I’ve had an inner debate going on for the past year… The affirmative team has been arguing that the COVID-19 virus is here to teach us something. The negative team has taken the stance that it’s silly to attribute any kind of intention or intelligence to a virus, or to grand forces behind it, and that if we glean any post-traumatic growth out of this experience, (which looks increasingly unlikely when I scan certain headlines), it’s just random.
It’s a false binary, which is really at the heart of debating (as well as all our other adversarial systems – the courts, the media). If you want to invite an argument, you just have to frame your stance in a provocative, arguable way.
I suspect, somewhere between these two binaries, lies something that can hold true, no matter which way you tend (ie it’s all arbitrary and random vs there’s deeper meaning to everything): that opportunity can be gleaned from anything.
I did read a wonderful article that said, one of the problems for us meaning-maker types, is that sometimes, we race to articulate the meaning of an experience, before we’re truly done with it. Or more accurately, before it’s done with us. While there is genuine medicine in extracting meaning and growth from a challenging situation, it’s also important to live through it first, without rushing to analyse and be grateful and package it up neatly as a learning experience. (I wish I could do this justice, but it’s my first day back at my desk after a long weekend and a spring break and things feel rusty. But it feels like a call to let your house be messy for a while, so you can acknowledge some of the clutter that’s just sprung forth, wanting to be addressed, instead of just jumping reflexively into tidy up mode.)
One thing I suspect could arise out of this pandemic experience, one benefit we might be able to practice and hold on to, one thing I’ve had to really cultivate, is greater mindfulness. I’ve had to mindful about where I’m standing when I’m talking with someone. I’ve had to be mindful about how many times I touch my face. I’ve had to be mindful about what stress does to my body, my moods, my patience. I’ve had to be more mindful about the other emotions coming up and finding ways to acknowledge them, allow them. I’ve been reminded, over and over, that there are so many benefits to increased mindfulness (the world seems richer, I need a lot less stuff/shiny things/distractions, I move from the shallows into a deeper sense of things)… and also, that it’s hard. Honestly. It’s hard. Even working on it every day, I feel as though I’ve gone nowhere… I’m hoping that’s not because I’ve made literally no progress, but just that it’s like a kid growing, it’s so incremental, that even though it’s happening right before your eyes, you don’t really notice, until suddenly, their sleeves go halfway up their arms.
So, I was pretty stoked to see that the Pemberton and District Library, which is always my go-to resource for general self-improvement (“there’s got to be a book about that”)… has declared April to be Mindfulness Month.
Starting tonight, they’re offering a series of Mindfulness zoom chats with Jess Turner and Denisa Lowery.
Join the zoom chat at 7pm for Mindful Eating with Jessica Turner.
Mindful eating may be the single most powerful habit for driving major transformation. There is a strong connection between the mind and the gut. When we slow down and focus on the act of eating it can have a far greater impact than most of us imagine.
We’ll talk about what our bodies need to feel nourished and what it means to eat mindfully.
Registration is required! Register here: http://ow.ly/xrXM50EeNhd
Each Tuesday, delve a little deeper… Meet your mind. And see who’s standing there. It’s an intimidating thought, but it might be the coolest reunion of your life. And just what the pandemic ordered.
April 13th & April 27th Mindfulness and Mediation:
Have you ever driven a familiar road and arrived at your destination only to realize you remember nothing of the last 10 minutes? That is the opposite of mindfulness, what could be referred to as auto-pilot. Perhaps your mind was busy planning, remembering, judging, daydreaming, ruminating–the list goes on and on.
Join Denisa for some creative exploration on the antidote to auto-pilot. She will delve into the effervescent nature of thoughts as you utilize some optional gentle movements, guided breath and meditation practices. We will gather in our virtual space and explore the tools that can help to anchor us in the present moment. Wear comfortable clothes and have a cushion, bolster, blankets or your favourite chair handy.
April 20th Why Mindset matters:
Can your mindset play a role in how you manage life’s challenges? Can what you believe about yourself impact your success or failure?
Jessica will cover the science & magic behind our mindset along with the role our beliefs play in our habits & behaviours. You’ll learn some tips & tricks on how to hack your habits, shift your mindset and move towards living a more connected life
Registration for each session is required, some sessions have limited capacity!