The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
— Jellaludin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks
Have you ever felt that you have so much to be done and you have the time but you just cannot focus, your head is in a funk? You go through the motions but you don’t feel a connection with what you do?
This has been my state of mind for about almost a week! It does not feel good, it feels exhausting and overpowering and really scary. It is energy depleting. If I have to draw up a checklist of the objective work that I have “done”, I have completed all the needed tasks. I have satisfied all my roles, however it feels like I’ve only gone through the motions. I have not felt energized, felt fulfilled, felt joy on the inside!
I finally decided that I needed to really think about would make me feel connected, what would make things better? What was “it” that I was missing?
That was not easy, the reasons for this are many: worries, tensions, and of course the external environment with the two pandemics of COVID and racism in the forefront. After spending the past two days being intentional about trying to understand what would it take to feel that connection again, the best solace came from the permission from me to myself. I just needed to be!!!
I did not need to fix the problem of not focusing. It would happen when it was meant to happen. I just needed to be, and share with myself what I was doing each time. Giving myself that permission felt relieving indeed. This is going to sound silly, but yes, telling myself:
I am washing my hands.
I am drinking a sip of coffee.
I am typing an email to my children.
I am sad at the increase in COVID cases in Chattanooga.
I am frustrated that people are still resisting wearing a mask.
I am so happy it rained.
I am angry that I had no self-control and ate the whole bagel.
I am writing this blog now...
I just kept doing and sharing the doing with me.
You know, I found myself thinking less about my lack of focus. I actually found myself smiling and am doing so as I write this.
Living in the present moment is hard. It is difficult to define but it is definitely palpable when you do.
Living in the moment starts with being present with yourself, being kind to you with all your emotions, and realizing you do not have to be “doing” all the time! A funk is OK!
#REFLECT: What can you give yourself permission to be and to feel this week? What can you let go of doing?
How is the coronavirus and civil unrest around racism changing the way you think of self-care, community and resilience? As this challenging time unfolds, I am posting a quote on this blog with a reflection prompt. Please join in the conversation here or on Twitter with your thoughts or about what you are doing for self-care and care of others. My book explores such ideas too: Resilient Threads: Weaving Joy and Meaning into Well-Being.