Before 2020, most of us believed that pandemics were ancient history. Having read about the black plague, smallpox, and other illnesses as lessons learned, we assumed we’d most likely never have to face such doom and gloom again. After all, science is powerful!
Not so much.
Science, as we all know it today, is relatively new, and less than 150 years old. And until mRNA developments, the way we treated viruses was less than pretty. Thanks to the process developments over the last 15 years, our ability to eradicate viruses has improved. That said, it’s far from perfect.
Prior to the late 1800s, folklore, mythology, herbology and intuitive healing practices were more popular than aspirin. Strangely, and much to the chagrin of many of today’s scientists, herbs are still popular, highly nutritious, and often incredibly effective against a myriad of health challenges.
During the 2020-21 quarantines, people realized the virus didn’t just affect their physical health, but every aspect of their lives. Things we used to take for granted, like hugging loved ones, social gatherings with friends, and collaborative meetings at work were limited, indefinitely postponed, or canceled.
As we contemplate the aspects of our lives, and coordinate all the changes we’ve had to make, many of us are wondering, “Is Covid-19 coming to a close? Are we done with this crap?! Can I finally just frickin’ go to Starbucks and drink lattes?!” *
As we prepare to emerge from our homes, stepping out of our lonely, secluded bubbles, and back into the bright, warm, light of the world, most of us understand that this is not just a hiccup. Truly, for all of us, life has changed forever.
(*) Um. Well, yeah, I guess. But, it’s complicated. And it’ll be dangerous for quite some time, largely because, ya know, science and well, the idiots who find the realities of health science to be inconvenient.
“I luv my dang intense phone and highly engineery diesel injun and all thuh other conveniences that cum outa smart people’s heads, but this dang science bill gates bullsh*t ain’t for me. I seen thru the onion! I been down the rabbit’s hole – and without protection! Jesus told me to blow at the virus soze it goes outs the window, which I did and I saw it went! All this masky fear is a big guvverment scam to make us cancel tractor-pulls, mate with farm animals, and eat our own livers! LONG LIVE JFK JR, MY CUTIE Q FOREVER!”
— Bucky Buferd, Anti-Science, Pro-Qanon, Human-Hater
We’ve All Grown Up Over The Last Year
It’s been a little intense at times, right? Many of us have struggled to thrive. With isolation from friends, family, coworkers, and adventures, little dips can turn into mopey-dopey rests, or multi-month depressions. It takes a ton of discipline to remain positive during times like these.
While many of us may have adopted a variety of wonderfully healthy new habits. To you, I say, “AWESOME! GREAT JOB!” For the rest of you, there’s probably a slew of things you’ve been doing that aren’t necessarily helping you improve your vibrations, uplifting your state of mind, or, shall we say, advancing our species to new heights.
At first, the sudden changes in our schedules felt exciting. For a moment, some of us were looking forward to slowing down, connecting with family, and growing a tomato. But over time, on some days, we probably found it difficult to get out of bed in the morning. Heck even hitting snooze can feel like a monumental task.
The best of us treated this period of time like we were at war or as if we just repelled into a 1930s kibbutz or commune. You may have begun making jams, breads, jarred vegetables, and fermented, probiotic cranberry spritzers. You may have grown sprouts, built new shelves, or had sex with your equally bored neighbor. You may even have adopted new hobbies, like painting on grains of rice or windsurfing in your mind.
Hey, whatever it takes, right?! It’s all about staying positive and finding ways to invite enjoyment and normalcy back in our lives!
Some of us have taken this opportunity to learn new instruments, pick up gardening, or even start their own businesses. Don’t be surprised after visiting with a friend or family member and find they’ve changed religions, converted their spare bedrooms into shipping centers, and built panic caves under their compost bins.
Though some people have dramatically changed their lives during their isolation, some struggle to adapt to life while living alone. If that sounds like you, you might be counting the days until you can embrace a loved one, go naked-hottubing with your pals, and socialize like it was 2019.
The growth we’ve experienced during this is not limited to hobbies, habits, and bad cooking. One study shows that 22% of us have reported gaining weight in 2020, some now struggle with alcoholism, and many more show symptoms of deeper depressions. This difficult time has caused many to reevaluate their social circles, work ethics, and priorities.
On the positive side, 2020 found many of us adopting pets, finally meeting our neighbors after 10 years, and spending 10X more time with household and family members, even the ones we don’t like!
The Challenges Of Getting Back to Normal
Here’s the thing: it’s incredibly unsafe to pretend that life is now “getting back to normal.” During any pandemic, and especially during a pandemic involving a mutating virus, we can’t make any assumptions about timeframes as related to normalcy.
When you take your first steps out of quarantine, wear a mask, socially distance yourself from others, and stay out of rooms and buildings that do not have open windows. 99.999999999999999% of ventilation systems do not defend against viruses.
As you ponder your next move, consider some of these ideas:
Forgive Yourself For Mistakes
During this timeframe, you may have consumed more junk food and alcohol than the average 18 yr old on their first spring break.
It might be that you purchased so much toilet paper, you’ve launched a new business making paper-mache angels for new-age bookstores.
You may have cheated on your wife or husband by jerking off the postman. While your mail now comes a day early, it’s quite possible that breaking this and other rules didn’t make you feel too good.
Meanwhile, all the people you love might also have made a few of these mistakes. In times of war and pandemics, it’s always best to get to forgiveness as quickly as possible. With emotions heightened and with more people feeling confused and depressed, it’s vital that you give every human being the benefit of the doubt.
This is a great time to forgive yourself and others.
A Time to Build Relationships
Keep in mind that many people throughout the world have been cooped-up just like you – for the same amount of time – or even longer. This means that almost any person you reach out to is desperate for social interactions. They might even cry when you say hello.
As you explore new relationships (and revitalize the old ones), ask them about their lives, take time to listen to their struggles, and let them know that they are loved.
This is a great time to practice sharing your compassion for all living Beings. While it may have been scary to make yourself vulnerable in the past, people will be more receptive to vulnerability, especially now that they have felt cut-off from the rest of the world.
Many people lost their jobs, some have gone through a divorce, and yet others are under an almost insurmountable amount of stress. There might even be people you know who are even facing the possibility of losing everything.
If you see somebody suffering, do what you can to help them. Something as simple as a smile or hug can go a long way.
Remember, too, that a smile shared is equal to meditation. It can dissolve pieces of your karma and bring you closer to the Divine.
Set Realistic Goals
To set yourself up for success, be careful how you fill your schedule.
1 – Don’t take on every project and idea that trips across your desk.
2 – Take a measured approach. Don’t rush.
3 – Upon every decision, be certain before moving forward.
4 – Relax your demands and expectations.
5 – Allow yourself to upgrade your priorities.
It might take you some time to start feeling “normal” again. You might also consider that there is no more normal. The past is gone. It is a canceled check. Expect a new reality.
For some, quarantine is not very challenging. You might LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE working from home and spending more time with your family. You may have also taken so much pause in your life that you’ve fallen back in love with your spouse or partner. You might even now really LIKE your kids!
If you’re ready to get back in the game, or create a new game, make a list of a small handful of daily and weekly goals. Get a schedule going.
Continue working out at home, but maybe try an outdoor class now and again.
Start moving your alarm clock back 30 minutes at a time until you start waking up at your desired time. You might consider 15 minute of meditation in the early morning, a light breakfast, and then 30 minutes of praying, forgiving yourself and others, and forming a life-plan.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
When we come to life or step out of hiding, it can be easy to see someone else’s successes and feel like we’re not accomplishing very much. In these cases, we forget how long other people have been working on something. We might not know how many failures they had along the way.
Be careful not to make too many assumptions. And never place yourself hierarchically beneath another person.
THERE IS NO HIERARCHY! THERE IS ONLY PROJECTION!
Projecting less means less fantasy, fewer disappointments, and more reality. More reality means a more grounded, actionable life.
YOU GOT THIS!
Be careful on social media. Relax before responding to someone. It’s important to remember that social media is only a glimpse into someone’s life, and usually only shows the best parts. Every person you respond to on Facebook, Instagram, and other places, is struggling in ways you might not be able to see, know, or understand.
Instead of comparing your successes to those of your friends and associates, focus on your own goals and how to gradually work towards them.
You are a capable individual and beautiful in your own right!
Remember What You Learned In 2020
Let’s face it. You were a rockstar. You rose above the sadness. You gave good thought to your goals. You shifted your habits a bit. And you made some solid headway. You broke through a few walls, you forgave a few people, including yourself, and you made some wonderful things happen.
YOU did this. YOU! GREAT JOB!
Remember all of the coping skills you developed in 2020. Take time to look inwardly and reflect on who you’ve become. If you’ve started to practice meditation or yoga, GOOD ON YA, MATE! Please continue working on these things to clear your chakras and energy centers, and expand your awareness and self-love.
Create a doable schedule for all these things, commit to it, and you’ll expand your life!
Try Something New
Instead of heading out and picking-up where you left off a year ago, tell yourself: IT’S TIME TO BEGIN AGAIN. It’s time for a REBIRTH!
A few ideas!
1 – If you have a cat, dog, goldfish, or pet rock, I’ll bet you’ll find a MeetUp group that’ll tickle your fancy and heart – and make you feel all warm-fuzzy inside!
2 – Start guided meditation or yoga class! Online to start – and when it’s safest, you can join a few in-person classes – but only in highly ventilated rooms and buildings.
3 – Examine your job and profession. Are you in the right position or field? Can you grow here? Do you have some other ideas? If so, get to it!
4 – After spending so much time away from everyone else, it can feel daunting to get back out there and immerse yourself with others. Think about how a butterfly emerges from a cocoon after spending a long time developing herself. During this time, you’ve grown in more ways than you know. It’s not time to be fearful, but time to spread your own wings and share the new you with all those you meet.
Rituals & Prayers
Find time for rituals and prayers, which you can find on my website under Free Resources. Dive deeply into your nature and learn who you truly are. Expand your heart by forgiving everything, including each of your mistakes.
With daily prayer, meditation, and rituals, we can establish protective spheres around us and create pathways for light to move into our hearts, minds, and lives.
Once in a while, find time to serve others and pray for others. This invites The Universe and all the divine Beings to nourish and support you.
Remember how powerful and wonderful you are.
Love yourself, always.
MAY ALL THE BEINGS, IN ALL THE WORLDS, THROUGHOUT ALL THE REALMS, BE HAPPY!