It’s been an interesting week. I had a final paper on sacred space to finish for my class on East and West Wisdom Texts. I had several clients in town for meetings. I’m juggling some staff working in the office and other staff working out of the office. And all the while I’m still asking myself what I want to take with me to the other side of this pandemic. Seeking perspective, wisdom and trying to stay grounded, while worrying whether to wear I have to wear my mask and what I did with my gloves as my car is low on gas and I have to (shudder) touch the nozzle on the gas hose at the gas station to fill it up again.
Driving home from my studio last night I see plumes of smoke rising into the sky. Looking online, I see that the Everglades has thousands of acres on fire and that containment is 0%. The winds are picking up, the air is thick with ash and the kind of choking smoke that makes your sinuses burn and your throat hurt. I check with a few family members in the area to make sure everyone is safe. My brother-in-law invites me to grill marshmallows at their house, which is closer to the fire than ours. Doesn’t every family have that member that makes you want to laugh and cry at the same time?!
What I realized in that moment was that frankly, my coping skills are compromised. I have already felt stress from the perm-anxiety pervading our lives as humans on this planet during this time of pandemic. As a result, I am coming into every additional stress less well-equipped than usual. Ah, truth.
And then news came in that there were fires cropping up everywhere, and even around the area we live. To my mind at that time, it sounded like arson, so far from where the big fire was scorching the Everglades. And so like a crisis-addict, I watched the news (remembering suddenly why I never watch the news anymore), stayed up too late, worried about my family, my studio, my house, and the cat that has gone missing. I fell into bed, almost afraid to sleep, for fear of what kind of potential loss I might wake up to this morning. Someone or something was threatening my sanctuaries!
But you know what I woke up to?
Birds singing. The same kind of morning as many others. Nothing earth shattering. Yes, there were still fires burning but all of those others that seemed like doom last night were not even on the lips of the reporters or in the headlines. The fire fighters had worked through the night and they were making slow but steady progress.
I remembered that this is a remarkable time.
Then I remembered that I am a remarkable person. And that I have sanctuary as a lens through which I can see the world.
So when I woke up early (worry does this to me), I finished my paper, paused to clear my head and my energy, had an extra cup of coffee and took a shower. I stopped to create a really delicious, healthy breakfast. I called my mom to check in. I made a point of picking a particularly pretty dress to wear. I stacked up my arm with LOVEThirteen bracelets and headed in to face the day.
We have to do what we must and what we can.
But we must give ourselves and those around us an extra measure of grace.
An extra measure of leeway.
What does a remarkable person do in a remarkable time? Breathe. Pause. Get grounded. Laugh. Sit on the floor with the dogs for a few extra minutes. Eat something delicious because delicious matters.
Be in sanctuary.
What do you do when the going gets frantic? I’d love to hear. Heaven knows we all need inspiration, so please share.
Sending you love, understanding, and oh so much gratitude for your courage and bravery during this most remarkable time,