A question I’ve been asking people lately is this: “How have things changed for you since the pandemic began?” Often I get a list of all the things that have been hard – and yes, there are plenty of those — or a puzzled look. Yet whether we are essential workers or have had the luxury of more time, how many of us have paused long enough to notice the small and large shifts? More importantly, are we missing opportunities along the way?
“Major life changes are stressful times full of uncertainty… but we are freed up to practice new behaviors without interference from established cues and our habitual responses to them,” says author Wendy Wood. “Discontinuity forces us to think. By making fresh decisions, we act in new ways – ones that may work better for us.” As old ruts are trampled, we can forge creative new paths.
For me, the past several months have been a sometimes harsh, but always loving disruption to what I knew before. I have released habits, tweaked beliefs, picked up new creative pursuits and shifted the pulse of my days. It seems now is a good time for all of us to pause and reflect on the past few months. Here are a few positive changes that I’ve noticed in my own life…
Slowing Down – The first and biggest change happened at the height of the quarantine, when I had paused all my writing/women’s circles and private clients. One day, as I was rushing through something, I realized that if I slowed down, I would need fewer things to fill up an otherwise empty day (and yes, I’m so grateful that I have choice and time; many others haven’t been as fortunate). So I not only slowed each task, like mopping the floor, but literally doubled the amount of time it usually took me to do it. I figured it would be a fun game to play. The shock was that as I doubled my task time, my pleasure also doubled.
Being productive is hardwired into me. More efficiency is often the goal, not less. But the more I silly putty-stretched out my days, the more I realized that’s the pace where I bloom. That’s where I experience my moments, rather than mindlessly checking them off. It’s where my humanity and heart catch up with my doing.
Movement – I thought I was “allowed” (hear the inner taskmaster) only one period of exercise a day. Once done, I could cross it off the list and move on. However, once I started really listening, I realized that my body wanted a lot more movement. In fact, she wanted it all day long. So I experimented to see what would make my precious body purr. I began limiting time at the computer. Toggling between sitting and moving activities. Riding an exercise bike with a desk attached as I answered emails. Walking several times a day. And basically moving into the rhythm that my whole being wanted, not just my task-oriented brain. As those habits shifted, I fell into greater alignment for what this human needs.
Cooking – I have always cooked (ish). But a desire to eat really delicious, healthy food ignited a passion to heat up the kitchen daily. I have experimented with “grab bag” subscription produce boxes (What is that giant, bumpy set of greens that resemble lizard skin?), slow cookers and exotic spices. The recipes sometimes fly, sometimes fail. No matter. I am having fun and my body and family feel honored to have so many new flavors to savor. A happy side effect of this new habit? Easily dropping over 20 pounds.
Creative Purpose Projects – Like so many others, I too have had a book (or several) percolating in the background. But it wasn’t until my daily structures began shifting and time began opening that those ideas floated up again. At the beginning of the pandemic chaos, I did not have the focus or energy for a big creative project. But as my thinking slowed and I scaled back on creating new business programs, my slow, curious, wonder-filled, possibility-oriented mind has arisen. Daily writing and daydreaming is now the norm and my book is slowly taking root.
Overall, our inner and outer worlds have been changing. When we ride the bumps without looking for the beauty, potential is lost. Sometimes all we can do is have compassion for ourselves and our many stumbles, and that’s perfect, too. Yet when we lasso and shape the upheaval, if only every now and again, then there’s a chance that the life we wanted all along can emerge…
So, how have things changed in a positive way for YOU during the pandenic? I’d love to hear from you — let me know in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
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Creative Soul Seasonal Women’s Circles
August 27 to November 19, 2020
via Zoom, open to women wherever you live!
Now more than ever we need to connect. Imagine a place where you are grounded with breathing and poetry, where powerful writing prompts take you deep into your own guidance, and where you share wisdom with kindred spirits in intimate groups. This is where we not only find support through turbulent times, but inspiration and laughter, too. Doors open to the Creative Soul Seasonal Circles in about a week. Stay tuned for all the details…
Inspired Momentum Writing Circles
Some of us have been super busy during the pandemic; others have had time to slow down and re-imagine possibilities. Perhaps a book has been calling you? Or sharing your views in a blog? Maybe you want to start expressing intense feelings in poetry? Regardless of your prior experience or genre, there’s a place for you in our writing circles. This fall the offerings have been simplifed to make it more accessible to join us. If you want more information when it becomes available in the next month, pop me an email HERE.
Spring Retreat in Taos: Greening the Creative Spirit
Mabel Dodge Luhan House
April 4 to 9, 2021
with Carolyn Scarborough and Sharon Zeugin
One can dream, right? Assuming it is safe to travel by then, our annual retreat is set for this spring. So put the dates on your vision board, mark it in your calendar, keep it on your wish list and stay tuned! For more details, go HERE.