I recently came across a video of a young lady named Robyn Schall rereading her new years' goals for 2020 (she wrote them before she knew Covid-19 was about to let loose).
-"Make more money" she laughs, (she's been unemployed since March),
-"Travel more," she continues,
-"Lose weight," she giggles while pointing to her chin.
-"Be more social" (at this point she's howling with laughter).
-"Spend more time with Grandma," (who sadly passed away).
Her video was the tragically familiar story of many during this shit-tastik year and perhaps a signal of our need for resiliency (and a little humor) to get through tough times.
When covid hit, I might have temporarily lost my sense of humor and the word "pivot" became my mantra. I lost my retreats, my corporate gig and suddenly I was trying to keep the lights on in the studio. Time with my aging parents in California was now not an option and the concept of "time" took on a new preciousness when we lost Joan, my sweet mother-in-law.
Covid regulations in Switzerland were constantly changing and I pivoted to try to stay relevant in a competitive market and keep my business alive under the rapidly changing conditions. Keeping my community healthy was priority number one and I had to figure out how to teach a quality class, keep my participants (and myself) well and how not to breathe too deeply into my microphone for my Zoom participants. Like a whirling Dervish, I pivoted through these constantly changing conditions. Like many, by the second wave, I was starting to feel dizzy, exhausted and slightly (un-Dervish like) discouraged.
With talk of a third wave and so much uncertainty still ahead, I am aware of how much I rely upon the stability and simplicity of my practice. I'm not striving for perfection in my yoga or meditation, but I just show up every day, in my own imperfect but consistent way. The voice of one of my most influential teachers, S.N. Goenka, rings in my head (in his thick Burmese accent), "Start again. Start again" Each day, I start again. Start again with my habits of self-care.
If I can inspire you towards one thing in 2021 it would be to "start again" with your habits of self-care. Imagine you are charged with your own care and you are determined to do a good job of it. How would you treat your one precious self? Would you make sure she/he got plenty of good rest? Some time in nature each day? A little less time reading the news? A little more good healthy food? A connection with a healthy community? Kind and gentle thoughts...keeping harsh judgments to a whisper? What would be your plan for caring for this dear being? You might ask,
"What habits could I add and what could I remove to take care of this one precious life?"
Keep it simple. Write it down. Then, create those small steps to put it into action.
To quote Mary Oliver, from her poem, The Summer Day:
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"