In my last blog post, I told you that I was working on an important project and that a big announcement was forthcoming. Then life took an unexpected turn! Although I am still working on that project with great excitement and hope to make an announcement soon, dealing with a pandemic has taken precedence. I have spent the past few weeks responding to the challenges at hand, as I am sure you have. My concern is for the welfare and safety of my family and community during this chaotic period.
As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread, turning our lives and our world upside down, please remember that we are all in this together. You are not alone. If you are feeling scared or worried, I want you to know that I am here for you. And I will not forsake you.
With everything shutting down, the temptation is to shift into survival mode. But you and I can do much better than that. We can actually thrive in these challenging times. The secret lies in community. It always has. If we look out only for ourselves, we might be able to survive. But if we look out for each other, then we can flourish and make the best of this pandemic. With that in mind, here is what I would like to offer you:
1. Talk to me. I am happy to set aside a few minutes to touch base and listen to your concerns. You can email me here and we can set up a time for a telephone conversation. It will be my honor to listen to your concerns and to offer solace if you'd like. We can start with a 15-minute call and then schedule additional calls or longer sessions if you feel they are of benefit to you.
2. Come chant with me. I am starting up a Virtual Global Chant and welcome your participation. Starting on Wednesday, April 3, you can join the chant circle, hosted by FreeConferenceCall.com, in one of two ways:
a) By Phone (voice only): Call into this number, 978-990-5000, and then enter the following access code: 958340.
b) On the Web (which includes video capabilities): https://join.freeconferencecall.com/vastucson
Please note: You don't have to ascribe to any belief system or worship any deity to find benefit and enjoyment in these virtual chant circles. All of the chants we choose are focused on universal themes such as nature, love, beauty, peace, and harmony.
3. Take advantage of our online resources. Maria and I are sharing all kinds of free information in the days to come. She is in the process of preparing some wonderful online yoga classes, and we are putting together information about boosting your immune system, reducing inflammation, managing stress, nutrition, self-care, and other practical things you can do to stay healthy. She is also offering free 15-minute consultations on yoga therapy and ayurveda. You may want to check out Maria's blog for updates as well as this blog and my Facebook page. I will be sharing things that are inspiring me right now, such as this beautiful video by Riya Sokol:
I feel very aligned with her message about gratitude. Every morning when I say The Pledge, I recite these words, "I pledge to live without expectations so that I may consider everything that comes into my life, even that which challenges me the most, as a gift and as an opportunity to grow, to learn, and to serve." For me, this pandemic has been both a challenge and a gift. While I despair for those who have fallen ill and are struggling just to catch a breath, not to mention all the health care workers and first responders who are putting their lives at risk every day tending to the sick, I am also relieved to see empty streets and blue skies uncontaminated by carbon emissions; to know that families are coming together to share quality time with one another; to hear stories of people who are are finding positive ways to reconnect with nature, take care of their precious bodies, and alleviate stress; and discover all the wonderful resources that people are making available to their communities out of a spirit of compassion and generosity. As someone who has devoted himself to the quest for inspiration, I find such responses to be incredibly inspiring.
Last but not least, I want to offer you this:
4. Let me know what you need. Whatever your issue or concern, I may be able to help you, or at least to connect you with someone who can.
You and I have the capacity to really flourish and find deep happiness even in the midst of a major crisis like this one. Just keep the following in mind:
together we thrive!
I want to hear from you! Please share your questions and comments. And sign up for my newsletter, where I will pass along the insights, ideas, and inspiration that come my way.