By Heather Bauer
Well friends, we have found ourselves in a pandemic that has everyone rattled to their core.
Mass chaos is reigning while the lines dividing the rich and poor are glaringly obvious, and we may have to practice some socialism (GASP) to get through this. As someone with a diagnosed anxiety disorder, practicing mindfulness is imperative and how I do that is not very traditional.
My adult offspring and I have basically been self-quarantining as much as possible for 10 days now, and I have come up with a list of things that I have done to help get through this so far.
I am sharing in the hopes that you too, may find them useful.
My yoga mat is out and unrolled, I may not do an extensive yoga practice, but my granddaughter loves getting on it with me and I do some basic poses.
I get ready for the day like I am going to school. I am wearing clothes and not living in my pajamas, Monday-Friday at least. This weekend I am being more flexible about it.
I notice in the evenings that my anxiety seems to be the heaviest. It ranges from my heart racing to feeling sick to my stomach, so I have been taking a hot bath with oils and playing Yo-Yo Ma. Water has always grounded me. Even the simple act of washing my hands can bring me back to the moment because I am counting to 20.
I am keeping my social media presence light for now. The fear mongering is so real, however, my friends and I are doing the best we can to keep each other supported through this medium, and humor is our life preserver.
Because the act of creating is how I meditate, I am writing. I also have my camera handy in case something in the house catches my eye.
I am paying attention to my breath. I tend to hold it when I am in fight or flight mode. Last night, this meant that I laid on my yoga mat, just to rest and breathe. I learned after my Dad died, that being on the floor helps me catch my breath and brings my body back to center.
I am reading. Not just light fluffy stuff (which is also fine), but stuff that is challenging my status quo. Right now, Untamed by Glennon Doyle is forcing me to really look at myself and my life. I believe I have a real opportunity during this time to evolve. I believe we all do.
I want to remind everyone that there really isn’t going to be a right or wrong way to practice mindfulness during this uncertain time, however, everything we need already resides within us. We have sat under teachers like Pema Chodron who have taught us everything we know about working with fear and impermanence.
The Eight-Fold path is an important guide during this time for me, and with a little maitri practice, we can observe and hold ourselves with a compassion that will hopefully spill over and extend to others. Get creative with your routines and hold them lightly; the idea of evolution is to be able to adapt to whatever nature throws our way, and while this is a scary time, this is also an opportunity.
I wish everyone well, may we emerge from this wiser and kinder. “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional”
Heather Bauer is 45 years old and has two kids, Nathan (22) Abby (20) and the MOST AMAZING GRANDSON IN THE HISTORY OF EVER, Lyle James. He is the moon in her dark sky. She has a wicked sense of humor and loves yoga. She mixes spirituality with a healthy dose of Buddhism and Paganism. She currently is majoring in social work at a community college in Denver. She says, “As I sit here, I think about how I fell into writing. You would think that someone who loves to read as much as I do would fall into it at an early age, but that was not so. Tree pose is her favorite yoga pose. Chubby Hubby is her favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry’s. She can’t go a day without music and her taste is crazy eclectic. She is a fire sign—Sagittarius to be exact. She has lived in Denver for 28 years and does her best every day to make the people she comes in contact with feel loved.
Editor: Dana Gornall
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