding that you have, the less fear that you will have.

My brief summary doesn’t really do justice to this talk, so if you want to learn more, I’d encourage you to watch the video.

***

And this is another presentation by Rudi Vespoor on Romantic Science and Health Care.

2020

The best thing to happen during the pandemic – our family grew by one hypoallergenic kitten (a LaPerm). His name is Boots and he brings us so much joy!

Boots, bringer of so much joy.
Healing, purring kitty.
(I hear that your purr can help broken bones to heal).
Certainly, your purr can heal broken heart.
Stretching luxuriously.
Loving touch.
Joy, love and touch, which is so needed during this pandemic time.

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“My guru once remarked, ‘You know, it is not like you are going to do a bunch of spiritual work and then get the good karma. Having access to the teachings, to each other, and to the means of practice is the good karma.'” – Christina Sell, Yoga teacher, from her article “Same Boat, Different Boats”

Christina’s entire article about living through this time is worth a read!

I just love Jann Arden!

“Seemingly over night, the tiny buds on the poplar trees have begun to unfurl into bright green fans. One moment branches were barren of any life and then they burst forward with color and movement and growth. It really is a miracle.

Watching things grow.

People unfurl themselves in similar fashion.

These are the things I’ve learned in the past few months:

I’m not going to fall apart.

I like talking to myself.

The sun is a force for good.

Having a sound sleep can heal body and mind like nothing else.

Friendships are sacred.

Asking for help can make you a better person.

Falling apart is like falling in love, equal parts of pain and pleasure.

Food and the eating of it, can ease a troubled heart.

Being angry at anybody, including yourself, is pointless.

Movement of one’s body, in a vigorous, committed fashion, can be the difference between life and death- literally.

Breathing in and out is often times, all you need to be doing. And when that is combined with movement, good things happen.

Being alone does not mean that I am lonely.

My dog is a good hugger.

It is possible to eat just ONE chip, but why would you?

Being greedy for money is fucking up the planet and our health.

Being part of a community feels wonderful.

Helping other people feels better than anything I could have ever imagined.

Connection is paramount to human life.

We were meant to be together in large numbers, shoulder to shoulder, singing the same song and waving the same white flag.

We can do anything together.

I am fragile but I am mighty.

I love my job and I know I’ll get back to doing it.

Gratitude can lift you over any obstacle.

People can be SO good.

Negative people will NEVER win.

Leadership is about empathy and strength and caring and support. The economy is stronger than we think and it cannot keep dominating over the wellness of people and animals and the earth itself.

When we look after each other, we conquer fear and doubt and create wonder.

There are some God Damn brave people out there who put themselves on the line every single day, with or without a pandemic and I will forever be grateful for their massive contribution to human life.

This 63 page essay / book by Bayo Akomalafe, I, Coronavirus. Mother. Monster. Activist,  looks like it would be an interesting read.

To be honest, I haven’t read it yet, but am saving a link to it here, so I can revisit it when I have more time.

I am intrigued of the thought that we are in a messianic time (as Rachel Naomi Remen also stated in a recent talk), and the following paragraph particularly caught my eye as I was skimming through her book.

“I start to think of the new coronavirus in messianic terms. As a Second Coming of sorts. And why not? Haven’t we learned that the messianic never shows up in the ways we expect? We imagined the messiah hoisted in mid-air, garlanded in rushing cloud, glory and trumpet. Is it possible instead that the messianic flashes through not as a conquering ruler, but as the moment the curtained veil between the holy and the pagan is ripped apart? Not as the televised arrival of a bold and new society that works for all or as the cumulative efforts of conscientious activists, but as a microscopic disanthropocentric insurgent stealing its way across borders, through bodies, across continents of ideas that have historically privileged large scale and size as the only things worth counting upon? Is it possible that the end of world is not down the line, but that it already happened (and happens again and again in ‘dimensions’ we cannot sense)? And is it possible that all the talk about the end of world discloses the constraints on our shared imaginations, our own biological and epistemological priorities as surface-walking city-dwelling bipeds? What other perspectives, regimes of visuality, and imaginaries are possible when we decenter this view from the centre? What might a virus think about our infatuations with survival and permanence?”

book

I love the 10 min message from Elena Brower about this time that we are going through at the end of this podcast at the 35 min mark here.

Some of her beautiful words about this time…

“There is a place within you that knows how to surrender.

This knowingness is free of fear.

This is where you remember that your strength is your listening, and in welcoming your own tenderness.

This place is where you see change as an ally, not the enemy.

We are all learning this finally.

This place within you is always at peace, always at rest.

Your entering this new beginning, where the the crucial test is how fluently can you usher forth your truest softness?

We are in uncharted territories.

We are seeing unimaginable changes, and we are also seeing undeniably emergent harmonies. And we are listening.

This time lands us in a slower cadence, a softer stance, a steady release of what is no longer needed, a burgeoning understanding of what it means to let go.

We are learning to release the achievements, the possessions, the perfections,

To immerse ourselves in the present, in introspection, real connection.

We are learning to give nature the space to teach us her finest lessons yet.

We cannot cling to things any longer.

We cannot rush forward and think that’s conquering.

We cannot stay rigidly fixed in our ways.

It’s our time now to trust, respect and conjure our finest love. And it’s waking us up.

 

What is love?

Love is when you allow yourself to feel and to release, to heal and be free of any fear tht you were holding a moment ago.

Love is when you welcome the energy of kindness and acceptance to prevail over the diminishing shapes of your most compelling resistance.

Love is when you invite yourself to reconnect to your community and to be wrapped up in unbridled, unconditional acceptance of you.

Love is what is emerging in this time of inexplicable reckoning.

Love is seeing deeply into the pain inside and finding our hearts hurdling to the next freedom, the next unified cry for peace.

Love is this healing, and it is precisely what you were born to bring.

Take one deep breath.

***

May these words interpret our silent pleas to pull our presence into this larger vast family, our fallible, earnest, beautiful species.

This is when we recover our strength and our unity.

Take one deep breath with me.

 

***

 

We wear a veil collectively, a specter of forgetting that will never lift until we commit ourselves to accepting that our differences are what make us holy.

How are we to know what is random and what is purposeful?

How can we remind ourselves that what is tragic is also magical?

Our work is to consistently offer up our questions and continue learning.

What we see clearly is that nature presents itself everyday with proof of her yearning for more quiet and deepening respect.

And this moment in time might be her most poignant, painful, magnificent time yet.

Let’s take one deep breath.

 

***

 

Compassion must be our own encompassing commitment.

We are being called to acquaint ourselves with the wisdom of empathy and rise up together in a field of plentiful remembrance that compassion is what we are.

And as we practice this whole-hearted grace, sensing waves of exhilaration in this new change.

We savour the adventure, just as we would some ephemeral embrace.

We slow down.

We soften.

We listen again.

We take one deep breath.

 

***

 

Never forget you are hear to take your soul family into your heart.

Let her kindness burst within you like so many stars and choose what you believe because what you believe becomes what you are.

Let’s welcome more sweetness into our hearts.

Let’s invite opportunities for uninterrupted thought.

Let’s go back to the beginning and stop fighting battles that never needed to be fought.

Let’s sit still.

Let’s tell stories.

Let’s make art.

And let go.

Let’s remind one another to love and to know that we are humbled and worthy, stumbling and full of light.

Let’s amplify our connections to nature,  to each other, and to our own insights, so when this road twists and some perception of failure seems to suddenly arise, we remember that we are here together to shine one light.

Take one deep breath.”

 

 

 

In the 30 min video below, Caroline Myss likens the pilgrimage along the Camino to the time that humanity is going through currently. Everyone on the Camino was moving in the same direction and it was a “tunnel of grace”. We are all currently in that tunnel of grace, moving in the same direction. Many people want to “go back to what was”, but we cannot go back to what was because it ultimately wasn’t working. It’s time for us to create a new world. And for that new world to be born, we need to go through this difficult time of transformation and also help one another along through acts of kindness.

“We have been in preparation within ourselves and within this whole journey of transformation to discover our capacity to influence our reality. To take charge. To create a world that maybe we’ve envisioned, but haven’t really put our shoulders into. We haven’t really gone after it with the force of our soul the way we now can. The world is going to start over again and we have the opportunity to make it a more humane place. We need a more balanced, humane system. We need a more honorable government. We need people to come first. We don’t get to that place without a crushing transformation. We need to know how to awaken that power in ourselves. As overwhelming as it is for each person, it is this experience in which we discover how truly empowered we are. You don’t discover that you really influence your reality until you really need to do it.

Dr. Lissa Rankin, MD wrote a thoughtful article about 17 things we don’t know about COVID-19 and shouldn’t pretend to know here. I think it’s worth a read.

answers

Wisdom by Martha Beck

Do you need answers?

What’s going to happen? When will things go back to normal?

**

We can’t know – not yet.

But there’s something we can do right now.

**

Try this: Feel the anxious urge to have answers.

Feel how heavy it is.

**

Imagine putting it down beside you on the floor.

Breathe.

Rest.

**

By putting down the need to have answers, you’ve just opened your intuition.

You’ve invited awe.

You’ve entered the Mystery.

Now answers can come to you in new ways.

Answers to all the questions you have now, and a thousand more you  never thought to ask.

I painted this hopeful butterfly during this time.

IMG_4084

Words of wisdom by Jann Arden:

“I asked my grandmother once, if she ever felt “anxiety” when she was growing up. After a thoughtful pause she replied, “Well- we never thought about ourselves back in those days. We didn’t sit and think about what we felt like, we just didn’t have the time. We got up and went outside to work.”

I didn’t expect her to say anything remotely like that-, I thought she was going to say, “Well OF COURSE we did!” But -she did not. We spend a lot of time thinking about what we feel like every second of the day and I am guilty of that as well.

This piece of time- this slice of history we’ve been presented with has exacerbated our thinking process. It has escalated the speed and the volume of our thoughts. We’re all on a wheel that is rolling down the side of a mountain, headed for a speeding train. You get my drift.

I’ve decided that I am going to quit thinking all together. That’s right, I’m not thinking anymore.
I am going to start doing instead.
I am going to find purpose in seemingly small things.
I am going to walk down the road and feel the gravel beneath my crappy old rubber boots.
I am going to listen to the birds yatter and chatter and yell at each other.
I am going to stop dwelling on old things, old memories, what was, where I was a year ago, a decade ago, a lifetime ago.
I am going to be right where I am.

I am going to phone three friends everyday and cheer them on.
I am going to plant things and check them every single day to see how they’re doing.
I am going to watch old movies and probably bite my nails.
I am going to hug my dog.
I am going to say goodbye to controlling my life and hello to being okay with it.
I am going to talk out loud to my mother.
I am going to ask for help when I need it and even when I don’t need it, because we all want to help each other even if we don’t think we do.
When one of us is sad, we are all sad.
When one of us suffers, we all suffer.

When one of us is hungry, we are all hungry.

The things we’ve learned in two months, would have taken us 20ty years.
What a gift this has been.
Even if you don’t see it yet, you will.
The universe just handed us a piece of time.
The thing we have always wanted the most.”

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