Just a week ago, I was saying to a friend, “All I have is time.” That statement is such a huge contrast to what I typically feel and say, “I never have enough time!” In an instant, so much has changed for all of us, and we are all responding and adapting to this change in pacing, rhythm and how we use this time.
How are you responding to the time that you have been given?
I noticed that it was challenging for me to just carry on as I did before, do the same things as I did before shelter in place was implemented. This was because I was not able to do the same things, but also because this time felt simultaneously urgent and precious, and this time has given me space to make different choices. This time is definitely limiting my options and, therefore, my attention is being placed on other things, highlighting aspects of my life that I might not have noticed before.
This is exactly what our practice does for us. Our practice reveals, over time, what we have been attending to and what we have not been attending to. It gently nudges us to feel, notice, and find other parts of ourselves that we may have forgotten.
I feel so grateful to have this new space in my life because I am remembering to make different choices with my family and with myself, and I am choosing not to waste any precious moment in spite of the underlying feeling of unknown and uncertainty.
The following is a list of 10 things I have been doing with the extra time that our communal quarantine has provided, and maybe you are finding yourself doing similar things, too:
1. I am really noticing spring. I sit and gaze upon the trees in our yard that are just budding and blooming. My husband is the one who always brings my attention to this time of year and takes me for a walk outside to see all of the daily changes that are occurring in our yard, but now I am more inclined to go outside every day to see these changes. There are so many amazing changes every day in the nature around our home!
2. For the very first time, my husband, son and myself took a bike ride around White Rock Lake. For fourteen years now, we have lived just 5 blocks away from the lake, and yet we never have done this until now. We have all agreed to do this many more times together.
3. I feel so well rested. Prior to this coronavirus pandemic, I would typically take a nap everyday for 20 minutes, but the past two weeks I have not needed to nap. I am actually sleeping until my body wants to wake up and I am going to bed when my body needs to sleep. I am getting the sleep that I need.
4. I am playing the piano every day. I have played the piano since I was 7, and throughout my life playing the piano has brought so much comfort and joy. However, for the past 10 years there has not been so much piano playing. I am really enjoying this time to remember my love for playing this beautiful instrument.
5. One of the most surprising gifts I have received during this time is that I am reconnecting with students from years ago, those who have moved away or haven’t been able to make it to the classes I teach in Dallas. These old friends and students are now able to practice with me, all together again, online. Community is being created in ways I never imagined.
6. My son is expressing to us daily how much he misses school. I never thought I would ever hear him say that.
7. A new daily happening in our home is that my husband, son and I have a mid-day routine of eating lunch together, followed by a walk and then 30 minutes of reading time. This mid-day ritual has become our favorite time of the day. Taking the time in the middle of the day to relate and share together has been so meaningful for all of us.
8. In the past two weeks, I have talked on the phone, texted or zoomed with more friends, family and students than I ever do in any given month (maybe in any given two months!).
9. My family is laughing a lot together, being silly, being spontaneous and being more relaxed together. Our son reflected to us, “you guys are not as stressed as you typically are.” I didn’t even know I was as stressed as I was until there was space to be anything different.
10. I am trying new things, like Pranashakti classes with Dr. Deb in Austin, TX, and Gaga classes online with teachers from NYC and TelAviv. They are both so much fun. Here are the links if you want to give them a try.