Find a quiet spot to sit. Close your eyes and become aware of where the weight of your body is resting. Breathe in and slowly out again, listen to the life-giving air that moves through your nostrils and down into your lungs. Give thanks for air to breathe and lungs to breathe it.
Think of those you share your home with, those who you are calling to keep contact with, those who are calling you. Think of the neighbours you’ve come to know better these past weeks and the person you’ve passed on your daily exercise. Bring their faces to mind and give thanks for each of them and ask that they stay in good health.
There is a weight to this crisis that we are all feeling; a wave of anxiety that crashes hard at the backs of our minds, sending spray across our lives. This crisis has touched everything, acknowledge how much that pains you. Name the anger you feel at the pointlessness of it all. Don’t hide from the painful and angry feelings; they hurt you just as much in their silence. Let them run their course.
Look at your hands. What are you carrying? Your friends and family? Your work? Your loss? Your fear? Do you carry the unknowns and the unknowable; a bleak future that is coming or may not come at all?
What of these things can you touch and make a difference to? What is beyond your involvement; bigger than your reach, stronger than your power, out of your control?
So much of this experience exhausts us because we give our energy and power to that which we cannot affect in the slightest. The rising statistics, lost people, loved by many, now rounded down by a report to a 1 or zero on a list. Our minds cannot engage well with that much grief, even when minimised to a statistic. Yet we watch and we read, and our energy runs out, our power is diminished, overwhelmed by the magnitude of it all.
We must all let go of what we cannot affect and take hold of what we can.
Turn your hands over and shake them free of the heavy, unmanageable things. Let go of the things which we cannot carry.
Turn them back and fill them again with your loved ones whom you can comfort and enjoy. Fill them with your faith. Fill them with art and music, books and food. Fill them with fresh air and birdsongs. Fill them with phone calls to the isolated, and zoom calls to friends.
For the big things, pray. Pray prayers that leaves them to that which is bigger than us all. Let questions of why be left unanswered and let time take care of the how.
None of us will rest when trying to answer these things. So choose to rest in the waiting as best you can. You deserve to care for yourself so do things that you love which are still available. Take baths. Read books. Write terrible poetry. Find joy in silence. There is little and great joy to be found.
Pray for those who this virus has reached and for those caring for them. Pray for those who make decisions on what comes next.
Ask for trust and wisdom, patience and grace. We all need those now.