What strange times we live in. Our life has changed dramatically, certainly in the short term, but possibly in the long term too, perhaps forever. We are slowing down, we are creating time to consider what we need, how and with whom. This, difficult as this might be for some people, is necessary.
For many, what we are going through has been part of their daily life for one reason or another. I have been paying a lot of attention to them, and putting into practice all I have learned in my various retreats. These are the things I have been telling myself (this is not advice, mind you, we all have advice coming out of our ears!):
- Don’t attempt to keep normality. These are not normal times and we should all have time to adapt, mourn, feel sad and frightened.
- This also means that you should not expect to be productive in the way you were before the quarantine. You might end up painting the living room, but don’t set yourself up for having to achieve anything during confinement.
- Integrate contemplation in your new life. See this partly as a gift.
- Create a new routine for yourself, whatever it might be. We might be here for longer than we think … I don’t mean getting up at 6am to do yoga (I have reverted to Spanish times!) but creating times when work and rest are separated, when you completely switch off, when you take care of yourself.
- Speaking of which, take care of yourself. Mind your food, mind your exercise, mind the activities you do to be happy. Add some nourishment every day.
- Confinement does not mean isolation. Connect with someone every day. Maybe get in touch with one person you have not spoken to in a while, or catch up over tea with co-workers, or co-practitioners.
- We don’t know the consequences of this new way of living, what being on screens all the time is going to do to our physical, emotional and mental health, what this new pace might mean for us, so listen to yourself and do what is appropriate each moment and each day.
- Keep positive, but surrender to uncertainty. You have no idea whether that trip in July will happen, whether you will be able to India in October. That is OK. Try to approach any challenges calmly. Fear, while important to acknowledge, will only make things worse.
I am so happy to be in touch with you. If you have anything you want to share with me about how you have been coping with confinement, please do. I am really learning lots, even without intending to.
You are all on my mind though, and this period, so far, has really been one of rest and recovery for me. I am much better, and now I have the capacity to reach out and help anyone who needs it. If you want pranayama one-to-one, a listening ear, a creative partner, or just cup of tea over Skype, let me know.