March 31, 2020

The Coronavirus is a Time-Out. It demands that we Stop, Pay Attention, Be Still.

I’ve had these dreams lately where everything is out of control.

Two nights ago, it was an avalanche, and last night, the gas pedal stuck to the floor.

I know I’m afraid and not alone in that fear. Will I run out of food? Will one of my family members get sick? How long will this last?

And, what happens when I’m asked to sit still?

Like a freight train off its tracks, my mind is frantic:

Do I have an itch? Should I change positions? Suddenly, I’m more uncomfortable than I’ve ever experienced in my life! The second day, when will this be over? How many minutes do I have left? I hope someone calls. I am hungry again. 

This carries on for another week to 10 days—the monkey mind desperate to distract, trying to make sense of things, do whatever it takes from feeling anything.

After day 13, it’s quiet. There is stillness. The earth says—stop.  

A virus from a creature she created, she is forcing us to sit still. Connect with our families, be home with our animals, and remember the most important things in our lives. Is it any mistake the only place we can go is outside?

Right now, all we can do is be still. Be still with our hearts, with our feelings, reflect on the way we live our lives.

She demands, everything now needs to stop. 

Stop hurting each other, stop polluting the air, throwing trash, and hurting ourselves.

A pandemic knows no borders; she isn’t saying stop to one country or one group of people; she doesn’t care if you’re black, white, or brown. She’s silently just forcing us to pay attention and stop. 

Pay attention, be mindful of the moon, understand and be humbled by our vulnerability. Be still and remind ourselves of what we value, sing on balconies for our love for one another—because it is only through separation that we learn to appreciate what we have taken for granted. 

Our ability to see the stars, our freedom to breathe clean air, have children, and play outside. We’ve destroyed more than we have been given, hurt more than we have saved, and let our egos run wild with greed and corruption.

This is our global time-out. It’s time to stop. 

It’s time to get still and listen to our hearts. Calm our minds and create safe spaces in our homes. If this pulls us to the brink of despair, let us learn from addiction to hit our bottoms and figure out how to move forward in peace and harmony as she intended.

All we know is that this pandemic is forcing us to stop.

A virus from the oldest civilization on Earth, the ancient ones. What better teacher than a pandemic? What other force would cause such a universal, non-discriminating disruption as this? To force us to work together. To teach us, we all sit under the same sky. 

The world needs a time-out. 

Time to re-center and remember the cells in our body and the dirt under our feet that make up this life. At the end of the day, it won’t matter where you work, what you drive, or how much money you have. We are all just cells and leaves on the ground. How we value that is up to us.

This lesson, infecting only human beings, is for us. Like a mother who scolds her children—this stillness is for us. 

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