Endurance and Freedom

When the COVID-19 pandemic first began in the U.S., I remember lots of discussion around how it would be over in just a few months. My “spidey-sense” and understanding of the 1918 pandemic led me to believe we would be in the experience for a longer time. 

While I held that view intellectually, I couldn’t know then what it would feel like to be in a marathon, rather than a sprint, in terms of coping with the pandemic.

What is being asked of us now is really a test of endurance. Do we have the patience to restrict our activities in a way that keeps ourselves and others safe? Do we have the strength to face our anxiety and fears in a steady way? Can we cope with the disruption  that forces us to spend more solitary time with ourselves, rather than being distracted by activity? Can we acknowledge the grief we feel about the loss of the world we were accustomed to? Can we look forward with hope to a new and reimagined (and better) reality?

Viktor Frankl, the famed psychotherapist who spent years in concentration camps during the Holocaust, famously said that no person can ever lose “the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

We each have a fundamental right to live our life to the fullest degree possible, even with restrictions,  compromise and loss. I am not saying it is easy, but I am suggesting we can find freedom. Just as we can create  a “prison” of thoughts in our minds, we can hold the key to unlock our cell and realize liberation. 

I am finding ways to pace myself as I move through an array of emotions on a daily, almost hour by hour basis. It is a strange new feeling for me, as I typically stay pretty even-keeled. I am using the skills I have learned, particularly through 

meditation, to be curious about these reactions and explore them with a little detachment and bemusement.

Most importantly, I am choosing to see this pandemic experience as a challenge, not a catastrophe. I am excited about the opportunity to virtually throw the doors of the Sattva Wisdom Center wide open.  I am thankful for the technology that allows SWC the freedom to reach friends and “neighbors” world-wide with experiences to enrich our lives. 

As we navigate this global event, we have more in common than ever before. SWC is here so we can connect in community, support each other, and lift one another up. 

We can’t wait to welcome you!

With love and light,

Denise

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