31 Mar We are going to be okay
I suppose we are finally living in “virtual reality” although it’s not quite what we had expected, is it?!
And if you had never heard of Zoom before the “shelter in place” mandate, you are certainly an expert on it now.
Thankfully, I have been a Zoom user for 4-years and am very familiar with how it works. But now I’m overwhelmed with all the virtual offerings, which include, but are not limited to (just the ones I have received emails about):
- Yoga classes
- Soul Cycle classes
- Rumble classes
- Meditation workshops
- Anxiety workshops
- Sound Healing sessions
- Virtual dance parties
- Happy hours with college roommates, neighbors, friends and colleagues
- FaceTiming with your entire extended family
- Networking coffee dates
- Virtual organizing sessions
All of the sudden my schedule has the potential to be more packed than it ever was – and believe me, I had a ridiculously packed schedule (all my own doing) that anyone who knows me can attest to!
However, these days I’m treating my time like my stash of toilet paper and my food supply – I’m rationing it. Despite being a productivity coach and professional organizer, I am not forcing myself to do as many tasks as I can in a day simply to check them off my list, or worse, distract myself from what’s really going on. And I expect the same of my clients.
I’m treating this quarantine like a marathon, not a sprint.
The first week of quarantine here in California started around the 14th of March (official mandate went into place on the 17th). I spent that first week processing information, resting, reading books that I had been wanting to get to, watching some new shows, checking in with family members, and most importantly, not worrying about how I will run my business, which usually requires working with people in their homes. This is likely coming as a shock to those who know me.
As someone who would have every minute of every day scheduled, and often 3-4 months out, I am finding freedom in living in the moment and taking it day-by-day.
Who would’ve thought? Certainly not pre-Bali Lauren.
Post-Bali Lauren instead feels refreshed. There’s finally time for stillness and self-care. There’s time for connection with those you hold most dear. There’s finally time to sit back and reminisce on memories and a simpler time, and for finding gratitude and the silver linings. We’re all feeling the need to be in control and feel safe. Often that means we revert back to a child-like state of looking for security from an outside source, when really we must create it from within, and call upon our spirituality (whether for you that means organized religion or calling upon a force greater than yourself to help you through).
Organizing has a lot to do with control.
Many organizers are self-proclaimed “control freaks” (ahem, me) and we joke about it. I’m often hired because clients feel like their lives are out of control and they want to regain a sense of it, at least in their spaces. Thankfully, if you can control your space, it can have a great affect on your mental, emotional and physical well-being, too.
Now more than ever my clients are looking for a sense of control in a world turned upside down. What is happening is unprecedented for most of us and we have nothing to compare it to, to reassure ourselves that we’re going to be okay; it’s all going to turn out all right. So we stay glued to the TV or social media for information that will help us feel better and more in control, but instead we get the opposite.
I have good news – you are still in control, even if you feel out of it.
You’re in control of what you see, what you think, and what you choose to do. You’re in control of creating a sense of safety for you and your family. Kids will learn from you, and are watching you. Teach them how to weather a turbulent time, and reassure them they are safe and that everything is going to be okay (even if you’re not sure; fake it until you make it!).
When my mom was in hospice with days to live, we convinced my then 16-year old sister to go in and say goodbye. She, of course, was reluctant. We told her that it was important that our mom heard from her that she was going to be okay. “But I’m not going to be okay! I’m not going to be okay at all!” she wailed. “We know that. You’re not going to be okay for a while, but eventually you will be okay without her. We are all here to help you and each other through this,” my brother, sister-in-law, father and I said. In the end, my sister went in and said her goodbyes, and within an hour, our mom was gone. None of us were okay – not for a long time. We’ll still never be the same, but we are okay. We are bonded and we take care of each other.
It’s the same with this pandemic – it will teach us to be stronger and build our connections. It will help us to focus on what’s really important. It’s an invitation to reframe and shift our mindsets. It’s a time to relinquish control and hope that this is all happening for a reason, and that good will come out of it. It’s time to put your faith in something larger than yourself, as scary as that may be, to know that you are taken care of and it will all be okay.
So take the time now that you have so much of it – to do that. Focus on what is important; lean in and let go; go inward rather than focusing outward; live in the body, not in the mind; and tell the important people in your life how much you love them, because you never know what tomorrow will bring.
I’m just like you – I’m taking this day-by-day. When I see my mind start to give into fear, I quickly reframe. Mantras help; connecting, even virtually, helps; snuggling an animal really helps! Most importantly, reach for gratitude to help bring you out of anxiety and fear.
I’m here for all of you and will be connecting virtually (both privately and publicly) if you’d like to connect.