For the last fifteen years, no matter how tired I am or how many things I have to do, I take a pause every day to light a candle in my house and meditate. Before I acquired this habit, I never stopped to connect with myself. But then I understood how important it was for my mood and my ability to be present. Now, even if I get out of my house at 8 AM and get back even later than 8 PM, I always find a little time and space to connect with my consciousness and with the tranquility of my home.
The COVID pandemic, made reclusiveness the main challenge, as we were asked to stay at home 24 hours a day for an indeterminate time. The situation, for most of us, was incredibly intense. It is very difficult to lead ourselves, our families, organizations and communities in such a context. And the uncertainty of these times creates an urgency for us to connect with our inner power. And there lies the question: how can we achieve this while we are going through something so unprecedented?
I doubt that there is a unique answer for this. It really is a process, something that develops slowly and for which we need patience and determination. The pause we take every day when we meditate is a crucial time in the search for healing, where we can clean and regenerate our spirits, where we identify and eliminate beliefs or patterns that are limiting and frustrating.
One of my first thoughts when things shut down was: How paradoxical! in a world convulsed by immediacy, by not being able to stop, by wanting everything now, suddenly we are “being asked” to stop, to stay still, as if on pause, at home. Home can be our sacred space and our meeting point with ourselves. I believe it is important to reconnect with that, to give new meaning to the space that our house is and to make it more habitable.
How to take a pause in the middle of a crisis
There are two very interesting questions that I have been asked throughout this pandemic, and that I have also asked myself incessantly. The first one is how do we not feel lost in such a situation? And the second one, closely related: how do we avoid being trapped by fear, anxiety, anguish and/or depression? There is only one answer that I find valid for both: live in the present, be in the moment, be here now.
And this is possible if we inhabit and enable for ourselves spaces for healing, inner nourishment and reflection. The foundations of such a space are basically made up of consciousness. This is, recognizing our voice, our emotions, what is happening to us moment by moment. And it is not as easy as it sounds but it is not difficult either. It just is. The true “awareness” is being one hundred percent present at this precise moment.
The advice to go step by step, at our own pace, is essential in these situations. And it allows us to celebrate each of these efforts, no matter how small. Meditating, even for a few minutes, moving our bodies, leaving a space where negativity affects us, setting boundaries, and/or setting aside time for ourselves are achievements that we celebrate. Because, after all, these are actions we carry out to honor a commitment we have made to ourselves to reconnect with our wholeness.
Five practices to commit to and respect during your pause:
- Prioritize your personal care: Nourish yourself, do a connectivity detox, give yourself a good night sleep, move your body and find joy in that.
- Live in a state of gratitude: Be grateful for everything you have and what was given to you, recognize the gifts.
- Connect with your higher version: Ask yourself what you want to manifest and radiate from your actions (is it love, light, harmony?). And filter all your decisions from that parameter. And when you can’t do it, accept it and allow yourself to try again the next day.
- Be loving with yourself: Identify those moments when you judge yourself, when you become severe and critical. Commit every day to being kind and loving to yourself and reprogram those critical messages with new, positive ones.
- Practice Mindfulness/Meditation: Just being in your home, closing your eyes, looking for a space and time to connect with your Being, and not just Doing. Return to inhabiting yourself, your home, your temple, your center. Welcome to your homecoming.