The New Normal!?!
I am short on words for the events of the last few weeks. Maybe, mind blowing is one....
I have been experiencing big shifts my entire life, physically and mentally. As a child, my parents moved around 8 times by the time I had turned 18 and I had as many schools. My husband and I haven't moved since 2003 but experienced other changes like buying our first home, birth of our two children, my mother-in-law moving in with us, the heartbreaking loss of my parents within a space of seven years and not to forget - accept & adapt to our own loss of our younger energetic selves :)
Huge unplanned changes like what we are experiencing currently can bring on a lot of grief. Having to let go of what we had taken for granted and adapting to new ways is a lot of work. Humans love their routines and ways of thinking and doing so we resist any change. We get very comfortable in our environment not realizing how impermanence life is creating our own suffering.
All these unplanned changes can bring on a ton of emotions, grief, anger, anxiety, fear, sadness and depression too. Feel the feelings, don't bottle them up. It takes a lot of time and patience but we do come to terms with it.
Unprocessed feelings can lead to physical illnesses too, in my humble experience. So it is very imperative to take some down time to processes everything.
The following articles have good tools and guidelines to deal with the current storm of our lives.
For multi-tasking parents:
The years between my parents' passing were gut-wrenching & painful for me to see my Dad suffer and before that to see my Mom suffer after my brother was diagnosed with a mental health disorder. I have personally found mindfulness based awareness principles techniques based on Buddhist and the Bhagwad Gita to be very useful in dealing with the hard stuff. Here are some resources if you would like to try, link to Awake Network resources.
We are so blessed to have a home and enough needs to isolate ourselves. There is no other better time to count our blessings. And the illness is hitting some more harshly in different ways more than others. If you can help, here's an exhaustive list how you can contribute: https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2020/health/coronavirus-how-to-help/
All changes have a common theme, letting go of the old ways and accepting the new ones. Some of the changes are our own choice so we accept it willingly but the ones we don't anticipate, we perceive them as 'negative' events and have a harder time dealing with them. The more resistance, the more suffering.
What if this shift was for the better and we didn't know it yet? Our ways have slowed down, I personally have become more gentler, more patient. We are no longer rushing to God knows where! Wildlife is coming back, pollution has reduced. Kindness in people is showing up. We are questioning our wants and needs which is great since the never ending race after wants is destroying the planet! For once, the entire planet is focused on one problem and it's uniting us in spirit.
I had to challenge my mindset after seeing my parents and in turn myself suffer through the events in my life of the last 15+ years even though they were very obedient followers of what the community defined will bring happiness but the peace of mind was so elusive. I reached out to teachings of ancient texts to understand this suffering and find some space. I hope you take this time to find your oasis of peace.
Our entire lives have pretty much been turned upside down, this is HARD stuff! We do have to take time out to take care of ourselves so we can take care of our families and community. It has taken me some time to accept and adapt and I bet I still have a long way to go. Incidentally, all this down time is bringing back a lot of issues I thought I had made peace with. So I am walking this path right along with you.
My go to tricks are to stay active and positively focused towards fulfilling activities like gardening and creating albums out of my kids' pictures. We have settled into a leisurely routine of long meals and talks and walks.
There's a phrase that personifies the events of the last few weeks - "nothing is constant but change". Also, "this too shall pass" as does everything, doesn't matter whether we judge it as "good" or "bad". Every storm runs out of rain at some point! So keep the hope and faith!
I wish and pray for you and the world, love and peace, forever!