Use This Time as a Reset
I hope everyone is feeling well.
I’d like to urge all of you to consider using this time to reset how you approach and live your life—as an individual, friend, spouse, son/daughter, sibling, parent, employee, employer, etc.
Revisit your goals, and make any changes you want to make, and then get back up on the horse. Start now. Today. Right where you’re at. Right now, right here is always a great time and place to start.
Create a new schedule for yourself. Get up at the same time every morning, and go to bed at the same time every night. Floss, gargle, and brush at least twice a day. Make your bed every morning. And do all of it really, really well.
Schedule phone conversations and zoom meetings with your friends and family members. Engage with those you can’t see or be with as often as you’d like to.
Practice how you wash your hands. Create a routine for it, and then practice doing it mindfully and the same way every time. As an exercise, practice not touching your face with your hands for as long as you can. Make it all fun, and do it as an exercise. Over time, it may become just the way you live. I learned these kinds of things from practicing the Al-anon program.
Take time to immerse yourself in a new exercise program. A program you can do basically anywhere in the world. Since most gyms are closed, be creative. Years ago, I chose to make the whole world my gym. While I’m waiting in line at Whole Foods? That’s where and when I drop down into an Asian squat. While I'm waiting at the pump while my truck fills with gas? That’s when and where I stretch my calf muscles and perform hundreds of calf raises. While taking the steps? I never just walk up the steps; I bound up them—usually two at a time.
Take time to cook your meals and enjoy dining with your family members.
Listen attentively to those you love and care about. Give them twice the amount of time you typically give them so they can really share with you how they’re doing, what they’re feeling, etc. To quote my friend Augie Turak, “Sometimes, it's in our own best self-interest to forget about our own self-interest.”
Enjoy the quiet (and distance from others you’re practicing and feeling). Begin to approach life during this time more monastically. While my faith is Christian, the way I practice my faith has been bathed in Zen practice. Enjoy the quiet, embrace the silence, live more monastically (monk like)—and benefit from it. Many of us are so busy, we’ve lost so much heart and fallen out of touch with our interior lives. Now's a great time to “reset” this and begin to live more quietly, more mindfully, more heartfully. Use this time to get your heart back. To help you with this, start asking yourself some really significant questions. For example...
What about life makes me come alive?
What activities do I engage in that enable me to lose myself in them?
Where time just seems to disappear?
Where I’m totally immersed (100%) in what I’m doing in the moment?
As you rediscover these things, immerse yourself in them, and invite your heart to come back to life.
Spend time in nature. There’s something about the deep experience of nature that's intensely and uniquely soul filling. Being outside is a wonderful venue for getting your heart back.
Some other things to consider...
Sit with your fears about things (for example, with getting the virus, with a family member getting the virus, with your stock portfolio tanking, etc.).
Sit with your feelings, and don’t run from them.
Sit with the rawness and uncomfortableness of them...until you’re no longer afraid.
A very powerful quality to develop in your life is the ability to no longer be terrified of your own (and others') feelings. Use this time to develop this skill. I guarantee, it will serve you well the rest of your life.
We'll get through this—I promise! And, once we reach the far shore, we'll be more noble, focused, open-hearted, and lovingly kind because of it.