corona diaries

Anchored to my soul: My response to the Corona pandemic

15 Mar 2020

Hi, friends. How are you doing? It’s crazy right now, isn’t it? Are you feeling it, is it affecting you at all (emotionally, physically, or energetically)? I am all over the place, to be honest. Feeling anchored + calm one minute. Anxious + frustrated the next. Crying softly. Harboring anger. Focusing on grounding. Obsessing with the news (though I’ve set my own boycott on news this weekend – except once a day). I’ve got so much to say + no way to say it. But, I’m gonna try anyway. Because, honestly, writing is a grounding, anchoring process for me. So, just hang with me. I hope that I have something to offer in the midst of these new, uncertain times in which we find ourselves.

I think the thing that I seek most right now is balance. And, as far as I know, the best way to do that is to anchor myself to all that brings me back to my center. To that place where I find peace, calm, and a bigger perspective in the present moment. This is what I can control right now. I can control how I respond.

Struggling to stay anchored + present

Ah, yes…. the present moment. It is so important to stay there I believe. Focusing on the past + obsessing about the future, thinking about how it was or how it might be, what has happened, what might happen… it’s all just useless + meaningless. Causing more anxiety + worry than necessary. The truth is, the present moment is the only place we are. And in this moment, we can feel our breath. We exist. We are. And, really that’s all that matters.

But, honestly, I don’t live in that beautiful little idea of the present moment all of the time. Oh, sure, I find myself returning to the present moment more often as I grow + evolve. But, I still struggle with finding that anchored spot in the middle of everyday life. People, news, situations, stress, emotions, decisions, and right now, sickness, draw me out of my centered space. And I often find it hard to stay calm + focused in those trying moments. Even though I seek + intend + practice slow living, I am easily affected by the energy around me. I want to be able to feel that anxiety, and to still breathe deep and find my anchored soul through it all. I want to abide in the calm… letting it all flow.

Now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to feel. Just before I started writing this, emotions welled up inside me + tears streamed down my face. I want to feel all of the feels. I need to feel them all. It is good to let them rise and come. My emotions deserve space too. All of them. How I respond to them, that is what I am focused on these days. Letting them receive their space, acknowledging them, and then letting them pass as I return to my anchored soul… offering me always a deeper return to calm, peace, and perspective.

So, how do I seek to stay anchored + balanced – especially in the midst of a global pandemic + all of my emotions? Well, if you’ve followed me for a while, you can probably guess a few of the ways. But, I’m gonna list them anyway. I have absolutely adjusted what works for me during this very real, unprecedented time.

  1. Meditation: The best thing I know for staying anchored is silence + stillness. It doesn’t matter how long or how often. And it doesn’t have to be complicated. Just a few long, deep breaths throughout the day. Or a sustained time of solitude. Or anything in-between. Just find a sliver of quiet all alone at least once a day. Feel life moving through you as you breathe. Remember who you are.
  2. Podcasts that inspire: To counteract all of the fake, frustrating, selfish, misinformation and shit that is swirling around, I listen to podcasts. I don’t want to be ignorant or uninformed, but I want to get perspective. So, I have a few theological + spiritual (’cause that’s my jam) podcasts that I listen to. They are deeply inspiring to me. And very niche-y to be honest. So, I’m not sure you’d like them. But find what inspires + informs you. And listen to them. Allow yourself to go deep. Not just to listen to shallow, surface shit. Sink down + dive in. Challenge your thoughts + beliefs. Open your world. Hear things in new ways.
  3. Friends: Not physical friends, but the tv show “Friends”. Sometimes it’s good to just focus on silly shit. I’ve watched quite a few episodes throughout this weekend. Just to lighten the mood, lift my spirits, and come out from the darkness that can easily swirl around right now. Find what lightens your load. Youtube. Spotify. Other series. Let yourself leave this reality for just a while + laugh a little.
  4. Social Media: I considered going offline + off the grid. But, then I considered it again. Because I am so picky about what accounts I follow on Instagram, there is so much inspiring stuff popping up in my feed and in my stories. Soooooo inspiring + good. I do not have Facebook or Twitter on my phone, so I am not checking them. But, I haven’t had them for a while. So, the only place I go right now is Instagram. And I go there only to get inspired, to check in on family + friends, or to share something that I hope will also inspire.
  5. News: I’m only checking the Swedish + American news once at day. I’ve chosen dinner time-ish as my daily check-in. I don’t want to start my day with it or end my day with it. So, somewhere in the early evening, I go through it all to check in + get caught up. Because, I also think that it is important to be informed. I also choose to check many + various news outlets in order to get as balanced of a picture as possible.
  6. Water: I’m drinking even more water than before. I’m pretty good about hydrating myself, but it just feels good to drink a lot of water. Like it’s healing my body + keeping me balanced. This feels like a time to really think about our bodies. To give thanks, attention, and care to them.
  7. Nature: Oh the medicine of nature. There is nothing like the medicine of the earth + the sky. The air, the earth, the trees, the birdsong, the sun, the rain, the moon. Right now, I am even more intentional about getting outside at least once a day. Just a few unplanned moments outside to soak in + connect with the earth. To stand in the sun. Plant my hands on the dirt. Listen to the birds. Observe the trees. Feel the tiny buds slowly popping out. Gaze at the moon. Nature resets my entire mind, body, and soul. Giving me a wider perspective, reminding me of the cyclical rhythms of life, and encouraging me to trust the process of it all.
  8. Books: Like podcasts, I am turning to books to give me perspective + inspiration. I need to have deep, intellectual, symbolic books around me right now. To teach me the ancient ways. To help me learn + analyze the world from my own theology. To ground me + remind me of others’ perspectives + experiences so I become more compassionate, engaged, and informed.

My suggestion to you is to spend a little social distancing time creating your own list of ways to anchor yourself in the middle of the Corona storm. If you want my two cents. Wink. Wink.

My current situation: Should we do more?

Yes, I am trying to stay balanced + anchored right now. But, honestly, here in Sweden, I feel a bit alone in that. Not to be judgmental, because, honestly, I’ve been at home all weekend. But, I just feel that I have a different perspective.

It could also be the fact that I am super extra sensitive right now – due to the fact that the States has issued a travel ban for all people from Europe. I couldn’t care less about the policy or decision right now, it’s just the feeling that I have that I cannot travel to the US, to my family, right now. It’s a frightening, heavy, strange, discomforting feeling. Honestly, if I don’t stay anchored, I could spin out into panic because it feels so bad to be unable to reach my parents + brother + family.

Also, it feels that Sweden isn’t taking this a seriously as they could. At least in comparison to other countries around us who have closed borders + schools. I have heard people speak about this simply as the flu, or feel sorry for themselves that they have to cancel travel plans. On a national level, no major decisions or restrictions are being made. Just the call to wash our hands + stay home if we are sick + not travel to other countries + not gather with more than 500 people. Which are all very important things. But, I wonder… (mind you, I do not know, but I wonder) is there more we should be doing?

Sure the governments of our countries can choose enforce restrictions + rules + closures, but honestly, this is an individual decision. An individual decision to be a part of the solution (or problem) simply by choosing how we respond and act. To me + Lina, it seems that people are just wanting to go about as usual + that to change how we move in society is a burden and is actually seen as overreacting + being afraid of “the flu”.

Now, really, who am I to judge anything? And who am I to know anything about anything? I’m no scientist or politician. I don’t know anything really. So, I have to return to my anchored place… a place from where I can remember that I am not here to make judgements or get all wound up at what I think is right. I have to try my find to find facts. And, more importantly, I have to return to my anchored place so I remember to choose to respond to it all with love. Overreacting. Under-reacting. No reaction at all. All of these responses come from a place of fear of something. And me overreacting about someone under-reacting is just my own fear manifesting itself.

Instead, I am working hard to just focus on my own responses. How I can care for myself + the larger community from a place of calm + anchored love.

Global solidarity from our own homes

Here’s the thing. Of course I don’t want to get the Corona virus. Of course I don’t want my family in Sweden or the States or France to be sick either. But I also don’t want anyone to become sick. Especially those most vulnerable.

This pandemic, in the most unexpected + interesting ways, gives us an opportunity to refocus, realign, and reevaluate what is really important.

Somehow we are being called to simplify, return to nature, gather as a collective family from our own homes, and just love on each other. It’s not just about ourselves during these, but about caring for each other. And, even if I feel fine, then perhaps, for right now, it’s worth it to slow down + to stay home, for the sake of others. Even if it feels like overreacting. Even if it feels silly.

We have been given a most unwelcome global pandemic. Just months after fears of war with between Iran + the US. After devastating fires in Australia. After a contentious, politically partisan impeachment trial of the President of the United States. In the midst of a global climate crisis. And alongside with the violence, inequalities, and injustices that occur in so many countries around the world.

But, how we respond matters. How we talk, what we say, how we act, what we do… it matters. Isn’t it better to be safe than sorry? Isn’t it better to slow the fuck down + think for just a moment about what is really important in life? Is it our stocks? Or is it the lives of our grandparents, parents, elderly, and sick? Is it the uncomfortableness of cancelling flights + parties + basketball games? Or is it making sure the poor + homeless + vulnerable have the care + opportunity to stay home if they are sick?

This is a call for us to dig deep into our individual souls for the sake of the collective soul. If you have the privilege to be able to stay home, do it. I am not staying home right now, because my work is calling me in to serve the students I have, as Sweden refuses to close schools. But, I am only going to work + then home again. When at home, though, when we find that are allowed or forced to slow down, let’s use that time to drop into our own souls. And to see how it is that we are being called to step up + lead right now. What gifts do we each have that the world needs right now?

It´s time to tap into our soul medicine + offer it up. The world needs us to show up. Even from our own homes.

In the midst of the fears, uncertainties, sickness, inequalities, isolations, rules + regulations… the most important thing is to stay calm + grounded. anchored. From that centered place, I will hopefully also create calm for others + remember to sacrifice my own comforts for the sake + health of others. I’ll drop into the medicine of the earth + sink even deeper into my contemplative ways.

Stay safe, lovelies. Wash your hands. And just slow down right now. Rise. Vibrate. And lead from your soul.

xoxo. liz.

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