March 15, 2020

The Toxic Fear of a Pandemic.

As the Coronavirus dominates our cultural consciousness, I have been contemplating whether other pandemics and mass outbreaks in other centuries were caused by just the physical condition, or whether fear and panic truly made the situation what it was.

I think for most people, when we think of other times when larger percentages of the population were killed, we think about the power and immensity of the illness, and we think less about the emotional state of the people and how that effected the spreading of the condition.

Bruce Lipton has shown the hard scientific evidence for how our reality and gene expression is caused by our beliefs. There have also been studies showing that heart failure and death can be caused by emotional heartbreak, like through losing a soulmate, and how sheer terror and shock can cause heart attacks. Most people reading this kind of article know that stress causes a weakening of our immune system and that fear is not a good emotional state to be in for days or weeks on end, let alone even an hour.

And for most humans living in this relatively civilized world, we expect and have come to subconsciously take for granted a certain level of safety and of having our basic survival needs met. So we focus on other challenges and points of growth, such as career success, developing relationships, creativity, and spiritual connection. We try to manage stress and fear in these endeavors in a mindful way.

Rarely are we truly challenged to deal with fear and the unknown related to survival. It’s a reminder and perspective shift that many human beings in our world do face these circumstances regularly, but if we generally have our survival needs met, we grow to expect these things to be consistent and don’t give them much thought or gratitude.

But when our expected survival needs are threatened, our primal nature drives us to create safer, more stable conditions. When our ground is shaken, we resort back to instinctual and even more animalistic behavior, going into fight-or-flight by default. However, in times of uncertainty or crisis, trying to feel stable and safe is mostly like trying to grasp an illusion. And when there is nothing solid to grasp, our bodies stay in fight-or-flight.

What humans technically know that animals may not is that we have no control over the unknown. We can try to prepare, but ultimately, we cannot prepare or protect from any and every what if. This causes fear for most, because we desperately want to know, to be in control, to anticipate, and to be one step ahead.

While I write this living in the center of Manhattan—”the city that never sleeps”—it is shutting down and more barren than I have ever seen it. Store shelves are empty of any kind of basic essential. Shops, studios, restaurants, and events are being closed and cancelled. People on the subway are wearing masks and gloves and trying to keep their distance. I’ve never seen anything like it.

And as much as I am censoring any media I choose to open, I am still being inundated by this saga in my email inbox literally every 10 minutes.

This is a challenging time, and I believe a test of spiritual capacity to surrender to the unknown. Probably 20 different times today, I’ve been pulled off my center. And each time was an invitation to blow and release the fear out of my body and mind, knowing that being in fight-or-flight mode serves me in no way. And I practice returning to love, to knowing I am actually completely fine in this present moment, and to hold that space for others.

Relationships, businesses, personal aspirations, work, and so much more are being impacted right now. My first thought is to write they are being negatively affected, but I don’t know that that is true. Firmly rooted perspectives are being uprooted and turned upside down. Often, that turns out to be helpful. People who were not allowed to work from home before are now being required to. Events that were scheduled in person are now being held online, which changes the dynamics and details involved. Maybe these adjustments are a big silver lining.

As much as I want to keep working and go about my daily life the way I was, perhaps that was not working in some ways. This is a redo moment. A non-negotiable reset button. Right now, we are in the pause. We are being called to rest, to stop, to go inside—situationally, metaphorically, and spiritually.

So how do we make sure that forced stop is truly restful? How do we turn away from fear, anxiety, and stress? We stop feeding ourselves with what is making us nervous, and we take mindful and intelligent precaution and make sure we are stocked up without over-doing. We can turn within and ask ourselves, What is important? What do I need to take care of now, and what really isn’t that important? Then we take action, get it done, and release that action phase.

We accept we’ve done what we can do and change our inner landscape. We can pay respect to mother nature and her power. We can sit on the floor, or even better the earth outside, and feel the stability of the ground beneath us. We can let that ripple up into our body like we are gathering heaps of healing earth energy into our bodies.

We can send prayers to those in need. The vibration of prayer is powerful and healing for us just as much as whom we direct our attention to. We can send thanks and gratitude for our health and robust immune system. We can focus on the fact that we are fine, safe, and healthy right here in this moment. Gratitude works miracles.

We can use this opportunity to reconnect to ourselves, to reconnect with those in our homes and those whom we love most. We can rekindle our childlike nature and play in our newfound free time. We can build a fort and read novels curled up in blankets until we doze off. We can go walk and bathe in nature. We can draw, paint, or color. We can use our imagination to create a vibrant, new, peaceful, kind world.

These things are all healthy and healing for our nervous systems. We are being given a chance to change the way we think, amidst the chaos. We can take the reins over the part of reality that is in our control and be the master of our own mindset and beliefs.

Once you have prepared, make a conscious decisions to pull out of fight-or-flight. Do not stay there. It’s toxic, and it doesn’t help your situation.

The collective consciousness needs more people in the vibration of love and trust right now. We all can choose to be one of those people.

Be loving toward yourself. Engage in things you love in a safe way. Bask in the sun and warmer weather that is coming. Be loving toward others.

This is how we thrive.

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