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Born Under Punches

Social distancing is a gift. Talking Heads

Take heart my friend, The forces of nature move us all regardless of where we find ourselves on this planet. For our limited time here, we are meant to experience the full range of our humanness from uncontained joy to immeasurable sorrow. The recent development of the global health crisis we face collectively has set the stage for a level of vulnerability and interdependence the likes of which we have never seen. We have the opportunity to dig deep into our compassion and solidarity in a way that has likely never happened on a collective human level in global history. If we are firm in our own wisdom, we will see that ongoing care and concern for the well being of every living creature is our collective and personal responsibility; it starts with our own self first. The global instruction to engage in "social distancing"creates a unique but interesting set of challenges to modern life. There is a deep loneliness many people often overlook or avoid in modern life. It becomes visible when we no longer engage with ordinary social interactions like work, school, or friendships. We might also find that our home life is either unsatisfying, unsafe, or unbalanced. We might finally be aware of our hidden struggles, our unexpressed needs, or our adherence to routines that distract or pacify us from feeling fully what is present in our lives. The ease with which we can ordinarily numb out, check out, or outright avoid what causes us grief and pain is no longer available when we are forced by circumstance to be fully with ourselves or those closest to us. Becoming aware of the tension we carry is incredibly uncomfortable, but is also the invitation to unburden gradually ourselves. Relief comes when we knowingly create a condition of freedom and space within our lives to enjoy the presence of possibility and mystery in life. Life, as it is, is mostly uncertain. The only guarantee we have is that it is fleeting, temporary, and ultimately it will leave us from whence it came. The condition of the human world today, germinated through violence and inequity, appears to be at a turning point. The natural world will exist beyond us, and is not limited by the coming and going ideas and ideals by which humanity churns itself. But the human whims and fancies of yesterday have led us to a dangerous place where the global systems that ensure our comfort and relative stability are showing wear and are beginning to fray. The presence of a virus, a few strands of DNA not complex enough to form a cell on its own, has been enough to cause a pause to our ordinary way of living. Many people are facing grave changes to physical, financial, and social well-being in ways that could not be anticipated. The swift and neat resolution of the impacts of the last few weeks are unlikely. With so much uncertainty, fear, lack of control, and lack of resources we collectively face a great test of our capacity to acknowledge the needs of others as well as our own needs. We have been given a chance to embrace our discernment to clarify the difference between gratification and contentment. What does this mean in practical terms? Be aware of what causes harm and what is helpful. - Remember we always have choices. Actively engage in connecting with the natural world through the senses. - Stay grounded in our own experience. Evaluate information based on available evidence. - Use intelligence. Recognize the feelings and needs that we have, and act accordingly. - Be aware of our own conditions. Recognize the feelings and needs of others, and respond if appropriate. - Listen, be available, and supportive if possible. Remember the rhythm of nature is beyond human will; everything has a beginning, middle, and end. - Practice patience, and humility.

Well-being is a gift that we are responsible for maintaining. - Take care to remain in good health. Our presence is a gift in each other's lives, whether we are physically present or not. - Stay in touch with people. These are challenging times, yes, but we are fully equipped with wisdom, compassion, and integrity. May we be free enough, within ourselves, to express the beautiful divine qualities we all possess in the grave moments that are ahead. Let's be emboldened by the music and message of the Talking Heads' song, "Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)."

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