(Please see the end of this blog for a free resource to help specifically with coronavirus anxiety)
I’ve purposely held off on posting anything about the coronavirus pandemic and economic collapse that is rocking our world right now. Honestly, it took some time to get my bearings.
Like many of us, I wanted to respond to all of this with fear. So many things have just been pulled from our control, and burst our illusions that we were ever in control at all. Many are struggling with illness, death, loss of their job or business which could eventually shake out to loss of a home and other things.
My husband, David and I live in an oil town, meaning that not only is the main industry comprised of oil operators, field and service companies, but every other industry here is dependent upon the oil industry in order to thrive. I realize that not many people are inclined to have any empathy for oil companies, but before you smirk, please consider that the people who suffer most in an oil collapse like we’re seeing now are just regular people. They work to bring home a paycheck, to take care of their families. That paycheck may be a little more lucrative for some, but not for everyone.
All I’m saying is, our little city has been brought to its knees by the stock market, the oil price, and the coronavirus within four weeks. Like the rest of the country and world, we’re seeing our small businesses struggling to survive, so many people in food service, hospitality and transportation getting laid off. We’re also seeing oil field workers get laid off by the hundreds, and it’s just beginning.
For any of us, anywhere, we’re required to find new ways to navigate these circumstances. Some of the oldest generation may recall the Great Depression, the polio epidemic, recessions and war.
But let’s be honest, this is a helluva lot to handle all at once.
So how do we navigate these uncharted waters, where our communities, culture, health and financial well-being seem to be hovering on the brink of potential collapse?
I’d like to share a few things I’ve been doing. Because in the midst of this, I’ve managed to find peace. Keep in mind that I know how lucky I am at the moment to have a good job and be able to work from home, that my husband and family have everything we need. (Thanks to a mistake on my monthly Amazon order in February, we also ended up with enough cat treats to survive an apocalypse, a pandemic, and another apocalypse.)
We’ve had our extra challenges too. David’s mother passed away earlier this week. My job, although secure for now, is reliant on the oil industry. Our future plans have been upended and it’s requiring wisdom and intuition to know how and when to move forward.
So we’re navigating. Extending love and help to my father-in-law and other family members who feel even more isolated at this time of loss. Preparing our pantry in case anyone we knows gets sick. Eating as well as we can. Reaching out to out neighbors from at least 6 feet away. Staying in touch with our daughters, one who lives on the East Coast and another who lives out of the country. Meditating. And meditating. And meditating.
Our rules of navigation are simple:
1) Remember what you focus on gets stronger. So if we’re constantly focused on the news, the drama of social media, the idea of illness, it will breed more fear in our minds, bodies and communities. It can, in turn, weaken our immune systems. Now, we don’t tuck ourselves into a corner and hide, either. This is certainly not a time for that. But we do focus on love, on connection and community, on health. We seek out words of wisdom from wise leaders and we understand that we don’t have to be in control in order for everything to work out. We understand that “the great and terrible unknown” in life is like everything else – it’s all about how we perceive it. Is the night “dark and full of terrors”? Or is it deep, beautiful, and full of its own kind of wisdom?
2) Lift each other up. Because what is healthier to do? Love heals all things, and even science and medicine are starting to agree that a strong intention + a strong, high emotion of love or gratitude can do wonders to heal the human body and soul.
3) Create. Give. What can you create? Can you turn that into something that will benefit this world? Maybe you can sew masks. Maybe you can write something profound, or beautiful, or even funny. We take Mr. Roger’s wonderful advice for times of crisis seriously, when he said, “Look for the helpers”. And then, we become the helpers. There are a million ways to do this. We can focus on finishing that online schooling because the world will need our skills and intellect. We can make bone broth or tea or soap to help our neighbors if they fall ill. If we have 42 rolls of toilet paper, we can share them. Think of all the people who could use extra support right now. Who needs help with their grocery shopping? Who needs to just be reminded that we appreciate them? Who lives alone and needs just a text (phone call or video time is even better) today? It may mean that, for just a little while, we have to set aside our feelings of inadequacy, of being seen, or of not having enough.
Just for now, let your faith be as big as the need of your world.
A lot of people are saying, and it seems true, that what we’re experiencing is the collapse of structures that are no longer sustainable. Our governments, financial systems, religions, our separateness is failing and it isn’t pretty. And it’s okay if we experience some fear. The question I ask myself 1-1000 times every day is, “Do I want to stand in the midst of all the falling rocks, or do I want to help create something new?” It’s a no-brainer. We all have something to give, whether its a prayer or a donation or a helping hand.
*Last thing, I haven’t shared much about EFT (tapping) yet, or how it works. Some of you may be familiar with it. Whether you are or not, I’d like to direct you to a free resource that has been helping a lot of people through these various crises. You can download an app called “The Tapping Solution” through the Apple and Android app stores or their website thetappingsolution.com . On the free version, they’ve provided tapping scripts to directly help with anxiety and other issues around the coronavirus pandemic and financial issues. Please try it, it’s an amazing resource to help us find peace and courage right now, when we need it most.