This morning I woke feeling strange. I felt like I was in a different place, and it was a different day. I was discombobulated until I was dressed and smelling coffee. Ah! The simple clarity that comes with that beautiful cuppa morning joe! I did feel strange though. I took some quiet moments to go deep within and find my breath. I have learned that I need to ground and breathe if I am ever to function through my normal daily anxiety. I am so grateful that I now have these skills to help me. I wanted to examine this feeling I had, to determine if it was something I could fix. One thing I am learning to recognize in myself is that I do not like change. Change alarms me. It causes me to have immediate anxiety and my mind fills with all of the "what-if's" of a million possibilities. Change is inevitable however, so I continue to work at adapting to these strange times. I soon realized that I was actually quite comfortable, relaxed and calm. It was then I realized that there wasn't an issue within me, but that there was an issue with the changes that are happening around me! This was a HUGE ah-ha! moment this morning! This feeling was my body adjusting to the "new normal" that life had become. Today is Day 10 of my self isolation. This Covid-19 crisis has forever changed the world we live in. No one knows what tomorrow will bring, and we don't know when life will get back to normal. Will it? Do we want life to go back to the way it was before COVID-19? I see a lot of ways that our society needs to change and I think that there is an opportunity in front of us all to create a new "normal" Perhaps even one that is in balance and harmony, not only with our planet but also with each other? There is always a bright side to everything, and in this situation I am searching for it daily. Our news feeds all filled with fear based messages, panic buying, photos of empty stores and really sick people on ventilators. We are hit with the staggering numbers of infected and dying on an hourly basis now, and as this virus spreads it will only continue to get worse. We need to be mindful of how much we allow the things in our world that we can't change, to have a negative impact on us. We can choose to turn the screen off. We can choose to put our phones down and go outside. For my own mental health, I am choosing to limit the amount of time I allow myself to read the news and check in on the figures. The rest of the time I only allow myself to connect online with some of the local groups that are helping to connect and support people in my community. I have always been very passionate about my Muskoka community and it is so comforting to me now during all this uncertainty, to see my community come out to support one another. There are many wonderful groups that are being formed and people are staying connected, and finding ways to help and support each other, without coming into any contact with each other. Absolutely amazing and inspiring stories are out there and all around us. Choose to find them and brighten your own day! Better yet - find ways to spread joy and cheer to others. We all need as much of it as we can spread right now.
During my time at home, I have been making good use of decluttering areas of my life that need it. I am in the midst of an entire life declutter! I am working on going through all of my belongings and doing another purge. I am organizing the mess of my paperwork/receipt/mail/yuck mess a teeny tiny bit at a time. This is actually a daunting task for me as I am coning to terms with the fact that I legitimately have an issue with an abnormal fear of my mail. Sounds weird I am sure, but this is legitimate and very annoying in my life. I am working on fixing this during this time in isolation :) Basically I am working on decluttering my life physically, mentally and spiritually during this time. I know that I have a lot of personal work I can be doing and the universe just pressed "pause" on planet earth. So why not use this time to work on myself while I can't be working on helping others feel better? I am so grateful for this time because it has allowed me the break I have been desperately needing for many years. This forced down time is allowing me to reconnect with the herd. I can take them for a walk or into the bush to browse and we are all able to relax. For once there is no agenda for my herd. They get to go back to just "being". Amazingly, I realize that right now I too get to just "be". I can't control, or fix anything that is happening around me in the world. What I can do though I control my reactions to these new circumstances. I can encourage and inspire others. I can create new ideas and discover new possibilities. Likely for the next several weeks anyways, I intend the make the most of each and every second of this time I have been given. Although these are frightening times, if everyone does their part to stay home and not spread the virus, we will see the other side of this. I have started a list of all of the things that I want to do during this time, and the list grows each day. Although this entire situation is stressful and very scary, I am also seeing the golden opportunity that sits in front of each and every one of us. We can CREATE! <3
In the past week I have been reading posts and hearing from people in the community that say they are already suffering from boredom while they are in isolation at home. I struggle to understand this concept because I can't even recall the last time I was bored but I assure you I was likely in the single digit age. When we have been given this time at home, why not use it to our advantage and work on ourselves, our families, homes and personal environment? When will we have this opportunity in our lives again? We don't have to be scared and just sit around waiting and be BORED. We can make the best of it I say! So, for anyone who is reading this that finds themselves saying that they are BORED. I want to challenge you to consider some of the items on the following lists to see if you can try to be inspired to make some small adjustments or improvements in your life. (nothing on this list will lead you to binge watching anything)
Physical: How is your personal hygiene? Why not pamper yourself to a spa day? Pluck those eyebrows yourself (if you fail, they'll have time to grow back! ;) ) Google make at home face masks and try some out. Be cautious though as our healthcare system may not be able to assist you if you go overboard with experimenting! If you've often thought about starting an at home fitness routine, why not check out YouTube for a ton of different classes you can do from home for free. Personally, I am a HUGE fan and supporter of Yoga with Adriene on YouTube and recommend her to anyone who has ever considered adding a home yoga practice to their lives. She is an angel and truly gifted at what she does.
Mental: How are you? No really, how are you? Check in with yourself. What do you need? What can you do for yourself right now to help you fell your best? Now is the time for you. Do you meditate? What can you learn in order to help support yourself through this time?
Spiritually: Again, same questions as above. Check in with yourself. What do you need to do to fill your spiritual needs at this time? Is there a new practice you could explore or adopt that would help you?
Education/Training: Is there something you've always wanted to learn? A skill you've always wished you had? What are you waiting for? Now is the perfect opportunity for all of us to learn a new skill! With the internet at our fingertips we have a powerhouse of knowledge and possibilities in front of us. Learn something new. Put it to use if you can! How many times have we all said to ourselves "I'd love to learn ___ if I only had the time". Well...go for it! Want to learn to paint? Sew? Change your own oil? Do home renos? Learn Kung Fu? How about a second language? Really, why not?
Now might be the perfect time to repair relationships, strengthen communication and learn to come together as a stronger, healthier community. What relationships do you have in your life that need work? What can you do to start repairing them today? Is there someone you've lost touch with? Why not reach out now to try to reconnect? Do you know your neighbours? How can you help to connect your neighbourhood to support each other through these next few weeks and beyond? Do you know of people in your community that need help and support? Is there a senior you know that you can support? Is there someone you can call to reach out with a friendly "hello" of connection and support? What can you do in your community to help lift the spirits and encourage others to do so during this time of social distancing. None of us have to feel alone, but many of us will and do. If you are bored, I encourage you to reach out to someone who is likely lonely and afraid. Help shift their mood and you'll feel better too!
How is your home? Is it spotlessly clean? There's never been a better time for a full house disinfect! Do you have clutter in your home? Can you work at organizing your home and space more efficiently? Do you have items that you no longer need that you could use to trade or donate to others? What useful items can you find in your home that you can repurpose? Do you know someone that can use something you no longer need or use? Go through each room in your home to see what you can do to reorganize and create a new and healthier environment for your whole family. Once you've done the inside, go outside and do the same thing. How is your garage? Your yard? What about beyond your personal space? Are there things you can do in your neighbourhood while still practicing safe social distancing?
During these past 10 day, I have gone through some pretty wicked emotions at times. These are scary times! Energetically the air is alive with the negative emotions humanity is feeling. As an empath I feel almost physically battered, but on an emotional level. I can only control and change my direct environment though, so I will work to do that. I think that we all need to individually work to dispel this negative force, so that collectively we can make a shift happen. Although the first few days were especially rough as I wrestled with accepting the need to shut down my business and by doing so, cut off my income stream. Do I know how I will make ends meet? Nope. Am I resourceful, capable and gifted? Yes! So somehow I will find a way. We all will. Each day is a new opportunity to do something positive for ourselves, and also for others.
This past week has proven to be really interesting for me. I have had some of the BEST conversations! I have had to run a few essential errands to the feed store and to source a few items for my family so we can sustain during isolation. I have had some wonderful and authentic conversations with strangers from my community discussing ways that we can all stay connected and ensure we all pull through. I have also had some wonderful connections with my local neighbours, speaking to some for the first time as I am relatively new to this neighbourhood. I have been able to trade some of the eggs our hens produce for some hard to find yeast from one neighbour, and for fresh maple syrup from another. I have other neighbours that are soon to arrive from wintering in Florida and their needs and home have already been stocked by another neighbour so they can go straight home after crossing the border later this week. Everywhere I look I see people pulling together - it isn't all ugly greed, selfishness and virus fear out there. Each day I have heard or witnessed small miracles all around me that are helping me to remain positive and to not give in to the fear. There really is so much right in front of us everyday to remind us what is important in life. We can't change what is happening around us, but we can choose how we react to it. For me, I want to spend this time as wisely as I can. To me that means I will do my best to improve my self, my home, my environment, my relationships and anything else that comes to mind. I may not ever get an opportunity like this again. Seriously, I haven't had a vacation in twelve years and now I am forced to take some time. I am open and surrendering to it. The thought that came to my mind earlier today was that we have all been given a beautiful gift in which we can return to our childhoods and reimagine if we want, any change we want to make in our own lives. It is spring and soon we will be able to stop and smell the flowers - literally. We can fly a kite or climb a tree and go back to a simpler time for a little while. What a wonderful way to reset.
The little things in life really are the BIG things.
Stay safe everyone!
And PS - I am searching for a ukulele. If anyone has one lying around that they are not playing and would like to trade it for some farm fresh eggs or future services of mine, please hit me up! I would LOVE to take this time to learn to play the ukulele!
With love, Angee