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Yes, we’re in the midst of a surreal and uncertain time with the rapid spread of COVID-19. And, yes, we need to take containment and mitigation measures seriously in order to flatten the curve as quickly as possible. But we don’t have to default to mere survival or, worse yet, letting fear (and media headlines) consume us. History proves that challenging times – from plagues to recessions to wars – have been pivot points for growth and disruption.
The truth is that there’s always a gift in upheaval, pain, and discomfort. Always. Yet we don’t often see it in the moment.
The gift might be different for each of us, but I wanted to share what I’m already seeing from a rebel’s perspective. The world is slowing down – as are many of our businesses. There’s an opportunity in this moment for us to do the same. To be still. To kick the busy-ness addiction. To use this time to reflect and connect with our soul, our voice, our people and our passions. To remind ourselves that we’re playing the long game. This is an ultramarathon, not a sprint. Let’s slow down to speed up — and choose consciousness over chaos.
Here are 3C’s that can help us thrive in spite of the uncertainty – Care, Connection, and Creation. These C’s ladder up to the Big C of Calm. And calm is the best possible form of contagious these days.
I wrote this quickly, so the examples aren’t an exhaustive list by any means (nor are they rocket science). My hope is that this construct will simply get you thinking about the powerful opportunity to reflect, reset, and redirect. Now. Whatever that means for you (and your family and team and business).
Care – This begins with self-care. Do it for yourself and take pride in modeling it for others (especially your kids). Remember, self-first isn’t self-ish. It’s foundational. It’s the first line of defense against any virus. So, make sure you have the basics covered:
· Sleep (minimum 7-8 hours)
· Eat healthy
· Move regularly (simple exercise, frequent body movement, a walk or hike for fresh air)
· Breathe deeply (Five deep breaths can completely reset your perspective. Pause and do this throughout the day.)
· Laugh often (I’ve been drawing cards from The Oracle with Attitude’s Rebel Deck. They’re hilarious – and on point. This morning’s card prompted this article: the front said, “What the hell are you waiting for? Get that sh*t done.” And the back said, “If you are waiting for a sign – well, here it effing is.” A good one for all of us, right?)
· Disconnect from technology at regular intervals (Choose consciousness over consumption)
Connection – There are two dimensions to this because we first have to connect with ourselves in order to connect with others:
· Self-connection – Taking the time to slow down and choose being over doing. We very quickly default to ticking off the endless “to do” list when we have time on our hands, but the real opportunity is in embracing stillness; getting to know ourselves and connecting with the little voice deep inside us. Seeking its steady guidance. It’s time to kick our collective addiction to busy-ness and allow our inner compass to guide us.
· Community/connection to others – Make time to catch-up with friends and family via FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, or phone. Ask how you can support and love each other from a distance. Dig into your fears, insecurities, and breakdowns. Lead from your heart, Have courageous conversations. Create a virtual book club. Lean into community in every aspect of your life. We need each other now more than ever.
Creation/Creativity – There’s an abundance of opportunity to create right now: create new habits, create space, create your ideal day, create that thing you never had time for or were maybe simply afraid to do, e.g. starting your book, pitching your article, recording that song or video or podcast, writing that business plan, learning that new language. This is the time for courage, creativity, and disruption (in life and industry). We’re already seeing examples of this with restaurants creating meal subscription services and family meal pick-up options in light of the dine-in shutdown. Personally, I’m using the downtime (from cancelled events, retreats, and speaking gigs) to create the content and community I’ve been putting off for ages. Watch this space. 😉
If you want to dive even deeper into all of this, now would be a great time to read my book. You can buy Soulbbatical: A Corporate Rebel’s Guide to Finding Your Best Life here: http://bit.ly/Soulbbatical.
And if you want coaching support right now, please reach out. I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is not a sales pitch. I’m here to serve you.
Sending you all much love from a very safe distance.