It was almost two weeks ago – I sat on a beach, the warm blanket of sand underneath me and the tears started to roll.
Life was changing so quickly and I felt like I could not keep up.
Sitting under the tree, I picked up a handful of sand and watched the grains cascade through my fingers. I didn’t try to stop them, instead I was mesmerized by the flow and natural pull of gravity. The natural pull to return to the place where they were a few moments before. I completely identified with what was happening in this moment.
My glance shifted to my daughter in the sea. We were seeking reprieve at our place of solace. An empty beach with not a sinner nor a saint around and was grateful she could not see the water pouring from my eyes.
There on her boogie board she leaped over the waves as they crashed all around her gaining more and more delight the bigger and stronger the waves got.
I closed my eyes and my soul took pause as I heard the waves crashing.
With COVID-19 and its impact on the world, for some of us our everyday lives are going through a storm-like change. The winds of change are coming at us with changes to life as we knew it and masses of information barreling at us in all directions. On my social media alone, I am bombarded with constant images and feedback as the world reels with this pandemic. In addition to this, every fourth article is now a new 14-day challenge and “top 10 things to learn from home” than I have ever seen before. It feels like a sea of schizophrenia!
I opened my eyes and stared out to the horizon.
I thought to myself, isn’t it strange that we as humans can find solace in this massive force of water? Isn’t it odd that we do not see it as a threat but instead we take this brute force of nature and reversely look upon it as a coping tool in times of distress? How ironic that in the process of meditation, coping solutions involve listening to the sounds of waves and water? Here at my feet was a source of nature that could over throw us in a moment, and yet the paradox was that we are now living in a world where an invisible virus is monopolizing every area of life and forcing lives and economies to come to a grinding halt.
It was enough to take my breath away. The anxiety rose again.
I am a massive believer in finding the positive in every situation, but I also think that the pressure to call this moment anything than a struggle just builds pressure where it doesn’t need to be. The positivity movement has swooped in to try and fill this space with flowers and sunshine. I am a bit over the slapping of what I call “the happy band-aid” on when things really and truly suck for so many people I know. Lives are changing intensely around us and there needs to be a moment of pause and acknowledgment of this.
So what do we do? I struggled with this question myself as nothing really was fitting but then this one thing I recognized and where I was finding my greatest success and peace.
Instead of the positivity movement I would like to offer a new perspective, a new strategy.
The strategy of PAUSE.
Here is what it looks like.
Take a moment right now and inhale, hold it for a moment and then exhale. Did you feel that? There is your pause. It is called BREATH.
If you just did this small and simple action then you tapped into a gift that not only defines life, but perhaps will be the difference between sanely surviving this pandemic and not.
For me this strategy is helping me to get through the days. I don’t have to read every article, I don’t have to reply to every text, I don’t have to be available to everyone when they are, I can put these things on PAUSE and return when I feel stronger. When I see the sun setting in my back yard, I can take a moment to bask in the awesomeness of its colours and PAUSE. Recognizing that life is changing and it will never be the same again, I can take the good and leave the bad, I can PAUSE.
I looked back and squinted my eyes and smiled. I noticed that even the waves were speaking my language with this new revelation and they too had a pause. There it was, the space between the lip of wave and hard bottom of the sand. In this space my daughter was finding her freedom, her joy and her delight. In this pause she was living her best moment. Perhaps this is what we can all hope to get out of this time too.
Please stay safe and stay at home and we will connect soon again.