Who knows where we are heading? Who knows how fast we will get there? Who knows if the air we breathe down the long, dusty country side roads is filled with virus and contamination? As the pandemic shuts down the world around us and fear escalates, we can turn toward healthy mechanisms or not so healthy. We can drown our fear in bleach and wine or a number of other numbing and toxic options. Or, we can turn inward and trust our bodies to fight harder, we can arm our inner voice with an amplifier... to blast a message of strength so loud it drowns out our doubt. If we stop, if we give power to the fear, if we take the path of numbing, our journey will only get darker because we handed over the reigns of our anxious minds. We will be afraid. We can choose courage. We will have to return to that courage over and over and over again.
It's natural to want to withdraw and retreat from life when there is so much out of our control. Yesterday, I started slow... overwhelmed by what was coming, all of the answers I didn't have. While not in full panic, the old me who often experiences bits of anxiety would have been. Why am I so much calmer now in the face of a pandemic? I've been training my inner voice. I've been strengthening my spirit and I've been using alternative means for cleaning and healing. I've been trusting the world and the people more, opening more to love and letting go of what doesn't serve me. What doesn't serve any of us? Allowing fear to drive the car.
So, the plan for this morning was a 6 mile run. Having recently overcome a two week flare up of my IBS and IC, I knew that was pushing it.I was afraid of this run, let alone a deathly virus. Yet, something inside knew I'd be starting my day with accomplishment and that's a gift. Around mile 5, it was clear that the route we were on was longer, hillier and more demanding than I'd planned. Not once, but twice after a steep hill, my group had to circle back to me. At times I was afraid they wouldn't and I didn't know my way back home. Yet, here these conditioned runners returned. I thought I'd die, which is pretty ironic and not lost on me mid-route as I contemplated the very real loss that Coronavirus has taken on our planet. The cramps were stifling, my legs were starting to seize up and my mind was running wildly in the wrong direction.
It kept yelling- what are you doing? What would happen if you just stopped right now? Why didn't you bring your phone? Someone could pick you up! What if the girls don't circle back and I fall more behind? What if I get lost or if I bother them for holding them back? So many doubts. With each one, I practiced self compassion. I softened my stomach the best I could and I breathed. I moved my feet forward. This conversation is parallel to what many of us are thinking as we navigate the uncertainties in our world. Yet, if I let them keep coming, I would have probably made it to the final stretch of the run, but I'd have done it in misery. We can continuously circle, round and round like a boxer with the negative thoughts or we can continue to breathe and seek beauty.
Just like that, I softened my inner words. I forced myself to look around. I saw the sun reflecting off of a pond beside the road. It was glowing amber and smooth... calm. In contrast to the dark, barren trees, the pond was radiant. I began to notice the blue of the sky, the undulating breeze. A few cars offered a thumbs up as I followed the pack... dutifully willing myself on. One of the runners began to encourage me. She said, "LeeAnn, you are doing so great." These little signs appeared just as I took the attention outside of myself and focused on the beauty, the good.
We are all in this uncertainty together and we can crumble (we likely will in moments) or we can do the work now, to come out of all of this a little bit stronger and more steady. Today, I am grateful for the ability to run, in the open air, with friends who will turn around and support me when I need it. I am grateful for the beautiful country we live in and the strangers who will encourage us when we put forth the effort.
I went home and made my favorite shake with peppermint oil to recharge me. I took a bath with an amazing combination of salts and oils. I layered copaiba and deep blue and lemon grass on my achy knee and sore muscles. I drank a ton of water and I felt so much more at peace than I did when I left the house this morning. This is how we get through this- together- with an eye on the bright side and action... just a little bit of self empowering action. We can do this.
#faith #healthyminds #togetherness #community #meditation #spirituality #wellness #doterra #friends #nofear #onedayatatime #anxiety #empowered #emergence #courage #vulnerability #beauty