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Natural Awakenings San Diego

Becoming a Light in the Darkness

by Erin Lehn

Just a few weeks ago, most of us in the United States were going about our regularly scheduled lives. Although there was knowledge of a virus affecting citizens in China, the thought of a global pandemic was far from many of our minds. My, how things have changed. Much like Dorothy in the Land of Oz, it feels as though we’ve been swept up in a tornado and spit back out into a disorienting land of the unknown, where the regular rules don’t apply.

These are unprecedented times. Naturally, we’re worried for ourselves, our loved ones, our finances, our communities. Trying to understand the sheer global impact of this virus is staggering, let alone how it’s going to affect us all for years to come. We’re being asked to stay home and socially distance ourselves to stop this virus from spreading even more. We’re dealing with unwelcomed financial hardships and an uncertain future. A trip to the grocery store feels like a life-threatening experience! The world as we know it is collapsing all around us. It’s the perfect setting for panic to set in.

Many in the spiritual community are positing that the virus is a medicine. What if that were true? What if this bitter medicine we’re all taking in right now leads us to live more heart-centered, authentic, connected lives? Will the virus eventually teach us to slow down, savor life, and relish in the things that truly matter? Only time will tell.

While we don’t have much choice in how this pandemic story unfolds, we can choose how we’re going to react to it. During this forced sabbatical, let’s not squander our time binging on terrifying news reports. That only adds to the panic. We can stay informed without immersing ourselves in bad news. If we really are being given an opportunity to reset and reevaluate how we want to engage with life, does it truly serve us to spend that time worrying, or is our time better spent envisioning a lighter, brighter future?

We’re all simultaneously spinning around in this cyclone together, and the only way out is through. There is no better time than now to focus on what brings us pleasure, soothes our minds, and ushers in love and lightness into these dark times. Spending our days doing more things that uplift our spirits will help us get into a better mind space. And once we’re in that space, we’re able to offer more joy, compassion and emotional support to others that can really use it. Here are some tips to get there:

Spread Laughter

Share the best of those funny memes, films and comedy skits. Or better yet, make some funny videos yourself! We could all use more laughter right now.

Express Gratitude

Even with all that is happening around us, we have so much to be grateful for. Get in the habit of voicing your gratitude for all the blessings in your life.

Get Creative

Creative projects give your mind something fun to focus on versus being in a constant state of fear.

Watch Happy Media

Instead of watching pandemic films on Netflix, why not hop over to the comedy section—or better yet, indulge in old SNL skits on YouTube.

Stay Present

Now is where your power lies. When anxiety strikes, ask yourself ‘what’s real, right now.’

Spring Clean

Nothing feels better than a freshly scrubbed home. It’s a great way to occupy a worried mind.

Cultivate Joy

Spend as much time as possible each day doing whatever brings a smile to your face.

What this virus is demonstrating loudly is that we are all connected. What we do, no matter where we are in the world, can have a major effect on those we encounter. Let’s start making those connections more meaningful. Let’s find more ways to spread love and laughter. With all of our lights shining bright, we’ll break through this darkness together.

Think Beautiful Thoughts

Renowned shaman Taita Juanito, founder of Finca Ambiwasi retreat center in Colombia, suggests that during these times we spend more time in prayer and meditation instead of worrying. “Be sure to see all the blessings you have and to live in harmony. To be grateful you are breathing, alive and know you are a part of nature…Be sure to think beautiful thoughts. To speak beautiful words. And to act in beautiful ways. The greatest prayer any of us can offer to life is how we treat ourselves, others and the earth. Your daily walk is your greatest prayer.”

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