There’s no denying that we are out of routine. You know this.
On a daily basis, your limits are being stretched to cook more, become a teacher, and rely solely on yourself to create your schedule. In addition, you’re learning to do things you probably believed you would never have to (or even want to) do. As a yoga studio right here in Dayton, Ohio, we’re still working on what these changes mean for us.
On a personal level, you’re working through finding the new norm. And perhaps you’re finding peace in that. But then you receive reminders on how not normal this all is. You see it on every commercial, social media posts, and have friends coming out of the woodworks to check-in on how you’re doing. While you’re trying to find the new norm, you’re constantly being reminded of how out of the norm this is. So which is it? Should I be finding comfort in my new norm or should I be upset that I’m out of the norm?
The confusion becomes pervasive and alas, the pull of social conformity nags at you—even in times of turmoil and vulnerability. How should I be handling this? What should I be feeling? How do I find peace in this all? As if someone else has the answer. And it’s a grave mistake to believe that someone else has the answer for you. In fact, it can be very dis-empowering. It can leave you in what Zoom calls ‘the waiting room’. That place where you’re just waiting for someone or something else. In our particular situation, you may be waiting for this all to pass, or some kind of sign to tell you where to put your energy.
If there’s one thing I know to be true, it’s wherever you put your attention, that is what will grow. Another thing I know to be true is that the last time I checked, you still have responsibility for yourself. This is a very difficult thing to remember when decisions are being made for you. It may feel like a lot of your choice is being taken away. And to some degree, it is. But it leaves you with a whole gamut of other choices you can make. So don’t forget that.
How to Find Peace
In order to find peace, it becomes a question of where you want to put your attention. I’ve been noticing the following for myself:
- Indulging in what I don’t know raises my anxiety. So I stop this behavior as soon as I notice it.
- Focusing on what I do know keeps me grounded. I try to remember these things throughout the day.
- Reaffirming the things I am certain about or that I believe in reminds me of who I am in all this. Super important when all the shoulds start to creep in.
- Gratitude reminds me that I have enough. This keeps me from wanting to take all the toilet paper (I didn’t do it, just so you know).
An example of how these all interplay may be helpful. As you may know, thoughts often feel jumbled together. So let’s assume I go for a hike and I pass another hiker. I have this jumble of thoughts:
“I don’t know how (person I just passed on the hiking trail) has quarantined, so should I turn my head as I walk by? After all, I don’t want to contract the virus, but let’s face it, I’ve probably already contracted it, and I’m over it. And even if I did contract it, I would be fine if I got it, but then I risk transmitting it to someone else, but I’m not even in contact with anyone else. I’m hand sanitizing all the freaking time and washing my hands and wiping down surfaces so there’s no way that I could even contaminate something else with all of the hand sanitizing. But maybe I don’t know? If there are supposed to be 100,000 cases because Dr. Acton says so then certainly… No, I’m not going to turn my head, because I want this person to know that they’re still a person, and I’m still a good 5ft away, and I know that I have taken the proper precautions, and I will continue to take the precautions even after this walk. And I’m going to trust in this person that they took the precautions too.” Phew.
Anyone else?!!? Or is it just me? The train of thought and fear takes over on a daily basis and I must catch myself.
I DON’T KNOW ALL OF THIS
I don’t know how (person I just passed on the hiking trail) has quarantined, so should I turn my head as I walk by? After all, I don’t want to contract the virus, but let’s face it, I’ve probably already contracted it and I’m over it and even if I did contract it I would be fine if I got it but then I risk transmitting it to someone else but I’m not even in contact with anyone else, I’m hand sanitizing all the freaking time and washing my hands and wiping down surfaces, there’s no way that I could even contaminate something else with all of the hand sanitizing. But maybe I don’t know? If there are supposed to be 100,000 cases because Dr. Acton says then certainly……
I DO KNOW THIS
I know that I have taken the proper precautions, and I will continue to take the precautions even after this walk.
I’M CERTAIN OR BELIEVE IN
No I’m not going to turn my head because I want this person to know that they’re still a person. And I’m going to trust in this person that they took the precautions too.
Whatever stands out. If we look at this situation, I’d be grateful for a healthy immune system, being able to be outside for my mental and physical health, and simply being reminded that I’m not alone by even seeing another person.
You’re going to feel a lot in these times. As humans, it’s normal to grapple with change.
So how should you be handling all of this? However you need to.
Trust that you know what’s best for you while maintaining awareness for the greater good.
What should you be feeling? Yes. All of it.
But eventually, notice if you’re indulging in feelings you don’t need to anymore.
How do I find peace in all of this? You may not.
But if you are able to find peace, be sure you aren’t feeling guilt for that. Holding onto fear or panic does not mean that you care more. It’s a gift and part of our daily yoga practice to surrender and find peace within. Don’t take it for granted if you are able to get to that place, because not everyone will. Hold the peace for those that can’t.
Sending so much love and light to all of you.
Justina and the Ignite Yoga Team
If you want more daily tools to find peace, check out 4-7-8 breathing.
Want more from the author? Follow on instagram @justina_sanford