Promoting Pandemic Positivity – Putting a Positive Spin on COVID 19
The universe hit the pause button, literally bringing life as we know it on earth to a halt. For the first time in our history, we are being forced to remain in our homes and isolate ourselves from each other and all that seems normal and routine in our world, turning our lives upside down.
The news media is telling us to be fearful and worried. But we do have a choice as to how we respond. On one hand, we can listen to what we hear and see in the news, hunker down like turtles, succumb to the state of fear, and waste this time worrying. Alternately, we can view this as an unprecedented opportunity for real personal evaluation, change, and growth. Let’s stop to consider some of the positives brought about by COVID 19:
- More family time
Given the pace at which most of us live our lives, it is often our family who suffers most from our lack of attention and time. This is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with our family members and play games, cook meals, engage together in home improvement projects, take walks, pray, study, etc. If nothing else positive were to come out of this experience, a stronger, more solid, and stable family unit would make it all worthwhile. Thanks, COVID 19!
- Less wasted time
One thing that has become apparent during our shelter-in-place is how much time we waste on the trivial and unnecessary. Anyone who works or has worked in an office is well aware how easy it is to burn a couple hours each workday kibitzing around the water cooler, getting caught up in conversations about current events. Working from home, on the other hand, presents far fewer distractions thus allowing us to be more productive, perhaps leaving more room for fun at the end of the day. Working 40 hours outside the house gives us a built-in excuse to procrastinate fixing that thing that needs fixing or spending quality time with the family or attending to the paperwork we’ve been putting off, especially when there’s a game on TV or the health club is calling you. Thank you to COVID 19 for eliminating those excuses.
- A new “We” vs. “Me” mindset (aka the Unity vs. Separateness paradox)
Ironically, it seems when we are all allowed to intermingle in full contact with each other, we tend to be more “me” focused. How is this relationship impacting me? How do I fit into this scenario? What do I want out of this experience? Now that we are necessarily separated from one another, we seem to be more focused on the other guy. We are reaching out and communicating with friends and loved ones we might only speak to once a year on a birthday or holiday. Our thoughts are with those who are struggling, isolated, afraid. Thanks to COVID 19, we are looking beyond ourselves, becoming more charitable, less selfish.
- Money saving
With pretty much everything closed, it’s not nearly as easy to spend tons of dough on restaurants, entertainment, movies, concerts, sports, and other outside distractions that tend to drain the pocketbook. As a result, many families are getting busy in the kitchen. Not only are home-cooked meals healthier, but cooking can be fun. It is creative, a good family bonding opportunity. Bored? Watch home movies, take a deep dive into Netflix or Hulu library, binge watch that series everyone at work was talking about. And remember books? Isolation is a perfect excuse to dive into a book you’ve been meaning to read… or write!
- Personal growth
Although we can’t travel out in the world, we can certainly travel inward. For the spiritually inclined, isolation provides the perfect opportunity for personal reflection, meditation, yoga, or prayer. Without those outside influences competing for our time, we now have the bandwidth to tune in to our spirit, tap into Source wisdom, and further expand our consciousness. And if spirituality isn’t your thing, what better time to learn something new? The internet is brimming with online learning opportunities. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to tackle a foreign language, develop a new job skill, learn to draw, prep for a standardized exam, or to simply expand your knowledge of some subject that interests you. Here’s your chance.
- Reevaluate EVERYTHING
One thing we have plenty of time to do now is think. You can choose to fritter the time away worrying and being frightened. Or you could use this time to reevaluate your goals, attitudes, spiritual leanings, career, etc. Is the work you do in alignment with your heart, your true calling, or is what you do convenient or merely a product of inertia? What a great opportunity we now have to contemplate our role in this world. The same holds true for relationships, habits, and any of your old, customary ways of looking at things and how you go about your daily existence. Perhaps make a list of things you want to change in your life and try to do one small thing to implement those changes every day. As Marcel Proust wrote, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.”
- Get creative
We all have creative instincts which often get marginalized by our focus on economic survival. Why not use this time to explore your right brain creative side? Paint, write, sculpt, play music… Explore that muse that you’ve pushed away in deference to your job or career. Tackle that house project that’s been nagging at you. Paint something. Clean something. Add beauty to our world. We need it now.
- Practice cooperation vs. competition
One very apparent benefit of this crisis is a new spirit of cooperation among key competitors on the global economic stage. Companies who once fought each other for market share are teaming up to put the needs of their customers ahead of profit. Ideologically opposed governments are joining forces to share data and resources. It would seem the attitude of selfishness is softening as people reach out to assist their fellows. One very poignant aspect of our current reality is that we, as a global community, all are in this together.
- Get healthy
COVID-19 has indeed focused our attention on personal health and hygiene. Not only are we washing our hands as never before, but we are becoming keenly aware of how our personal habits and actions can impact the health of others. Wearing masks and gloves may seem extreme, but it’s what people who care about each other are doing to protect those we love. Our focus has shifted toward what we can do to boost our immune systems from reducing stress to eating better to upping our vitamins to exercising more. Never have I seen so many people outside walking and running, even in the lousy spring weather we have in Chicago. And shuttering the restaurants has opened the door to making healthier eat-at-home choices. If there was ever a time to adopt a healthier lifestyle, this is it. COVID has eliminated our excuses for not exercising and not making healthier food choices.
- Change the way you think
In her channeling of Abraham, Esther Hicks insists there is nothing more important than that we feel good, because when we feel good, we attract more into our lives to feel good about. Toward that end, become more aware of your thoughts and let go of the ones that don’t feel good. The best way to accomplish this is through gratitude. Look for and find one thing that is positive in your world every day. It could be a sunny sky, a blooming flower, the song of a bird, a smile from a loved one, the attention of a pet. Once you master the one-a-day approach, try for two a day, then one per hour. When we start noticing the things we are grateful for, the universe sends us more to feel grateful for, and before long, you’ll be living in gratitude 24/7.
- Change the world
Wow! Big job, you say. Perhaps not. It is said that as you change, the world changes along with you. We are all part of a collective consciousness, so the thoughts and feelings we are each thinking and experiencing are the individual ingredients in the bouillabaisse of human consciousness. I might be a carrot, you a chunk of celery, your cousin a kernel of corn or a pea. Individually we are tasty morsels in our own right, but when incorporated together into a tasty broth, we become something bigger, better, and more delectable. You may have noticed more and more people embracing spirituality, meditating, becoming aware, awake, and enlightened. It is therefore no coincidence that you will also notice the energy of the planet shifting at a grassroots level to be more compassionate, caring, and thoughtful. The soup we are making now is the amalgamation of what we are thinking, what we are giving our attention to, for as we know, where attention goes, energy flows. We are presently steering the course for future generations simply by what we are thinking about during any given day. Do we want the children of tomorrow to live in a world of fear and hate, or one of peace and love? The choice is ours; the responsibility grave. Choose wisely. Act bravely. Be the world you want to see.
So you see, maybe COVID-19 isn’t so bad after all. Perhaps it’s merely a catalyst to propel us into a new and glorious future?