Coping with Challenge - some personal thoughts on the COVID-19 outbreak
It's been a week since I made the heart-wrenching decision to temporarily suspend all hands-on treatments at my Sedona massage and energy work practice. A week that has felt more like a month. With daily shifts to the new normal, upset routines and the only deadline of note on the horizon July 15th, I'm experiencing time in the way I did as a child.
Many times during this past week I wanted to send out an update and let clients know about online options for my work. But something made me wait, and I realized I needed to pause and process the immensity of what was happening. I needed to take time to let the enormity of the financial implications of essentially being without income sink in, to allow myself to deeply rest and reset. And I needed to sit with the fear of this huge shift in reality and the unknown.
I've watched myself vacillate between enjoying the spaciousness and silence, spending time meditating and walking Rajah, my dog, making simple meals, listening to podcasts, the occasional class, sitting in the sun, and getting completely sucked into the social media frenzy of constant Facebook-checking, reading alarming updates, both true and unsubstantiated, watching endless dog videos and sharing cute memes. On days of heavy social media interaction and news cycle consumption, I noticed my sleep being less restful, with two nights of (very) early morning waking, sensing into the collective unconscious fear and a pervasive atmosphere of global chaos. Thankfully, I was able to remember (and use) the tools I have acquired over my years in this field of work - balancing my energies, conscious breathing and sitting silently, watching the thoughts, emotions, body pains (aka meditation), until I come back to the present moment where life simply is.
Finally, today, having spent part of the morning hiking with Rajah and then sitting at one of our favorite locations in the red rocks, I felt settled enough to write, ready to share some of my process, and my thoughts on moving forward.
I may not be able to offer touch sessions for a while yet, but I do have a wealth of experience and expertise in the wellness field, and am grateful to be comfortable enough with technology and online platforms to have options for sharing my knowledge with others, and continuing to offer (virtual) sessions to whomever could use help with their emotional, physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.
As a dear friend and colleague pointed out, this process is been akin to the stages of grief - denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance. We are all going to pass through these stages at our own speed, dealing with our own demons and being confronted with issues specific to ourselves. For those unused to their own company, with little experience of being alone, the final stage of acceptance may be a long time in coming. But acceptance inevitably will for each of us, however slowly, at some point arrive and with it a new reality, a new way of living, a new way of being.