As I write this blog post, I have made many changes in my life. I have closed my private practice and I have moved out of New Jersey. It’s been a busy time for me…. cleaning out my house of 30 years, packing, unpacking, and organizing my new space. Now that we are living in times of Covid-19, I have new thoughts to share with you.
As I look back over my social work career, I am struck by the times I had a client in front of me with an immediately non-solvable problem. Susan was waiting for a medical test result, and just didn’t know the answer in the immediate time. John had sent an email to his mother about their relationship, and he hadn’t heard back yet. These are not real clients, but examples of times I sat with a client in an unknowable time. The answer to the question was not apparent yet.
And I can remember my reply, “There are just times in life that we sit in the mystery of life. We don’t know the answers right now. Life just has a certain amount of mystery we all must experience.”
This is where I feel we are right now with Covid-19. We don’t know if we will contract the virus, or if friends, family, or colleagues will. We don’t know how we’ll fair economically personally, as a community or as a nation. We are sitting in mystery. For many of us, it’s scary… we don’t know the future.
I invite you to sit upright and breathe with me for a few minutes. Just start to notice your breath coming in & out of our body. Notice how your body feels. Are there tight, achy spots? Notice them. Notice how your breath affects your nostrils, your neck, your chest & your abdomen. Are you feeling an emotion? If so, where are you feeling it in your body? Stay with these emotions. Now say to yourself, “I’m living in a time of mystery. This is a time of mystery.” Notice how your body responds to this thought. Repeat……keep noticing your breath coming in & out & how it is affecting your body. Use the words, “I’m living in a time of mystery. This is a time of mystery” as a mantra. Stay with this for at least 5 minutes. When I have focused on this, I can feel my neck & shoulders relax. I still don’t have specific answers, but I feel less stressed & more relaxed.
Let me know what you think of this concept of leaning into the mystery of life. Let me know how the breathing exercise affects you. I wish you all good health & safety in these uncertain, mysterious times.