“Are we going to die, Mama?” I overheard this conversation as I walked behind a young woman and her preteen daughter. The local government here had just announced the lockdown due to COVID-19 and the news was spreading. I had heard the mom tell the daughter that they would have to stay inside for now, as there was an invisible illness in the air that could hurt people. The mom stopped and hugged her daughter. And the child added, “I love you, Mama. I am scared.”
At some point, I think we are all that child. Scared, worried, uncertain about what is coming. I certainly wasn’t prepared for the torrent of my own roller coaster of emotions, much less the messages I was getting from my friends, family, and readers. I was still nursing my wounds of my twenty-four-year-long marriage ending, a heartbreak that I had not been prepared for, and the resurgence of my chronic pain issues, financial problems, and, well, you name it.
And then the pandemic hit. It is like life was imitating a country music song: first the dog died, then the house burned down, then it felt like the world, as we knew it, ended.
I found myself on the other end of long phone calls, walking friends through some gentle guidance and meditation to accept what was happening so that we could calm our chaos and deal with the situation.
Every day, questions like these were arriving in my mailbox:
- I am so scared. I fear I cannot create any art.
- I feel so helpless and angry with myself. I am sitting here feeling sorry for myself and there are so many who have it worse than I do.
- I hate this feeling. I feel like I will suffocate.
- It is over, isn’t it?
- I am terrified for my family/my parents/my kids/myself.
- Does my work matter?
I knew I had to do something. So I created these short sound bites, Powered by Hope, to help my friends and readers deal with this surreal time in our lives. Their goal is to offer gentle stories, hope, and self-care for all of us. I offer listeners a different perspective, as our world faces a “new normal” and we learn what is means to be physically distant, yet connected as humans at our very core. At the end of each audio bite, I offer listeners the chance to put my reflections into practice, and lead them on a uniquely crafted and specialized guided exercise to calm and center the mind. The guided exercises allow people a moment of reflection, the opportunity to pause and think about their lives. [Read more…]