This morning I went to Trader Joe’s 15 minutes before it opened like I always do every Friday morning after my yoga class. Last night I thought this will be a good time to go because it won’t be as crazy, and there will be fewer people around. I always go at this time and there are typically no more than 5 people. But I should have known that wouldn’t be the case today.
Today, the parking lot was almost full and there was a line already forming and around the building by the time I got there. I got in line and people were taking out their plastic gloves and wipes to wipe down the cart. All understandably so. People are taking precautions and are stocking up. I get it, and I was there doing the same thing.
As I finally started walking into the store, I wiped off my cart to disinfect it with a wipe. Then I stopped to pick out my flowers like I always do. I get new flowers every week because I love them, they are beautiful, and they make me happy every time I look at them.
I could feel the people rushing by as I stopped to analyze the bouquets to see which one I wanted. As I was taking the time to look around, I noticed that no one else was next to me at the flowers. People were whizzing by and rushing behind me to get into the store and to get to the food. No one was stopping for the flowers.
When I looked up and started off towards the fresh food section it was like bumper carts and a traffic jam all at the same time. I decided to ditch my cart to the side and navigate the aisles by foot. Walking to the spinach and kale, then the zucchini and broccoli, and then the carrots and beets. Grabbing what I needed and bringing it back to the cart, then going back out for whatever food item I needed next. As I continued this journey of walking back and forth to my parked cart, I noticed that no one had flowers in theirs. No one.
Then I started to recognize the panic rising in the room. People were dodging, grabbing, and stocking up on lots and lots of oatmeal. I could even feel my chest start to tighten, starting to think there wouldn’t be enough. “What if they don’t have any peanut butter left?!?” #priorities.
The fear and panic in the room were making ME feel nervous and frantic, and I really don’t get nervous. I am pretty level headed and calm for the most part, but the anxiety levels of the group as a whole were starting to give ME anxiety.
At that moment I looked down and saw my beautiful bouquet and felt a slight sense of relief, a sense of calm, a pause and distraction to take me away from the panic all around me. I needed that reminder. We ALL need that reminder right now.
The entire world is in a panic. Our entire world is fighting and protecting and preventing their loved ones from getting sick. And I understand and support ALL of that. We need to take precautions to make sure this doesn’t spread or get worse.
But we also need to take precautions and actions to keep our souls safe, to keep our hearts and minds at ease.
Fear is contagious. Anxiety is overwhelming and soul-crushing. But our feelings and our thoughts we CAN control. We can try to prevent corona, but nothing is guaranteed and none of us can predict the future.
But what we have COMPLETE control over is our thoughts. We have COMPLETE control over our minds. We have COMPLETE control over what media we allow ourselves to ingest. We have COMPLETE control over what we say and put out into the world. We have COMPLETE control over how we make our homes look and feel.
And feeling peaceful, feeling safe and calm, those feelings can save you. Maybe not from corona, but from yourself. It can save you from your fear and anxiety. When your heart is full of light and love, there is no room for darkness and fear. Choose to give yourself that gift of peace and calm.
You can do this by cleaning your house or apartment. Put happy music on while you work. Do a youtube workout video and move your body to get your endorphins up. Make up a game to play with your loved ones. Read a romantic novel or harry potter. Make a delicious meal. Light a nice smelling candle. Clean out the closet. Marie Kondo your life. Or put out some beautiful flowers on display.
Whatever it is that brings you peace and joy. Do that. Do that in your home. Make your space a calm, warm, clean, and happy space. Bring your mind at ease.
Stop to look at and appreciate the beautiful flowers that are right in front of you.
We will get through this. So in the meantime, stop to take a minute to find or create that joy, and love that will light up your life. That beauty, that relief, is what we need, now more than ever.
Find it, create it, and then spread that shit around like confetti.
Love you guys,