Walking Through the Pandemic

Greetings one and all….

What a glorious morning! A lovely layer of snow on the grass, trees, and bushes. And the SUN is shining! YAHOOOOOOOOOO! Just what I need to shift my energy and regain my footing today. I have to admit – I struggled a bit yesterday with the dreary weather. The heaviness of the COVID-19 news along with the oppressive weather combined to dampen and darken my mood. Based on the emails and text messages received yesterday, many of you felt the same way. But today is a new day – an opportunity to assume a realistically optimistic attitude that affords a more hope-FULL view of life. Today, we can choose to take the steps necessary to move through this moment in time – to move toward our individual and collective future.

Meditation in Motion — The image of “walking through the pandemic” is personally motivating. In fact, walking as a practice and an image have served me well throughout my almost 63 years. When challenged by adversity and loss, I walk. I walk to relieve physical stress. I walk to process my emotions. I walk to escape the confines of my home. I walk to gain a different view of life. I walk to encounter my sense of the Divine along the way. I walk to experience the sense of moving on. I walk out of desire, necessity, and desperation! Walking serves as my contemplative practice…meditation in motion. So my friends, what “moves” you?

Create Motivating Rituals — After my brother died 4 years ago, I struggled to integrate my profound sense of loss into the fabric of my being. Consequently, I started walking the first morning back in Denver. I don’t remember much about my first outing, but I do remember the simple ritual initiated that day. During my walk, I noticed a stone in one of the flower beds in my neighborhood. I picked it up and “worked” the stone for the duration of the walk. Arriving home, I placed the rock beside my chair in the den. In relatively short order, my daily ritual resulted in a significant rock pile in my den (as well as a noticeable diminution of stones in some of the communal flower beds)! 

If you don’t have an affinity for rocks, you may be wondering why in the world I chose to gather stones! First, I needed something to hang onto as I moved through my sorrow. Something tangible. Working the stone as I walked, I imagined filling the pores of the stone with my sadness and my prayers. Second, each stone represented 5 miles in my journey. As my cairn grew, I could literally “see” how far I had come. Each stone served as a milestone of mourning. There was evidence that I was making progress. In one month, I advanced 150 miles! Ultimately, those milestones motivated me to move through my sorrow and embrace a new way of being – being in this world without my brother. 

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, I believe rituals are vitally important as well. Rituals serve to connect, to inspire, to motivate, and to calm. Today, what rituals serve you and yours well? Have you created a ritual in response to this historic, trying time? How do your rituals sustain, nurture, and inspire you? 

Walk On! — Reflecting on the image of “walking through the pandemic,” I am reminded of a command used in equine therapy – walk on. Many years ago, I worked as an intern at a therapeutic equine ranch. I handled the horses in the arena while the therapist worked with the client on the horse. Once the client was securely seated in the saddle with side walkers in place, I would command the horse to “walk on.” We would then make our way around the arena – moving forward with periodic stops along the way.

Today, “walk on” is an invitation to be considered and hopefully embraced. Our only option is to move forward – one step at a time. It matters not that we long to reclaim Life before COVID-19. Life is forever changed. We are forever changed. There is no going back. So let’s consider how we choose to “walk on.” Where are we headed? With whom shall we share the journey? What will we choose to do and how shall we choose to be within the context of our new normal? 

Well my friends, the sunshine and blue skies are calling me to “walk on.” May you enjoy a glorious day. If you are feeling anxious and fearful – put on your sneakers, grab a jacket, and walk out the door. Discover what moves you. Create a daily ritual that inspires you. Believe you are brave and bold enough to “walk on” – because you are.

BE WELL and STAY WELL. Blessings to you and yours…….jane

One comment

  1. Thank you, Jane. Your words are very comforting and affirming. I was especially touched when I read the part about how
    after the death of your brother, you had to learn a new way of “being” – of being in this world without your brother. That thought was identical in my experience of losing my older brother, my north star, about 7 years ago. I was feeling so totally
    adrift and not recognizing who I was or how I fit any longer. As I was walking (yes, walking), and contemplating, and grieving, I came to the same realization as you did, that I had to learn to “be” in this world without my brother. At that
    point in time, you become someone else – the sadness and loss remains – but we “walk on” – it’s what we have to do,
    and, after all, what our brothers would expect of us. Thank you, Jane.


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