Now and not yet
Updated: May 21, 2020
It’s been a couple of months of altered reality and we're not out of the woods yet. In fact, it looks as though we’re in for a protracted season of living with the virus and its aftermath. In some ways, the impact will likely be permanent.
How does that sit with you?
For many people, and for many different reasons, it’s a lot to ask. The early days of “we’re all in this together” and wearing our willingness to “stay home and save lives” like a badge of collective honor have faded.
We’re tired. We’re bored. We’re out of ideas.
We want to go back to work. We want haircuts and manicures.
We want to eat in restaurants and watch movies on the big screen.
We want something to look forward to.
We want to travel and visit and gather at concerts and churches and stadiums. We want to watch live sports on TV.
We want to make plans and move on and claim our future.
We want what we don’t have and we’re having a hard time with that.
I'm having a hard time with that.
How about you?
In my coaching practice I focus a lot on the practice of Radical Acceptance. I refer to this as a foundational practice because not accepting what’s factual and unchangeable is a major obstacle to our healing and growth. It’s a trap we’ve all fallen into at some point or another.
Some of us, quite regularly. I include myself in this because non-acceptance is something that can easily snare me if forget to check my wishful world-view against the cold hard facts.
The past couple of months have provided me with many opportunities to sharpen my personal practice of Radical Acceptance – a practice that asks me to make an honest assessment of what I’m resisting (Is this something I can control or is it something I have no power to change?) and to experiment with what might happen if let go of the illusion that I can somehow control the uncontrollable.
This is what I’ve discovered:
I can waste a lot of precious energy wishing and hoping and kicking and screaming in defiance of a global pandemic.
Shifting my mindset from “I WILL NOT LET THIS HAPPEN” to “This is happening - and the only healthy response is to adapt to the demands this virus is making on me and the world around me” is a declaration of freedom. Not from the virus, but from the futility of thinking I’m exempt from this thing that’s happening. This thing I can’t control.
When I radically accept what I can’t control my perspective changes. I see possibility where, moments ago, I saw constraints. I experience creativity instead of stagnation. I feel hopeful instead of stuck. And I have the energy – mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual – to do and be and create and grieve and work and have fun and solve the solvable and rest and read and learn and love.
Looking ahead, the lasting effects of covid-19 will be with us for a long time. And in these relatively early days of an unfamiliar future it’s important to be proactive in preparing ourselves for the path forward.
We need to be resilient and nimble. We need to heal from the initial crisis and prepare for the changes that lie ahead. We need to be gentle with ourselves while remaining alert and responsive.
But here’s the thing: We’re more prepared than we know. We have a lifetime of learning, adapting, initiating, and succeeding behind us. These are our strengths. They’ve carried us through lockdown and they’ll carry us through whatever comes next.
With a little help.
Which brings me to this: I’m inviting you to an on-line group conversation about how we can make the most of our strengths as we move into the short-, mid-, and long-term phases of managing the direct and residual effects of this pandemic.
We’ll take an in-depth look at what it means to be resilient.
We’ll shine a light on the obstacles to acceptance and our ability to adapt.
We’ll practice the art of reframing – tweaking our perception of something that appears to be a problem so that it becomes an opportunity.
We’ll create an action plan that will allow us to protect our overall health and well-being under acute, ongoing, and cumulative stress.
I’m offering this opportunity in exchange for a donation to a local charity of your choice.
For the start date, duration, and time go to the homepage of my website.
If this interests you, please reach out to me:
Also, pay attention to my Facebook page for updates on this and other offerings and events (and give it a like while you’re there).
And spread the word! For logistical reasons there will be a limit to enrollment, but for now it's wide open.
In the meantime, breathe, stretch, pray, cry, get outside, turn off the news, lean into your support network, reach out to someone in need, and protect your health. And if you’re looking for some reassurance that all of this is possible, take some inspiration from these people, for whom the demands of covid-19 is an opportunity to put their strengths to the ultimate test.