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Our Pandemic’s Profound Invitation

If I had told you just a few months ago that we would live through a pandemic that brings doctors to their knees, creates mass unemployment, and has us shelter in place for months – you would have said I lost my mind. But here we are.

You might have lost a major life event, your job, or a loved one. You might live alone, and wonder who will be there for you should you get that cough; or you live with your cluster 24/7 and those previously mild familial annoyances now make want to scream out your window – and horrify your masked neighbors.

Wherever your pain lies, Covid-19 offers a profound invitation: to take time to grieve our losses, heal our relationships through authenticity, vulnerability and kindness – care for our physical, mental, and emotional health at a whole new level, re-examine our life purpose, and rediscover the sacredness in simplicity.

If stuck indoors, delight your senses with the colorful sights, sensual textures, and sweet aromas of your veggie or fruit salad. Gaze at a tree or the sky out your window to slow your breathing and heart rate. If you’re lucky to have access outdoors, jog on tree lined streets, find a sit spot to meditate, plant a garden with a family member – all of which are proven practices that improve health and lift our spirits.

What has most sickened us in recent times is living stressful lives, with endless tasks, oppressive traffic, the distancing from nature and each other, the poisoning of our lands, bodies and brains – all of which take a huge toll on our ecosystems and immune systems alike (are they different anyway?).

A shift from being on overdrive to practicing being in the present moment is this pandemic’s ultimate invitation.

While our human world has been turned “outside in”, Nature continues her glorious dance: the sun still rises and sets in golden hues, squirrels still chase each other around trees, and here in the Northern hemisphere, flowers spring with exuberance, offering themselves to bees, butterflies and hummingbirds with total abandon.

And with a break from the human engine, skies are bluer, waterways cleaner, wildlife more abundant in the cities and bays around the world. Whether you watch them outdoors or on YouTube, these “events” are a breath of fresh air. Pun intended!

Join me in taking comfort in Nature’s rhythms and drinking up her delicious elixir. And when life goes back to “normal”, we might remember this time of physical distancing (the term “social distancing” deserves a misnomer award!) as one of profound reconnection with our own lives, our loved ones (even if online), and nature around and within us – the extraordinary ecosystems that resides within our own bodies.

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