Interbeing, Mindfulness, Relating, The New Story

Peace amidst the Panic

Take three deep breaths. Let’s allow ourselves to fully arrive, in this moment, in this place: in our homes, on Mother Earth.

Here, the birds are chirping, the woodpecker is pecking, the dogs are barking as usual. I have informed myself on the happenings of the world as much as I wish to for the time being. I’ve logged out of Facebook for the sake of blessed disconnection, grounding and dear sanity. I’m hightailing it to the beach tomorrow for a pre-planned girls’ trip with my daughter and friends. So grateful to step away from the black noise of coronavirus panic, jokes, memes and opinions on all the airwaves and interwebs.

I checked out of the system way long ago and have happily moved incrementally further from it year by year, day by day, moment to moment. Since moving to Guatemala in 2009. Since moving to Lake Atitlán in 2012. Since moving to an off-grid eco-casita in the woods in 2015. Even, arguably, since the mid-2000s, by rejecting mental illness diagnoses (plural) and the medical establishment’s standard, convenient answer (just take one of these little pills everyday, forever). Even since 1990, by rejecting the Catholicism at age 10. Even since before this lifetime.

This does not make me invincible from the viral fear and panic that is spreading across the excessively connected globe right now. However, it does make me feel less affected. While most of my work is now remote (freelance writing, editing and translation), I still work part-time for a retreat center/hotel here at the lake. It was a pretty nutty past few days with travel bans and restrictions changing overnight. Concerns turned to cancellations turned to postponements of retreats and reservations. Stockpiling beans, rice, superfoods. Water, the first medicine.

We are riding the waves of change together.

Spiritual practice has never been more essential. Deep breathing. Yoga. Laughter. Compassion. Metta. Present moment awareness. Please.

Several of us stopped, laid down and had a sensational and much-needed sound healing ceremony on Thursday afternoon. I feel sensitive to the anxiety and fear swirling all around and somehow protected from it, at the same time.

I met a yogini acquaintance yesterday on the hill, as she was going down and I was going up. Pressed my palms together and greeted her with a knowing smile. She reminded me: everybody wants to think we have things under control at all times. We have our plans and goals and stand on solid ground. Spiritual teachings tells us the opposite: nothing is under control, everything is changing all the time, there is no ground on which to stand. Everything is emptiness, illusion, created by our mind and its conditioning.

Global pandemic may seem like a horror movie come true but it’s also a stark reminder of the fact that nothing is under our control, aside from our own personal choices in each moment. So, yes, wash your hands. Also: if possible, enjoy this time of personal retreat. (Doesn’t that sound nicer than “social distancing” or “isolation”?) Help those who are unable to retreat by offering support in whatever way you can (financial, physical, emotional, spiritual).

Breathe deeply. Look for the beauty, tranquility, humor, joy and peace amidst the chaos.

We are all in this together. May we rise above and embrace positive change. Namaste.

photo of a man sitting under the tree
Photo by Samuel Silitonga on Pexels.com

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