When my kids were quite young (6 and 2) their father and I decided to take them for a short camping trip. We choose a campground that was on the outskirts of Moncton, NB, involving only a couple of hours of traveling – not too far away for this first expedition. We bought a tent, gathered our camping gear, packed the two of them, toys and car seats and blankets and food all, into our red Bronco II and headed for the campground.
Our afternoon was full of fun and games. The children enjoyed the playground and splashed in the pool. Supper went well, everyone was hungry and everything, even canned Irish Stew, tasted better outdoors.
When it was time for bed we took the children into the tent, wrapped them in their special blankies, and began our evening sleepytime ritual. Our plan was to get the kids to sleep and sit around the fire for a couple of hours.
That is when my son announced, Okay, let’s go home now.
No, Mike, we are going to sleep here. But where’s my bed?
You have your blankets and your pillow, try to go to sleep. But I need my night light.
Okay, let’s read a story (I get out the flashlight to read the book). But Mommy, I can’t go to sleep here.
Nobody slept that night. We were waiting – tent, and camping gear and kids and toys and car seats and blankets and food all, in our red Bronco II, in the parking lot of MacDonalds as the morning staff arrived to open the doors for breakfast at 6am.
What is my point? Well, by now, I think our patience with physical distancing is wearing thin. Having time off work is old news. Watching tv and surfing the net is getting boring. We are well-rested and (at least for some of us) our house is cleaner than it has ever been. Pets are so well attended to that even they are wondering when we are going to leave.
As this crisis creeps closer to home, we are beginning to become restless. We need to get outside but are afraid of what waits for us there. We must get groceries. Some of us must have medications. Kids are beginning to whine and fight for recreation.
Even those of us who identify as introverts are becoming a tad bug-eyed…
We want to go back to the way things used to be.
Here is how I see the difference:
It is different when we choose to stay inside. It is different when we consider our home a retreat from the world, not a fortress against the world.
We feel like we are a boat without a rudder, floating along on an unknown sea, and we are reaching the point where the growing wave in front of the bow begins to break.
When will I be able to go back to work? How will I pay my bills if this goes on much longer? Holy crap, what if my company goes under? Or my investments go down the toilet? Should I take the kids outside to play? My mom is in a nursing home alone. This virus has no cure…
When the going gets tough, the tough get going…
This pandemic is a serious threat. If we don’t practice physical distancing and adhere to the protocols as outlined by the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, more will die. This is not a possibility, it is a probability. It is wise to be deeply concerned and to act like we are contagious and don’t want to spread this virus to anyone else.
Creating a home Sanctuary means providing an oasis of wellbeing for us and our families. This is a dedicated practice for a peaceful warrior. We become relentless in our pursuit of peace. We practice with the 5P’s in mind: Fearless faith, focus, and fortitude.
It involves active engagement, nurturing the body, mind, spirit. It involves opening doorway #2 that leads to enhancing our immune systems and mitigating stress through conscious, healthy consumption. Open the door and discover the good things of life.
I invite you to consider these suggestions as you endeavor to fill your mind and spirit and body with good things:
2. Active Consumption
Media: Perhaps it is time to limit our consumption of the news? Remember the saying, If it bleeds, it leads…applies to media. To back away from social media? To stop reading about and joining in the discomfort of others? To stop sharing complaints? To actively use the wonders of our online connections to others to share what you know will give them a boost?
Food: Be strategic. Shop for groceries once per week to lessen your chances of spreading this contagion. Make a comprehensive list. Pick foods that are high in nutrition and give you value for your money.
This is the perfect time to stretch your groceries out by eating less. Practice the Japanese way of eating called Hara Hachi Bu. This means eating until you are no longer hungry, not eating until you are full. There is a world of difference. In North America, we have been conditioned to eat until we can no longer eat another bite and believe this is beneficial. All of the longest-lived societies in the world practice some form of calorie restriction. This is part of the eating practices in what has been described as the SAD diet (Standard American Diet), which applies to all of North America.
Conversation: This is the perfect time to Facetime with friends. To meet on Zoom or Skype. To share your support and encouragement with someone who is sheltering at home alone. We need each other more than ever. It always feels good to realize you are needed and you are loved. This is the perfect time to give to others what you would love to have for yourself.
Reading: Ebooks are a superb way to enlighten your mind and pass the time in an active, constructive manner. Check out Audible. Check out Youtube – many books and magazines are available for free online.
Next post will include thoughts on #3 Active Thought! 🙂
Stay well and keep spreadin’ the love, my friends!