Staying grounded in a pandemic   

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image via http://kristypace.com/

Dear Readers, how are you managing during these ultra-stress-filled days of pandemic across our world? I am sending each of you copious amounts of calm, emerald green light, silver light of healing, and crystalline light of clarity to help fortify you as you navigate the days and weeks ahead.

My own mental, emotional and physical bodies seem to be continuously cycling through stages of calm, feeling grounded and able to handle the latest news cycle, to experiencing the effects of stress and anxiety on all levels, and then eventually cycling back to peace again. This is happening at least daily, if not hourly sometimes. As the situation becomes more extreme and challenging, we will all be stretched in ways we probably didn’t even know we could be—and it doesn’t feel good! My physical body is certainly feeling very uncomfortable and in pain in certain areas. I’m not ill, and don’t have any symptoms of the coronavirus, thankfully. Yet, it is extremely disconcerting to hear what news reporters and government authorities are telling all of us. Within the past 48 hours, Spain and France have been put on lockdown and quarantines are in place for nearly all their citizens. Today (Monday, March 16, 2020) here in the United States, the president announced that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that no groups of more than 10 people gather, people refrain from going to restaurants and bars, and practice social distancing (standing at least 6 feet from the next person). This afternoon, the city and counties around San Francisco went into quarantine, as the mayor asked all residents to stay home except for getting essentials like food and meds. The greater San Francisco area has around 7 million people. New York city likewise has gone into quarantine, with all the normal activities of that metropolis coming to a standstill. One by one, large cities across the United States are following suit and it is very likely that nearly all of them will be in quarantine status very soon.

I think it is not an exaggeration to state that almost no one alive on our planet today has lived through a time quite like the current pandemic. Surely, many millions have lived through horrific wars, intense natural disasters, and epidemics of various kinds over the last decades. But there is something unique about the spread of the novel coronavirus that is leaving millions of us in shock and awe. It feels like we are in a bizarre, dystopian reality show, which is being written by the human collective minute by minute.

Dear Readers, part of the mission of this blog is to encourage you to find the interrelatedness between us all and the natural world. To make the connections we have to each other and Mother Gaia as strong and as compassionate as possible.  To inspire you to dig down deep into your heart and soul for answers to life’s perplexing and confounding problems. At this pivotal moment in time, we have reached a true crossroads. This coronavirus pandemic is asking each of us, and all of us, to fully grasp how utterly connected we are with one another and with our planet. We are being challenged to go beyond the old paradigm of separation and to see with new eyes just how profoundly we are one people who share it all—down to the very smallest living particles in our bodies. This is a moment. We, who are willing to see clearly, must understand that this virus pandemic is forcing us to confront this truth, and let down our egoistic self in favor of raising up our collective self. In our mandated “social isolation” from one another, we have the tremendous opportunity to reach out in every way we can imagine—in the virtual world of conferences, classes, church services, human services, workspaces, as well as entertainment, sports, shopping, and socializing.

How creative can we be in the face of crisis; the pandemic is asking us. We already have excellent examples all around, both of generosity and pettiness. What of the Tennessee brothers who bought up tens of thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer to sell for inflated prices on Amazon.com, only to be told they couldn’t do it? They ended up, shame-faced, donating them all to the greater good. Or the lyrical story of Italians who, unable to come out into the streets like they are accustomed to do, instead opening their windows and balconies to sing together? People across the world are helping each other in ways small and big. Many thousands of health care workers are dedicated to helping the sick and infected, at possibly huge cost to themselves.

It has been said, it is only when confronted with an emergency that the best in human nature presents itself. Therefore, Crisis is also an Opportunity. I believe this is a moment when we can each choose to find our core strength and courage, when we can step up to the opportunities presented to us for showing compassion and love in the face of adversity. We have a real chance now to lay down the old games of greed, selfishness and pettiness. Life is giving us a new gameboard and we can make up new rules for how to live on Earth. All the things we have been dreaming of—a world based on freedom, love, truth, justice, peace and goodness—are within our grasp. This pandemic could be our grand opportunity to create the new rules moving forward. We don’t HAVE to return to the old normal once we’re on the other side of it. We can forgive transgressions now, we can live justly now, we can give generously now, and build on that momentum moving into the future.

Dear Readers, I encourage each of you reading this post to dig down deep and find your true strength and reason for being alive on the planet. What are you here to do? What are you living for? What kind of world do you wish to build for your children and great grandchildren? This crisis moment can show us in stark terms that not only is a better world possible, but it can happen with lightning speed. In just one month in China, because manufacturing came to a standstill, carbon emissions were cut by 25%. That is an enormous amount of pollution that didn’t occur in a very short period of time. We have the solutions to the problems humanity faces. Perhaps, a year or two from now, we will collectively be able to see the real path to solving them as one of the great learnings from our current pandemic.

Please take all the precautions you can at this time to keep yourself, your family and your community safe. Keep calm, be brave, and shine your light for all who are still in the darkness.

Keeping calm in times of crisis

When crisis comes, it’s critical to remember the calm center within, and hold onto that light for yourself and others.

Happy March 2020, Dear Readers. February was filled with intensity, crisis after crisis, and where I live, winter storms that came one after another. The world is now facing a pandemic via the outbreak of the Covid 19 strain of Coronavirus, which at the moment has entered about 60 countries, affected nearly a hundred thousand people, and killed several thousand. I’m not gonna lie, this is seriously scary news to deal with on all levels. Headlines over the weekend stated that people in the United States were buying up face masks in an effort to protect themselves, and the head of the Center for Disease Control has urged everyone to stop buying them, as fears increase that public health workers may not end up having the protective equipment they need in order to do their work.

In a moment of collective anxiety over the transmission of a potentially deadly virus such as this, it is easy to forget that humans live amongst all kinds of germs, viruses and bacteria 24/7. True, the vast majority of them don’t have the potential to kill us as we walk around in our daily lives. The past week brought the whole subject of germs and hygiene into sharp focus for me, so I thought I’d share a personal story with you.

As it happened, my eldest daughter who is in her mid-20s, became very ill with nausea, vomiting and severe intestinal pain early last week. After having a miserable night of suffering, her boyfriend brought her to the emergency room of our city’s central hospital the following morning. She spent most of the day in the ER, as the doctors took samples of blood and urine, and did a CT scan to figure out what was going on with her. They also gave her strong pain medicine, put her on IV drips for dehydration and antibiotics, and took turns coming into the room to let us know what they had found out throughout the afternoon. Turns out she had an unusual presentation of an appendicitis, along with extreme inflammation of her upper GI tract, which was obstructing the normal flow of her colon, causing severe abdominal pain. That evening she was admitted to the observation floor of the hospital, and moved to a room where nurses watched over her, administered medicine by IV and injections, and did what they could to make her comfortable for the following three nights and days. A surgical team of doctors checked in with us each morning, giving updates on her condition as we waited to see how she responded to the very strong antibiotics she was being given. Because of all the inflammation surrounding the appendix, the lead surgeon felt it would not be wise to perform an appendectomy right away. It became a waiting game as they sought to determine whether they should operate and remove her appendix. So my daughter spent the week in the hospital bed, suffering through many hours of pain, diarrhea, nausea, and just generally feeling pretty awful. She was not allowed to eat or drink any fluids for the first 24 hours, and then only allowed food, after two days of fasting, for a few hours before they restricted any more, thinking they would do exploratory surgery the next day.  Many more hours of no food nor drink followed; however, the doctors eventually decided not to do the surgery after taking a second CT scan two days after the first one.

My daughter is very fortunate in that she has a loving, caring family and friend group who were with her, often in shifts, throughout her hospital stay. I came each morning and stayed with her through the day. Her dad and sister came in the afternoons and stayed into the night. Her boyfriend came in the evening and stayed, sleeping in the lounger chair next to her bed at night. Friends came, bringing flowers, cards, various kinds of food and drinks in hopes she could eat and drink, told stories and made her smile. Slowly, her pain lessened, the inflammation was reduced, and by the end of the week she had improved to the point that the doctor put her on oral antibiotics and finally released her from the hospital.

This week was one of the most stressful I’ve experienced in many years. It was so unnerving to not know what was happening inside my daughter’s body and whether or not the doctors would perform the surgery, since it seemed they kept changing their minds. There were frustrating communication gaps between the lead doctor, her team, the nurses and the night resident who would come and give conflicting information to us. For the first part of her stay, every time a nurse or nurse assistant would come in the room, they put on disposable suits and wore masks over their faces. Only after a couple of days did we find out that was a precaution because they didn’t yet know if she had a contagious infection. Once the lab results came back negative on that, they stopped wearing those suits and masks each time they came in. Then there was the worry hanging over the atmosphere of “germs being everywhere,” while I became obsessed with handwashing and sanitizing everything I touched, like door handles, toilet flusher, faucet handles, and every surface became suspect of possibly holding harmful bacteria. I got so deep into the anxiety of germaphobia that I’d come home from the hospital at night and take off everything I wore, took super-hot showers, and started worrying about possible germs lurking in my own apartment. This past week was an In-My-Face example of examining how my thoughts contributed my state of consciousness and emotional state of being. The more I focused on the frightening germs that seemed to be everywhere within the hospital, the harder it became to remain calm and strong for my daughter’s healing process. I had distinct moments when I held my hands over her torso and tried with all my might to energetically suck the sickness from her and give it over to the healing angels whom I knew were also there with us in the hospital room. I believe it helped her somewhat to be in a state of prayer and meditation around her healing, along with all those antibiotics they kept pumping into her body. I know healing works on all levels—physical, mental, emotional and etheric. But for me personally, the most difficult part was fighting the irrational fear that kept cropping up of catching the bad germs that were all around us.

This personal story brings me back to the original point of this blog post—the Covid 19 epidemic that is sweeping through the world, and especially the collective fear that its presence is bringing so palpably into focus. For so many centuries of our collective memory, we have fought epidemics of one horrible disease after another. The fear of death and suffering through contagious diseases is still alive within our DNA, so how can we best fight those fears and evolve beyond them? Because that is exactly what we must do now. Dear Readers, I don’t have a solid answer to these concerns, other than to keep realizing that we are powerful beings of light having a human experience in these most extraordinary times. We must trust that kind, helpful, smart humans are all around us, helping those of us who become ill. The angelic realm is always here, ready to help us as soon as we remember to ask for support. The vast majority of the time, we do have the strength and courage to look our fears in the eye, and realize that fear is the old acronym—false evidence appearing real. We are powerful, and the more light we can gather, ground and radiate out to the world, the more inoculated we become against the world’s ills and disease. So, as the past week showed me so clearly, the most important thing we can each do is to keep calm and do what we can to be the steady presence for others, no matter what arises.

 

I see your courageous spirit and honor it

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It takes courage to compete in the school spelling bee!

In these days of corruption, constant shocks and upsets, each of us need to call upon our inner warrior of light. Like the heroes of popular culture, we must go within and conjure our brightest, most courageous selves to come forward and lead. We are collectively in the midst of an unprecedented learning/ teaching moment—through the power of compassion, heart bravery, and deep listening to one another, we are growing our human “movement of movements” toward a new epoch for humanity and Earth.
Dear Readers, what a messy, chaotic and exhilarating moment it is!

Every day the national and world headlines are filled with examples of people standing up and speaking truth to power. We applaud their bravery and empathize with the repercussions of those acts of courage. Some are chastened, others repressed, and sadly, some pay the ultimate price of their very lives for taking decisions of extreme moral courage. Yet, if we pay attention to the people in our very own daily sphere, we see that acts of bravery are all around.

I’d like to give you an example of ordinary children displaying courage from my own life. This school year I am tutoring children who struggle with reading in an elementary school outside of Denver. A month ago, I volunteered to coordinate the school’s annual spelling bee. Having never organized one before, I had quite the learning curve of how to pull off this minor feat. Fortunately, through the help of a few knowledgeable teachers and the kind-hearted principal of my school, I managed to check off all the moving parts, finalize the contestant list of 22 students, hold practice sessions, and arrange for our bee to happen.

Finally, the day for our spelling bee arrived. At 1:30 pm, a group of parents and family members were seated in our cafeteria on one side, rows of nervous student contestants on the other. There were 22 students ranging from third through fifth grade, all of whom had cleared the 85% correct score on the written test they needed to compete. I sat at the table with three judges, all teachers from our school. Our principal acted as the MC and Pronouncer (the one who gives the spelling words to each student). She did a fabulous job of setting the tone—this is fun, it’s practice, and if you wish, you can use this spelling bee as one of the amazing extra things you did in elementary school this year!—for the students. Each student wore a name badge, and took their turn introducing themselves to the audience and judges. First we had a practice round as a warm up to help them get used to the protocol of answering—“olive: O L I V E: olive.” Then the rounds began. For the next 45 minutes the students competed, taking their respective turns at spelling increasingly more difficult words. Slowly, students spelled a word incorrectly and were out of the competition. After seven rounds, only the top two spellers remained. Then came the final, nail-biting round of spelling. If one student missed the word, it went to the other to attempt the correct spelling. If they both got it wrong, another word was given. This continued for about 10 minutes as we all watched intently to see who would be the ultimate winner. The finalists were a fourth grade boy and a fifth grade girl. They both did an extraordinary job of staying cool while concentrating on their mental puzzling out of the spelling words. In the breathless finish, the girl spelled incorrectly, leaving the boy to give the correct answer and the prize of first place in the bee. Afterwards, congratulations were showered upon not only the top finalists and winner, but for all the students who competed in our spelling bee.

Watching our students competing today, I was struck by the degree of bravery they each displayed by their act of showing up, standing up, spelling the words to the best of their ability, and stepping away when they failed to give the correct answer. There was an undeniable feeling of pressure on each of them to perform well, to give the correct spelling, and to concede defeat with grace. Each student performed admirably, showing all of us adults that doing something difficult can be an inspiring, courageous act and one that they can be proud of accomplishing.

Dear Readers, in these extreme and uncertain times, I encourage you to take notice of where and how you act courageously in your daily life. Who in your sphere inspires you to be brave? And just as importantly, who do YOU inspire to be brave? There has never been a more urgent need to notice and celebrate courage and compassionate action than right now. Keep calm, stay steady, and keep on going. The world needs your light, kindness, and your moral courage.