What I learned from Covid

I recently had a bout of Covid. Luckily it was a minor case, but it still gave me pause and shed some light into areas where I was out of balance. For the past several months, I’ve been working at a break-neck pace. I recently had a book come out and the lead up to the launch date coupled with the press that followed, had me working double-time while still maintaining my client sessions and contract work on the side.

I had been feeling out of whack for some time. I struggled to lower my heart rate and found it challenging to focus on fewer than three things at once. My meditation practice consisted of me sitting, agitated, thinking about all the things I should be doing instead of trying, unsuccessfully, to sit in stillness. My diet had also gotten off track. I was eating later than I should and snacking on sweets throughout the day. I had skipped my yoga practice and was still exercising, but more out of obligation and routine, than from a mindset of health.

I am sharing my story because despite all the tools I have learned: Reiki, meditation, connection with loved ones, angels, yoga, writing, etc., I still fell off the spiritual wagon.

Why is it that when we are stressed, our spiritual practice is the first thing that flies out the window? That’s when we need it the most! I have a tendency to put my spiritual tools into a pristine box, high up on a shelf, where I only grant myself access when I’m in the purest of thoughts, and in the most enlightened state. I saw my spiritual practice as a luxury, something that I can get to when I have the time and space to devote to it. How wrong I was.

Being spiritually minded means that you can incorporate your spiritual self, your higher self, into every aspect of your life, no matter how big or how small. It isn’t something that is separate from you, something foreign that takes oodles of practice to attain and maintain. In the stillness of my illness (ha! that rhymed!), I was able to see that my spiritual self was there, nudging me along the whole time.

When I take time to drink my tea and focus on nothing else but the steam coming off the top, the smell of lemon as it hit my olfactory senses, the taste as it enveloped my tongue and the warmth as it slid down my throat, I find peace. When I stretch and allow my creaky body to detangle, I feel more at ease. When I watch TV, I take deep breaths, turn on my Reiki hands and allow the energy to flow freely. When I take walks in nature, I allow my eyes to experience the beauty around me and to hear the soothing birdsong that echoes between the trees. Even in these small gestures we can become aware of our greater spirit. It doesn’t take an hour of meditation, it takes a dedication to quiet reflection and a focus on the here and the now.

So my self-reminders (thank you Covid!):

1. Slow down. Life isn’t a race to the finish. Enjoy each day, each minute as a blessing.
2. Live in the present. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow may never come, live life in each moment. Don’t take them for granted.
3. Listen to your body. It’s constantly giving you clues if it’s unwell or out of balance. Don’t ignore the signs.
4. Love thyself. This golden rule means that we need to let go of self-judgment, we can’t love ourselves and berate ourselves at the same time.
5. Your spiritual self is not a separate part of the self. It’s not something that you have to attain or maintain, it’s your natural state of being. The You with a capital ‘Y’ that permeates into every thought, action and gesture you make. We just need to quiet ourselves enough to listen.

I hope this helps as a gentle reminder that none of us are perfect, “we’re not meant to be perfect, we’re meant to be whole” – Jane Fonda.