A few weeks ago the TV personality Ryan Seacrest quipped that he wished he could drop the New Year’s Eve ball in Times Square early and put 2020 to an end. Many of us are feeling the same way. COVID-19 has uncovered a lot of weak links in our social and economic structures and made us acutely aware that being interconnected definitely has its downside.
With that comes the realization we have far less control over our lives than we thought. A pandemic is, by definition, not localized and we now know just how directly and deeply we can be affected by things that happen far away. The secondary impacts have hit us in every area of life and we were not able to see them coming.
Beyond the all too real economic and health concerns, perhaps most apparent is that many of the automatic, don’t-think-about-it-too-much portions of our lives have been altered or shut down, and those might be the parts we miss the most. We adapt, but with a sting of loss. The uncertain future makes us long for a past we are unsure we will ever recover.
Those of us temporarily deprived of being able to do any long-term planning are putting one foot in front of another, and getting reacquainted with a simpler way of life. There has been a kind of pruning taking place, and gardeners know that pruning brings us closer to the rootstock.
This is a good model for this time.
When we shift closer to the changeless core within, we lower our energetic and physical centers of gravity to a place where there is more stability. From that vantage point, we can see where our upper reaches are entangled in thoughts and attitudes that are increasing our anxiety and distress.
Our connection to our stillpoint acts as a counterweight to the heavy boughs over us, and we can safely cut away the catastrophizing, the watching too much news, the second guessing that we acted too fast or too slow, and whatever else adds to our suffering. With less exposed mass to get blown around, this harsh season of our lives can feel less severe.
The inner space is a deep layer within all of us. It has complete immunity from change of any kind. Our old lives, the ones we thought of as normal, were often running too thick and fast for us to notice it was there. But the distress we are now experiencing has thinned our defenses so that the place of peace may be closer and more accessible than ever before.
Finding your way to OHM
There are many ways to tap into it, none of them complicated. Just knowing the space is there counts as a connection, and can deliver fast relief. We start to get that there’s always a place to rest, a place untouched by this craziness. Away from the turbulence, we can sit quietly and breathe into our lower abdomen, or our hearts. Or we might summon up some love, and simply feel where it is in the body, and track its flow.
Those are just suggestions; each of us may have a favorite. One of mine is to go for a walk and softly say the Metta prayer over and over. It helps me see the world with new eyes.