One unexpected, but lovely, consequence of this pandemic is that I’m meeting more of my neighbors. Are you? It’s strange to say but during normal life we don’t seem to make time for even those that live closest to us. We pass by quickly in our cars, maybe we wave.
I met Lynda early on in the lockdown as we were both out for our daily walks. She comes to the end of our cul-de-sac with her sweet dog to drink up the view of the mountains to the West. It’s a view I try not to take for granted, but is highlighted by someone walking out of their way for it. The post-woman does the same thing…always taking her smoke break staring out at the mountains from the edge of the road.
The other day Lynda was back again for the sunshine and vistas, but now we are a month into things and we are both feeling a bit more weary. We recognize each other and I’m surprised and heart-warmed that she remembers my name. I pause my podcast and slow my pace, we decide to walk together.
The conversation naturally turns to the Coronavirus crisis. “How are you doing?” we ask one another genuinely. One of the first sentiments Lynda expressed to me was that she was fearful what precedent this pandemic was going to set. Would we stop life as we know it and risk tanking the economy every time something comes around that we don’t fully understand? Would the ways we shop, work, recreate be forever altered? Is this the way it is now, keeping each other at a distance, fear coloring our interactions? …I listen. They are natural fears. This is all so unknown, so anxiety provoking.
I reply that I think we’ll be so much more prepared next time something like this happens. There will be a precedent set of greater preparedness. In fact, some of the countries handling this best, like Taiwan or South Korea, are doing so because they’ve faced a public health crisis like this before and they were more prepared to act swiftly. We can hope.
Lynda and I commiserated, we shared some local news, we voiced concerns and compassion. As we parted ways at the Y in the road, I started to think more deeply about this notion of precedent. What precedents will be set? Might we create new precedents in how we treat one another, in recognizing what we have to be grateful for, in working mightily together for the collective good? Maybe we will come out of this more apt to talk to our neighbors, to spend quality time with our families (revival of game nights anyone?), to support the most vulnerable who need our help, and to take care of ourselves with great priority and attention.
While we might not have control over many of the precedents that are set by this global pandemic, we have a role in what we set in our own lives. Some of you have joined us for our Calm for Coronavirus Sound Bath series and you’ve given yourself real substantial time to slow down and process your emotions, to show yourself true self-care. We want to keep that precedent going by continuing to share these powerful musical meditation spaces twice a month on an ongoing basis for our community, (more on that here) and hopefully you can keep the precedent of self-care that is so necessary in our lives, crisis or not.
Some of you are calling your parents more than you ever did before, or going for more walks, or cooking from scratch. How can you continue the patterns that you’re creating that really serve the life of connection you want to live? Ask yourself that and let’s put our hope in the positive changes we are making in our lives, not just in spite of this pandemic, but because of it.
More self-care, greater neighborliness, more connection with our friends and family…these are all precedents very much worth continuing.
In the spirit of continued self care, our Stress Less Virtual Retreat is coming up on May 9th. It will be one day of blissful re-centering. Ada and Nathan will be doling out gobs of their most potent stress deflating music, mindfulness, and movement practices. We’ll tune in, tune up, and turn up the volume on love, gratitude, and trust.
Join us in sharing the positive precedents you will continue as we move forward. Journal about it, email and tell us, or share this blog and discuss with a friend!