Living on Your Own Terms in a Face of Coronavirus

Person Washing Hands

I believe that things don’t just randomly happen but are, instead, a manifestation of our fear, deep seeded issues that we are not resolving and often, our unwillingness to look beneath the surface and find our part in the situation at hand.

We didn’t “cause” Coronavirus – we don’t have godlike powers.  But we all contributed.  The panic that is settling in with some is not caused by the virus itself, the virus is merely revealing problems we all already had.

I notice, in my life, this situation only magnified the doubts and fears that were already there: knowing my younger one has, what doctors call, virus induced wheezing, knowing its beginning to be time to move to a different neighborhood and be closer to nature, wanting to earn more money and have more trust in my son’s education, our government and improve my communication with my husband such that we don’t waste time going back and forth when we disagree about something important.

These concerns were there already, and the arrival of this epidemic is just having me unable to look away.  Tragedies (remember 9/11?) have a way of transforming people’s lives and letting them clearly see what matters most.  Sometimes, we don’t know what matters until we don’t have it anymore.

So, to me, this is a time of self-reflection.  I had a hard time explaining to people why I pulled my older one out of school last week and why we stocked up on food ahead of time and are minimizing exposure to the world outside of our own home.  But I also hold myself accountable for my choices and consequences I have to face because of them.  It is only fair that I make choices I can live with.

As a child, I often did things just in spite. Because I was smart and fast, I would do things both my way and other people’s way to prove that my way was better.  But being right only cost me at the end.  We all make mistakes but when we make them because someone around us wouldn’t shut up about it, the consequence of that is real anger that is hard to resolve after.  We resolve the mistake we make ourselves much more easily, because we can own that we did the best we could even when that wasn’t good enough.

I noticed I was getting mad at the world for not understanding and approving of my choices.  But the truth is, I have to live with the choices I make and therefore, it is up to me to make them.  I don’t mind, and even encourage, other people’s views and reasoning as well as collaboration.  I am not the smartest person and together, we always know more.  But after a discussion and a good honest chat, I take charge for my life. \

It’s been an adjustment to look forward to Spring in New York unable to move with freedom we had only a few months ago without this virus scare.  But I hope that this disruption in business as usual reveals all that isn’t working so that we can each do our part in repairing it.  It’s important that we make choices we can live with, work to earn the lifestyle we are committed to, send children to the schools whose teachers and administration we trust, vote and elect people in government who can represent us and keep the dialogue open. It is important to never lose faith and to see the bigger picture, to ask: how is this working in my favor?

This isn’t advice to meditate and positive think our way out of this.  I don’t believe that meditation and positive thoughts alone are sufficient to make the change we seek.  I believe that putting the effort in alignment with our values is what matters and I hope this serves as a wakeup call for majority, because the majority can cause a paradigm shift, we all so desperately need.  Life can be altered in a moment. In one second, everything can change without turning back.  So, keep your minds rested, eyes open, thinking on and wash your hands.  Step out of the daily survival and stand in the future you want for yourself, for your children, for the world.

Don’t Wait for Signs, Choose Your Life

backlit-beach-dawn-1168744

I reached out to one of my former coaches in desperation to figure out how to go from where I was.  Namely, in the past, I always had strong ambition and there was always a very clear goal in my mind:  

  • finish school,
  • become a leader, reiki Master, practice yoga, meditation etc
  • find love, keep love, get married
  • become a mom, have another child
  • Get my residence, citizenship 
  • Move to Montreal, move to the beach, move back to New York
  • Build my own business, create my own course 

Those are big goals… Achieving them had me feel like my life hit a plateau.  Here I am, I have all of this, and now what? 

In a meantime, I turned 40.  Birthing children isn’t in an of itself a goal, it’s a gift that keeps on giving (and demeaning my energy and attention, as well as mental power).

Becoming a citizen made everything easier, but most people where I live were already born citizens so having invested my time and energy in becoming one doesn’t actually put me in advantage. That’s a privilege many were born into.

Getting married didn’t have me now hold hands with my husband all the time, it’s merely a decision to be in the same sand box of life and work through things without storming out and calling it quits every time it gets hard.  It’s a challenge to never stop growing but to keep inspiring another person to grow with you and not apart.  It’s not a destination, it’s only a beginning.

All of this lead me to the question I was wondering lately that had me reach out to so many people I thought could help me figure it out:  what do I do now?  How do I combine all my talents in one thing I can always do, knowing I am in the right place at the right time? Who can I be now that I am all these things newly, a wife, a mom, a business owner and someone with big desire to create works of art? 

In my long winded letter to my former coach, where I just let it all hang, I expressed all my past fears, current limitations and palpable desires for the future.  I was pretty ashamed of sending that email at the end, but she was gracious enough to respond.  And this is what she said:

It sounds like you are having trouble making decisions, afraid that you will make a wrong one.  This must be impacting your life greatly and I think, given you want to  be free, you would want to resolve it

This happened weeks ago.  Despite knowing better, I always take things  personally at first. It’s my automatic, so often when I react to something strongly, I give it time.  As a personal coach myself, I was wondering, how in the world did she see that in what I wrote.  She was right and yet, I had no idea which part of what I wrote to her in that long saga triggered her to write what she’s written.

And then, suddenly, it hit me:  Everything we do in life is a choice, conscious or not.  If there is something we don’t like, we get to choose to change it, otherwise, whether consciously or not, we have chosen to tolerate it.  There is no truth about what each of us should or shouldn’t do with their lives.  Sure, some people are clearly talented for music, for example, so it is logical for them to invest most of their time and energy in that, but most of us other mortals, what we do and how we spend our time is really our willingness to do one and not another.  There is no innate truth in each choice, every one of the choices we can make has pros and cons, so trying to decide from the perspective of what is easier or better is really not the best way to use our mental capacity.  

Instead, we get to choose.  We get to declare: I am going to take on X and Y and not Z for the duration of time and I am going to give it all I got.  The moment we choose, and declare, giving it all is not a matter of our feelings anymore, but our integrity.  And yes, there will be ups and downs but if we have given our word to something, then that is where we play.  

I thought about this and then “OMG”ed myself realizing I was waiting for something outside me to give me signs, to show me the way, to approve of one thing I do against another, or to give me a perfect cocktail of coaching and art and healing things that I do so I can be satisfied and proud. I realized, there is nobody coming, nobody will save me, nobody knows it better than me and even better: I don’t know it either.  It isn’t about knowing, it is about  what I am willing.  

I hope this makes sense and a difference for you.  Perhaps take a pen and paper and write down your bucket list, write your desires out, put black on white what it is you want to accomplish and then pick the one you are willing to put effort in and keep on keeping on until you are satisfied and ready to choose something else.  Don’t wait for signs, choose right now!!!

With love and light

Marija