Our collective breath…

There is a rhythm and a pattern to this world we are living in right now. We are going through phases, and I am noticing that the phases are repeating themselves. The coronavirus pandemic has brought new stresses into our homes, into our televisions, into our jobs, into our bodies. We are surrounded by it, yet it is invisible, to most of us. For the most part, our home worlds remain unchanged. We may come and go less, there might be more of us around than there normally is, but for the most part, inside our home things appear as somewhat normal. On the surface I mean. This must be tricky for kids to understand.

Underneath it all, we are experiencing a global reality that has many similarities. We are more focussed than ever on our health, our relationships, our families, our mental well-being, our children, our parents. Yes, we are having financial and work stresses unlike anything I have seen in my lifetime. But underneath that layer, we are all paying attention to our health, relationships, mental well-being, our families, our sanity, maybe more than we ever have before. I hope.

I am sensing that as a human race we are breathing… for the first time all together. It feels like the breath fills us up to the point of contraction. This is when we see so much of the not so encouraging side of humanity, of ourselves. The tension is high at that point. But we can only hold there so long and then something has to give. And then we let the breath out with a loud collective sigh, because we feel like we can’t take the stress anymore the way it was. The exhale feels so good. It allows us to relax, decompress. We cut people some slack, chalk it up to fear bringing out the worst in people, the worst in us. We relax into that and remind ourselves to be gentler with ourselves, and with the people we see around us who are struggling. We know we are doing our best, and we are reminded that other people are as well. I find this time of collective sigh is a relief. We put down our expectations and stop resisting what is happening. There is an acceptance of what is.

But I guess these things are always changing and moving. Because it is not long before I feel the collective breath drawing in again and filling us back up. There is a rhythm to it. Like the breath has. Like the tide has. And it stretches us to the point where it feels as if we might break, and then we don’t, and it doesn’t, and we relax into what is again.

We are all so different in how this is affecting us. Our situations are all so different. Our stressors are all so different. Every conversation I have with people is an eye opener for me in terms of the different affect this has on every single person. We are all so individual, yet at our core we are so alike. Our needs are so alike. But there is no one answer for everyone. Strength is found in different places for all of us. We are one group of human beings but there are smaller groups within that who manage this global event very differently. There is no one fix for everyone. How we choose to take care of ourselves in this time may look very different to each other. There is no one right way. There is just a right way for you. We can share, commiserate and support. But at the end of the day we each need to figure out our own map for getting through this pandemic still intact. Acknowledge our similarities, allow for our differences. Find your recipe for living safely and well in these times, and make sure you take extra care. We need to. Take strength from places and people that speak to you, leave the rest alone.

I have taken to making lists. This helps me feel like a I have a sense of purpose and something to turn to when the hours seem long. I need something to remind me of the things I love to do, some things I need to do, and some new things I would enjoy trying. It gives me a framework so that my mind does not just drift into the vortex of anxiety that it often can.

Please share with us here what kind of tip, trick or ritual you are doing now to keep on track in the way that you want to. What is helping to ground you right now?

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