The coronavirus has created a new normal around the world. It calls all of us into action for the greater good. In this episode I talk about how COVID-19 has changed the game and how we can move forward in challenging times.
*Full transcript of the show is available at the bottom of this page.
[Free Resource] 101 Tips for Finding Calm
I’ve pulled together 101 tips for finding calm in the chaos. Check this out for guided meditations, articles, podcasts and other free resources
[Movie] The Shawshank Redemption
Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.
Watch one of my favourite movies for entertainment and lots of juicy life lessons.
[Inspiration] Rainer Maria Rilke
Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final
No homework with this episode! You have enough to think about and do right now.
Try to let your thinking mind have a little rest. Pause and breathe.
Scroll on down to the comments section and share your thoughts….
How are you doing?
What is your biggest challenge right now in this new normal?
What gives you hope?
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CREDITS: The Being & The Doing podcast is produced by Neela Bell. Voiceovers by Jason Harris. Music is GoodMorning Sunshine by Yoav Alyagon and Firefly by Scott Buckley.
Full Show Transcript
Intro: Welcome to The Being and The Doing. Here’s your host, author, and life coach, Laurel Vespi.
Laurel: Well, hey, lovely ones. Welcome to Episode 30 of The Being and The Doing. I have to say this isn’t the Episode 30 that we had planned for you that we’ve actually recorded because the game has changed, hasn’t it? Wow! Life does not look the same way that it did even a month ago; certainly not here in Canada. So what do we do in the midst of everything being turned upside down? We have a new normal now and so the episode that we had planned was all ready to go for you for this week was on procrastination and it just doesn’t seem like it’s really the relevant topic right now. So, we’re going to kind of roll with just what’s happening.
I want to use this opportunity to speak with you about how you’re feeling and what’s happening and how can I be of support to you. I know at the best of times we do not like change and this is like the rug yanked out from underneath us because the way we did things before is not how we have to do them now. And there are all kinds of challenges that come with that, which we’ll talk about in a minute. I have to say that for me it’s sad, it’s heartbreaking to see so many places around the world and the way in which they’re struggling. And we, hubby and I, travel a lot and so, we’ve been many, many places in the world and now you see them on the news or pictures and it’s just so surreal. Like I kind of feel, and maybe you feel this way too, I kind of feel like I’m in some weird movie, this kind of apocalyptic, crazy viruses, running around the planet and we are now the characters in that movie.
But there’s also this disconnect because I see what’s happening on the news, I see the pictures, but I look outside my window and nothing looks different outside my window. My yard is the same, my street looks the same. It’s quieter, there’s not really as many cars. You still see someone walking their dog but out my window, it doesn’t look a lot different. Of course, if I venture a little further, have to go to the grocery store, that looks different. I was there a few days ago and I have to say the feeling was kind of somber, except for one really lovely woman who just had a big smile on her face and who was making eye contact and smiling, which is just such an important part of us being able to stay connected as human beings, even though we’re putting this physical space between ourselves.
So, I think about all of the lovely places that we have traveled and I see Times Square being empty, I see in Madrid, the big square in Madrid, being empty or particularly heartbreaking for us in Italy as my hubby still have relatives there and they’ve described it to us as Italy being destroyed. And it’s sad. And in all of that, we just have to find our way to keep going through this. I had a great conversation last night with a group that I coach with, a wonderful group of people that we get together. And of course we couldn’t get together in person so we FaceTime, had a FaceTime group, which was great. And the interesting comments that they were making about how they were handling this new normal.
Some of them were talking about it was like going from crazy busy, super busy in their lives to now, all of a sudden, not being so busy that they didn’t necessarily have kids in the home or having to manage that. A couple of them are work from home people anyways and so, they said they went from being like running at full speed or running very full, busy lives to all of a sudden, now, not so busy. And somebody else made the interesting comment about that what they were experiencing was, yes, now there was this space and they just kind of felt this pressure, like, Oh, now there’s this time I’m supposed to be, as she said, learning a new language or doing something and just not feeling energetically ready to take on that.
So here’s the thing, whatever it is that you’re feeling or experiencing or the overwhelm or the fear that you might be experiencing, whatever it is that’s going on for you, like, that’s perfectly okay. Because we’re all on this sort of wave of emotions and trying to navigate what this new normal looks like. Now that the game has changed. I kind of wish my parents were still here. They passed quite a number of years ago and I would have loved to have the conversation with them about how did they handle things during the war? Now, my dad, of course, was a soldier in the war but my mom was still here in Canada, doing all of the things that Canadians did. Like just being kind of call to action for the greater good.
They did things differently. They had to ration food and, hopefully, that’s not something that we have to do now in the midst of this. But they had to approach food differently. I know in their family, they took soldiers on leave, soldiers who were on furlough would come and stay at their farm, just to have a place to be. And so, I wish I could have that conversation with them about what was that like and how did they get through those really challenging times? Because this is kind of like a war and we kind of don’t know where the end of it is and we are being called to do different stuff.
It really reminds us though of how interconnected everything is. And we talk all the time about social media, things going viral. Well, we’re now actually seeing what going viral means because this virus gets passed between us and there is this interconnectedness of the virus being passed from person to person to person. But there’s also this interconnectedness of feeling from a real heart-centered space, what it is that’s happening to other people in other places in the world or knowing that the importance of us to be able to reach out and support each other, either by listening or by laughing or by whatever it is that we need to do to just keep ourselves together as social beings.
One of my favorite movies is Shawshank Redemption. And the tagline in that movie is that ‘fear can hold you prisoner and hope can set you free.’ And I have actually a large poster of that movie, it’s in my office. While you’re sitting on your couch looking for things to do, watch that movie. There are so many great life lessons in that movie. But this idea of hope and fear and one leads us down one path and one leads us down another. So I understand that you might feel afraid. These are very uncertain times and I get that. And if we can just acknowledge that and say, “Wow, I feel afraid,” if you do and then to be able to try to make that pivot towards hope.
I have a lot of hope. I understand that human beings, collectively, together can rise to the greater good; that we can lift each other up. We can do things that are hard. I know no one wants to have to be stuck at home. For some of you who might be listening that you are out of work, lost your job or trying to figure out how you’re going to pay your bills. And I know that the human spirit is one that is really powerful. And so, if we can pivot to that hope, hope is going to set us free in this. And hope is not a la-la, put a smile on your face like it’s all fine. No, it’s not all fine, but we can be optimistic in this. We can do what it is that we need to do and we can move along the path of hope.
So here in The Being and The Doing, we’ve kind of abandoned our regular podcasting schedule and there are regular topics which we do have some really cool podcasts that are already in the can but we’re just gonna set them aside for right now and I’m going to try to go with the flow and just address things as they come along. So we aren’t really going to hold to a specific schedule and sometimes I might podcast a couple of times a week and then I might wait a while so we’re not on our regular sort of every other week schedule. I’m not going to leave you with something to think about and something to do today because you know what? You are already thinking about a whole ton of stuff. I don’t need to give you anything else to think about.
If anything, I would say, ah, try to give your thinking mind a rest for a moment or two. Just allow yourself to sit and just breathe and focus on your breath for a moment and try not to think or try not to focus on your thinking mind. And I’m actually not going to give you anything to do either because I know you have things to do. For some of you, you’re trying to organize the new normal. And for some of you, even though maybe you’ve got that piece there, you might not quite be ready for stuff to do. And if you are, I know there are tons of resources out there of like cool things to do. If you are looking for ways to fill your time taking virtual tours of museums or learning to speak a new language, if you really want to do that or cleaning out your cupboard or whatever it is. We’ll get back to something to think about and something to do in a little while. But for today, no, not going to do that.
I do want you to when you go to show notes, scroll down, and leave a comment; tell me how are you doing? Like, how is it going for you? What’s working for you? What are the hopeful things for you in this? And maybe what are the challenges that you have there? When I get to see that, then it gives me some ideas about how it is that I might be able to support you, either in terms of pointing you towards resources or Hey, that would be a great topic for us in conversation in the podcast. Because when we set out in this season with this theme of being in conversation, I never thought it was going to be this conversation or why conversation was really going to be important now that we are are not interacting in the usual way that we do. So please, please, scroll down, put your comments in, whatever it is that you want to share. And I will be there reading them and responding back to you and looking for ideas about what would you like me to focus on in some of our podcasts going forward.
The other thing I want to let you know and we’re going to leave a link to it in the show notes is this crazy big resource that we have pulled together. My team working amazingly on putting this together. A big shout out to Neela who has taken on a big bulk of the work in making that happen. It’s a resource of 101 ways for you to find calm. It’s a completely free resource. Just tons of things. There are guided meditations, there are specific tips of things to do. There are links to other podcasts and links to blogs and just a ton of stuff. And I am just putting it out there. I feel grateful that my work seems to be applicable now as people are looking for ways to find calm. And so, I’m happy to share that out there and I’ll put the link there and, Hey, feel free to share it to whoever it is that you want because I just want those resources available for people when they’re looking for a moment of, how do I find calm in what it is that’s going on here?
Wow! The game has changed, lovely ones. It really has for now and then the game will change again. We will adjust to something that looks like life after this but for now, I just want to leave you with this lovely little piece of poetry from the Bohemian Austrian poet whose name is Rainer Maria Rilke. If you’re looking for something to do, read things that he’s written; beautiful, beautiful, beautiful stuff. Again, I’ll leave it in the show notes, but he wrote a long time ago, more than a hundred years ago: ‘Let everything happen to you, beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.’
Such beautiful, beautiful wisdom in four lines of poetry because we have to let everything happen to us. We can’t control so much that’s going on. It’s just out of our control. Sure, there are some things in our control and yes, I want you to do the things that are in your control, but just let what is happening, happen because we can’t stop some of that that is happening. And remember, it is the beauty and the terror. Right now, I know there’s a lot of focus on the scary stuff and all the beauty that was in the world before is still there. So when you look out your window and you see the birds in the trees or perhaps a parent and a child walking down the street or you see amazing stories on the news of people rising to the occasion to help each other and our amazing frontline responders, our healthcare workers, your grocery clerk, those truck drivers who are keeping the supply chain going, there is a lot of beauty of people rising to the occasion and doing what it is that needs to be done.
So remember, both those things are still there and just keep going. With one foot in front of the other one step at a time, we’re going to keep going and there is something on the other side of this and no feeling is final. Whatever the emotions that you’re having, remember, emotions, they come and go, they pass through us and so, whatever you’re feeling, that will also move on. But it’s a good reminder too that if you’re really struggling, if you are feeling very, very anxious or overwhelmed please reach out to someone to help you. Whether that’s someone in your family or someone in your community or whether you need professional help with that, reach out so that you can get a handle on that. It doesn’t have to be a huge downward spiral for you because there are people to help. So reach out and help and just remember, no feeling is final.
So be well, dear lovely ones, be safe. And I will look forward to reading your comments and things that you have to say when you scroll down in the show notes and I will be back soon.
Outro: You’ve been listening to The Being and The Doing with your host, Laurel Vespi. If you liked this podcast, stop whatever you’re doing, unless you’re driving, and hit subscribe, leave a review; then share this episode with a friend. Thanks for your support.