Some days it blows my mind to stop and reflect that we are 2 years into this COVID experience. In many ways I can't believe it has been that long, but when I feel the effects on my mental health and my spirit bubble up again, I am reminded of just how long this has been dragging on. Not to mention just how deeply I long for some relief.
In many ways we have adapted, gotten more familiar to life behind a mask and settled in, but for myself I keep discovering that the part of me that is a small business owner is stuck in survival mode. Now if you asked the community I serve, they would gush about how amazing it has been to still have this yoga community and access to virtual classes. They would tell you their connections to one another have deepened behind the screen. According to them, things are spectacular, and they are in many many ways.
But just the other day I realized I am in need of a Mindset SHIFT. Do you remember the beginning of the pandemic, when we would kick our amazon packages into the garage, afraid to touch the boxes, or when we would literally wear a hazmat suit to the grocery store only to come home and wipe down everything we bought. Remember how devastating it was to be cut off from our loved ones? Those first 6 months were beyond and no word in our language accurately conveys it.
We lost out jobs, our direction, our social life, our freedom, ourself. It was so overwhelming all at once, that our nervous system couldn't cope and we went deep into survival mode. This is the definition of trauma. The survival mode we went into was a necessary mode to navigate what was at the time.
The passing of time does wonders to help us heal from these experiences and all though this is still hard in many ways, time has allowed us to slowly heal. We have learned how to navigate virtual school, working from home, new routines and ways of being. We have figured out how to enjoy yoga from home on zoom.
Yet the the other day I caught myself making the following comment out loud "I am just trying to survive." At the time I was making this comment in reference to being a small business owner. The second I heard those words leave my mouth, I realized just how trapped I still am in my early COVID trauma Mindset. I spent days meditating on these words, repeating the sentiment to myself. I reflected on the fact that my business is still standing, though she may be battered and bruised. As I reflected deeply, this question kept emerging from somewhere within my wise soul...
"Why not choose to thrive?"
Yes, things aren't where they used to be, but why not choose to thrive right where I am. Sure I am running a business in an entirely different model than when I started, but why not choose to thrive. There are still set backs, there are still many road blocks an hurdles...we keep dodging surge after surge and the back and forth mask mandate game, but why not choose to thrive right in the midst of the muck?
We often start sentences with "when _____, I'll be______" I have said many a sentence like this over these last 2 years. "When all this over, we'll go on a retreat." "When all this is over, we'll host that event again." "When all this is over, I'll____."
You name it, I have said it, felt it, cried over it for 2 years. But you know something beautiful, is all that has been a natural healing process for me. To continue to name what is arising, to let me self feel it fully and to express the emotions instead of burying them. We have lived through something that will never be matched. We are still parenting, socializing, living, working although it may look completely different than our 2018 life. Time has allowed us some needed perspective and afforded us some time to heal. When I pause to reflect, I feel it in my bones, I have survived and I have healed enough to take a hold of my freedom to choose how I respond to what is in front of me. I could keep playing small, repeating the survival mindset. But the time has come to SHIFT my mindset and choose to thrive.