How are we coping in this time of the corona virus pandemic? It hasn’t been easy for any of us, as the ‘lockdown’ has brought many challenges. Perhaps we know of someone affected by Covid-19 – even experiencing the loss of a family member or a friend, with all its unexpected heartache.
Luckily, and I count myself very lucky, during my lifetime I’ve acquired a very substantial Invisible Toolbox. It consists of everything I’ve ever learned with regard to my personal growth and I add to it whenever a helpful new experience comes along. In times of crisis, I rummage around in it to find the right tool to help get me out of whatever dilemma I’m in.
You may wonder what is in my Invisible Toolbox:
- Positive affirmations
- Breathing Techniques
- Feldenkreis (the use of gentle, mindful movement to bring new awareness and possibilities)
- An ‘inner photo album’ of enlightening moments, to be revisited and nurtured from within
- The use of aromatherapy oils
- Dry-brushing with a natural-fibre body brush
- A detox in an Epsom Salts bath
- Cold showers
- Therapeutic gardening
- Observing nature
- Spiritual chanting
- Mindful walking… anything to raise the vibration to a higher level.
Right at the start of the pandemic, I joined a group of friends who were going to do an online ‘Deepak Chopra 21-Day Meditation’. I listened to the meditations morning and evening, carrying out the daily task and repeating the given mantra throughout the day. Focusing my mind on something positive and uplifting carried me safely through the first three weeks of the lockdown.
I believe that we are all like radio receivers. Depending on the frequencies we tune in to, we can go up or down with our mood and energy levels, creating either positive vibrations, or mental, emotional and physical disturbances, like depression, tension, stress…
A friend of mine who was not coping well with the crisis, told me recently that she’d stopped watching the daily news, as she always felt very depressed afterwards. That problem was easily remedied, but what if there was no easy solution?
Looking at people’s behaviour, and as experienced by me while being out and about, picking up medication for someone or trying to find a bag of flour
in a local shop, I detected that people were noticeably moving in opposite directions.
On the one hand, there seems to be more anger, irritability, even open confrontation, an increase of alcohol consumption, selfishness, dissatisfaction, frustration…
And on the other hand, I am also a witness to something extraordinary. People are finding a new way to be…a kinder, more respectful way of living with each other. There are huge bursts of creativity emerging, actions of kindness and compassion, a new wave of awareness and appreciation of this wonderful world.
There is no doubt that this crisis has an effect on all of us. And although there is rarely a ‘quick fix’, we have to start with the first step to turn our life around. This is a moment in time not to be wasted…but to be grasped with both hands!
Of course, my Invisible Toolbox contains the things that help me in times of crisis, but there are many versions, as we are all individuals and we have to find out what works for us.
For example, my ninety-four-year-old mother was deeply affected by the lockdown for the first two weeks. Troublesome memories of the last war caused her sleepless nights and depression. We talked about her experiences every day, letting the pain of the past emerge. She then gradually changed to a feeling of acceptance and gratitude for being alive. Her faith supported her on her way to recovery. She prayed every day, for our family and the world, lighting a candle in front of one of her religious statues. In about the fourth week she said to me, “You know, I’ve not been feeling this content for a long time”. Her words made me feel very happy. She had found something helpful in her own toolbox.
My son’s half-sister was faced with having to give birth to her first baby in New York City, the epicentre of America’s Covid-19 crisis. The hospital she’d chosen to give birth in was at that time featuring in almost every news report, as the giant temporary morgue in the car-park outside the building was overflowing with Corona Virus victims. I can imagine the kind of emotions she must have felt, driving past this ghostly-looking white tent, bodies in zip- bags being carried across the courtyard, to bring a new life, her first child, into the world. Luckily, she is a strong young woman with an Invisible Toolbox of her own, giving her the strength to face this challenge in a positive way. We felt greatly relieved when we heard the good news that a beautiful, healthy baby girl had been born and was now safely at home.
What keeps us going and gives us strength in such times of crisis?
I feel that we must appreciate the little things in life. The stuff that is totally free of charge…like observing the beauty of nature, or being creative with our time, sharing our love, kindness and compassion with one and all.
There is no easy way to keep us out of the firing line of life’s challenges. But there is a lot we can do to face those challenges constructively and positively. If you don’t already have one, I invite you to start your own ‘Invisible Toolbox’…and you’ll see, you will always be able to build a strong bridge across troubled waters.
Wishing you a safe and peaceful journey. With Love!