I’m a fan of The Morning Show on Apple TV starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell. If you’re not familiar, it’s a great fictional drama. It’s a bit of “art imitating life” that follows a thread similar to Matt Lauer’s fall from grace. Season two has just begun set in New York City in January 2020. Watching the show cover the introduction of an unknown respiratory virus, I can’t help but shake my head. The show perfectly captures the naiveté of North Americans as the first chatter that Coronavirus could be a threat of concern starts to bubble up.
I remember the first time I heard of Covid, when I went to take another teacher’s early morning yoga class in late January 2020. Some of you reading this were there that day too, and might remember me asking “what’s this you’re talking about? What virus?”.
I’m not going to talk about “new normal”, because what is normal anyway? Constant change is actually what is normal, not status-quo. One of my favorite authors, Carolyn Myss, says "Habit is the hell to which people cling in an attempt to stop the flow of change." If you are someone who has difficulty processing change, that may be a hard pill to swallow, but there is truth in her statement. After all, attachment is the root of all our suffering, according to Hindu and Buddhist philosophies.
So now how about this angle: what if we take the approach that right now, we are moving out of basic survival, and moving into thriving again? Let that word thriving roll around in your mind for a minute, maybe even whisper it to yourself. Doesn’t that feel good?
When we feel intrinsically that we are moving forward in the right direction, our brains release a hit of dopamine. That feel-good rush we get is our brain’s way of encouraging us to keep doing more of that, like giving a puppy a Scooby-snack for learning how to sit politely. Think of thriving as your Scooby-snack, and let’s find more ways to get some!
Shift your focus to your future. Resist the urge to keep replaying past events, especially if you felt you suffered. Anxiety generally arises from one of two patterns of thinking: living in the past and angry about or resisting what has happened; or living in the future, imagining our worst fears finding their way into the light. This is where the value of the concept of living in the present moment becomes so valuable; it’s the only real moment there is.
Thriving. Your life can be completely different in just one year (or less) if you take brave action to do the things you want to do to improve it.
I’ll share a quick story now because it might help you: this week I was flipping back through my journal to the notes I made a year ago. I was shocked at how much has changed for me and how much strength, resiliency and focus I’ve gained over the past year. On October 13, 2020, I wrote these words: “Remember this day. Remember how overwhelmed and exhausted you were, how you knew things were about to change for the better and it was exciting and scary. Remember a year from now.” When I reread those words, after feeling like the last 12 months weren’t all that remarkable for me, I was astonished. After all, in a year that seemed mostly house-bound and rather quiet, I had these ‘gold stars’:
⭐️I grew my following of students for Yoga in the Park
⭐️I ended an off-and-on relationship
⭐️I moved to a new home in a new state less than six weeks after thinking “why not, seems like where I should be”
⭐️I got a new car - to be exact, the car I've been dreaming of owning since I was 12 years old
⭐️I registered for college, which starts this Monday
⭐️I moved through some heavy emotional stuff with the unexpected death of my ex-husband from Covid (or as I like to call these kinds of things, “character building events”)
⭐️I booked a trip to Italy to see one of my closest friends for this month
⭐️I booked a trip to Hawaii where I will finally be able to spend time with my parents, after 2 1/2 years apart
⭐️I have a lifetime-goal “wanderlust trip” to Bali on the books with a group of amazing women planned for next June
⭐️Just this week I put the wheels in motion to reunite with my sister, my mom and my uncle in Paris next fall for my sister’s 50th birthday
⭐️I wrote a book - something that is part memoir / part self-help guide for anyone who needs it, and it’s ready for publishing!
But WAIT - didn’t I just say this was the year when “nothing really happened”?! There were also a hundred or more other things I did, created, tried and discarded because they weren’t a lasting fit for me, but I still did them!
My October challenge - my October invitation to you - is this: dare to imagine your life and how you want it to look now. What does that look like for you? Move out of the energy of basic surviving and into thriving again.
I can’t emphasize enough what the power of having a clear vision and intention creates. It doesn’t mean we always get everything we want, nor on the schedule we want, but it does set things in motion to create our reality. With some help from the universe (as I call it - or your guiding lights / angels / God) and a resilient attitude we WILL keep moving forward. We WILL BE better than before. If you need a quick way to map out your vision, see my blog post “Soul Food” from March 2021.
You are here for a reason; your soul is meant to be here and grow through these challenges and find your bliss.✨