Staying Present While Getting My Head Out of the Sand

Updated: Mar 18

Daring to Share Deception to Truth

March 2020 Edition

Welcome to Monthly Perceptions by Diana Reyers!!

Last Monday my husband and I went to visit my daughter and son-in-law on Vancouver Island for a seven-day stay. We innocently went shopping in Victoria on Tuesday morning and woke up on Wednesday morning to the Corona Virus having escalated in confirmed cases and deaths at a warped rate of speed. Even its name changed to something more serious - COVID-19 and yes, I took notice!!

Within 48 hours of us debarking the ferry for some family time, each province in Canada began mandating precautionary measures against something unknown and dangerous. There was an energy in the air that wreaked urgency and President Trump declared a National Emergency on Friday, March 13th. Although we weren't scheduled to return home until the 16th, I turned to my husband and told him, we need to go home early. We reserved the ferry for Saturday and woke up early to say our goodbyes to the kids. On Sunday, BC Ferries began canceling half of their scheduled sails. We felt we made the right decision for us.

Some will say I panicked; I should have just lived in the moment and not fed into the frenzy of the media, and that I made a decision based on fear. But, what I know for sure is that I listened to reason, to a deep understanding that I am not a risk-taker and that I know what works for me and my family. I took the advice of social distancing and self-isolating seriously given that my husband manages Parkinson's - both he and I are immunocompromised as we manage autoimmune diseases - mine is in remission, but still lies waiting to be released from dormancy. I also knew my husband would feel less anxious and more comfortable in his own house given the circumstances, so I made a decision conducive to supporting his feelings and needs.

There is a perception that those who lean towards a more optimistic way of being are living in a heightened feeling of trust and calm, while those who appear to be more pessimistic are living within fear and chaos. I am not fooled by this mindset as both extremes are detrimental without the integration of the other. Being more one-sided than the other creates a distorted version of the truth as I then move forward without knowing or using reality while making decisions.

Ignoring feelings of fear and choosing only awareness to all things positive is a method of managing the same anxiety experienced by those who choose to focus only on pragmatic practices to ensure security and safety

Anxiety is the most prevalent feeling experienced in society today. I have managed minimal bouts of anxiety and when I chose extreme emotional guidance, it served me to manage feelings of unrest. When I chose the opposite, extreme thinking guidance, I did so because it served me in feeling purposeful and productive. Neither is wrong, however, when I chose the left over the right or vice versa, it created a superego mindset and the result was a right or wrong way of being.

Whether I move towards tendencies of being a more feeling or thinking person, both require being mindful and present, but without combining the two, I end up with a slanted view of reality - just as mindfulness does not require the use of only the left side of the brain which seeks and moves me towards feel-good experiences, neither does the solitary use of the right side that takes me to problem-solving, work effectively on its own. Being fully awake and aware requires integrating my emotions and my thoughts. When I realized this, I began to create a state of pragmatic mindfulness as I was able to honour what I feel while bringing in rationally-based information. Combining the two sides takes a conscious effort as I integrate both my feeling and thinking centres and this allows me to be clear about what is aligned with my values and what I choose to do next based on how I feel and what I believe. Doing this provides me with clarity and when I am clear, I am able to make a plan and feel empowered. It doesn't make me right over what someone else chooses to do with the same information, but it does make what I decide to do with the same information, right for me.

When I take this one step further and expand my feelings and thoughts to encompass the consideration of others in my community, the city I live in and the world, I am choosing to be socially intelligent and find that my decision-making becomes more expansive. This provides me with the opportunity to make choices that are more proactive and I decide to do what is right, not just for myself, but for our society in general.

I am experiencing amplified beautiful energy around the COVID-19 pandemic on social media as people rally to support one another in line with the kind of human beings they were born to be. But, I also feel a counter-energy that is creating the exact opposite within a right or wrong environment. People who are taking the time to create a feeling of security by stocking their shelves are being laughed at and deemed, selfish hoarders. Those living moment by moment, ignoring and distancing themselves from what they feel is chaos, are also being mocked and deemed as naive. Labeling anyone within an environment of ambiguity is an act of judgment and exclusion and creates even more chaos and stigma within an already acute state of fear.

For me, the left side of my brain tells me that the universe is asking the world to slow down and take time to be present and well, but I am also taking that time in order to pay attention to the right side of my brain that is guiding me to pragmatically support myself, my family, friends, and strangers by abiding by the advice of our professional advisors and leaders. I believe that every decision I make during this time of unrest needs to be guided by my commitment to work in solidarity with humanity as a whole. I am fully aware that every decision I make affects the outcome of the COVID-19 movement - just as we are capable of creating positive humanitarian movements, so are we capable of dismantling a movement of possible devastation. Human-kind is really that powerful by integrating both sides of the brain and working together by using the choice of equally combining the feeling side with the thinking side.

While I am conscious of practicing the calm my brain is asking for, I am also aware of the chaos it needs me to manage in order to arrive at that sense of calm. I am a huge advocate of being present, but I also know that I am ineffective if I don't choose to get my head out of the sand during times of adversity.

The following article is an amazing example of how a virus of any kind takes control and why it is imperative to practice strategies provided in order to take away its power.

Why Outbreaks Like Corona Virus Exponentially and How to "Flatten the Curve."

Wishing you all love and ease as you stay safe and well!! xoxo