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The Day the World Stopped

"How did it get so late so soon?" - Dr Seuss

I remember exactly where I was when I knew life as I had known it had ended. I was with my hairstylist getting my hair done three weeks ago. We were discussing possible vacations we were going to go on in the summer. She was talking about Ibiza, Spain and how beautiful it was. I was telling her that my daughters and I were planning a girl's trip to Europe. We had briefly talked about the Coronavirus. I told her I had had an ominous premonition about it weeks ago and I was trying to put on a brave face for my family. My intuition had told me this was unlike anything I had seen in my lifetime. I had even had an emergency meeting with my family in the beginning of March and told them to quietly prepare. Prepare for what, I wasn’t sure, I just knew the wave was coming, if it wasn't here already. We laughed uncomfortably together and she went on talking about her plans for her weekend. I happened to look down at my phone in between our conversation and saw the news prompt: “WHO Declares Coronavirus a World Pandemic” That day I knew things would change and how they have changed has been jaw dropping.

The end of going to my daughters yoga classes and enjoying my gym classes. The end of fun spontaneous trips on the weekends, concerts, and dates with my hubby. The end of romantic dinners in different restaurants. The end of salsa dancing in clubs. The end of my girls trip.

The end of beautiful strangers in a crowd. The end of holding hands and hugging. The end of going to work or school or hanging out with friends.

The end of girl lunches and group events. It all just stopped. It’s sad, it’s unfair and it is what it is. I recently listened to Deepak Chopra and he talked about this and described it as the world collectively grieving. We are all grieving the world as we knew it and what we took for granted. Everything I have learned in my life came to mind and as I listened, I remembered. We have to feel to heal. Deepak described 7 steps to dealing with this world grief and I have condensed his steps. It has helped me; I hope it will help you. Step 1: Take responsibility (response/ability). How are you able to respond? You can respond with anger, or being a victim, but ultimately how we respond affects others our own immune system and others. Some respond creatively, some through physical expression, but own it. How we respond is our responsibility. Step 2: Witness the emotions. Feel the sensations and observe without judgement. All emotions are linked to thoughts, so feel it and if you suppress it the feelings will get stronger, so feel. Step 3: Give it a label. Is it guilt, fear, shame , or hostility? Is it peace? Give it a label using one word. Step 4: What is the story behind the experience? Your story drives this experience, so look at the past, the present and what the future could be. What is my story in this experience and expressing it to yourself? Express it in 1st person, 2nd, and third. Explore different versions and endings. Step 5: Express your story to someone else. It could be a loved one, a child, a significant other, or a friend. Share it through technology, but share what you're experiencing. Share and verify the truth of your story. Step 6: Release it. You can do this through a ritual such as prayer, meditation, yoga, exercise, dance, laughter, movies, writing, poetry, and/or listening to others. Just release your experience and stay present. Step 7: Stay present. Experience the raw emotions. Have a mindful awareness and be a witness to what is. The present moment experience will bring you peace. After every storm there is a rainbow. We will all get through this and with all that we have learned and experienced, we will make our world a better, more meaningful place.

"The darker the night, the brighter the stars, the deeper the grief, the closer is God." - Fyodor Dostoevsky

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