These are different times.
Note that I said ‘different’. Not difficult. Not challenging. And that’s not because these aren’t tough times for many of us. I choose to characterize these times as ‘different’ because language matters. The words we use matter. The thoughts we choose matter. The meaning we give to those thoughts matter.
That was the impetus for my Light Lunch series. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I invite you to join me at noon (EST) every day as I go live in Facebook to shine a little light into the darkness of these unusual times. It’s only 10 minutes out of your day and it just may be the shift you need. Here’s the link to the community on Facebook if you’re so inclined.
I felt compelled to start them in the face of what seemed to be wildfire fear and panic running amuck. Fear is a dangerous thing. It can be contagious. In fact, science would suggest that fear actually decreases and interferes with our immune system. I wondered, what if our fear was actually more dangerous than the virus itself? What if the way forward was to push past the fear, to shed light during these seemingly dark times?
And so, I committed to doing these daily Facebook lives at noon throughout this COVID-19 situation, whether one person or one hundred or one hundred thousand showed up (and yes there were days when I was speaking to one person – and I still believe it was important). I chose to be a light that shines in the darkness and to encourage others to be that light. It was my intention to help shift perspectives out of fear and to a place of possibility, hope, and positivity.
And because I think this is so important, I’ll also be releasing a free eBook, Shining Light in the Darkness, this week! Be sure to watch for it. The book is a compilation of some of those thoughts and shared insights. I hope you’ll find it to be a valuable resource. If you’re feeling angst or overwhelm, you can just flip through to find something that resonates with you – that brings you to a state of grace, peace, and/or resourcefulness – that allows you to show up as the best version of yourself, for you, for those you care about, and for the world. After all, it only takes a single match to light a dark room. I hope you join me on this journey.
And if you’re feeling locked in a place of fear, another resource is my two-part podcast series on negotiating your life with NO FEAR – definitely an important skill in this climate … and always. If you missed them, here’s the links to listen: Part I and II of my No F.E.A.R negotiation podcasts
Having said that, don’t misunderstand me. I get that these times are tough for all of us. You’ve no doubt felt caught up in the chaotic whirlwind and felt fear, grief, angst, disappointment … maybe even rage since the Coronavirus first made its unwelcome introduction into our lives. And that's okay. It's okay to have those feelings. In fact, it’s important to acknowledge and give voice to them. And then, I invite you to make a decision NOT to stay there. Acknowledge these feelings by all means. Then choose to focus on hope, possibility, the power and resilience of humanity, acts of service and generosity. And make no mistake. It is a choice.
No need to beat yourself up if you haven’t been showing up as your best self. It’s important to love our perfect imperfection as humans. To show grace and compassion to others, we need to first be able to show it to ourselves.
Those who know me, know that I believe all of life is a negotiation and that the most important negotiation to start with is the one with yourself. So, in these unusual times, I invite you to negotiate your mindset. I invite you to choose not to stay in a place of single-minded focus on the virus. What you resist, persists. Where your focus goes, energy flows. Your thoughts, and the meaning you give them, create your reality. Why not focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want? Why not focus on what’s going right rather than what’s going wrong? Why not choose to reach for a better reality – always, and especially in times such as these.
This isn't the first time we've been through crises. We’ve endured worse through human history and will no doubt experience worse in future. And that's okay. Diamonds are created under pressure. So maybe ask yourself, "How can I shine today? What can I do to shine?"
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